Home Sports Spain’s Joselu secures late victory, setting up the Nations League final against Croatia on Sunday

Spain’s Joselu secures late victory, setting up the Nations League final against Croatia on Sunday


In Enschede, Netherlands, Yeremy Pino seized the ball from Italian veteran Leonardo Bonucci just outside their own box, scoring Spain’s opening goal. Italy’s Ciro Immobile equalized through a penalty after Spain’s debutant Robin le Normand handled the ball in the box. In a crucial moment, substitute Joselu capitalized on Rodri’s deflected shot from close range, securing Spain’s place in the Rotterdam final.

Midfielder Rodri, who played a full 90 minutes despite scoring the winning goal for Manchester City in the Champions League final just five days earlier, emphasized the importance of winning the trophy. Spain’s last major triumph dates back to the 2012 European Championship, and they are eager to break their trophy drought. They will face Croatia, who are striving to secure their country’s first international trophy.

On the other hand, Italy will compete against the Netherlands in the Nations League third-placed play-off earlier in the day.

Spain gets a deserved win to boost De la Fuente

Both teams have been facing difficulties lately. Spain was eliminated by Morocco in the World Cup round of 16, while Italy didn’t even qualify for the tournament. Furthermore, both sides have suffered defeats in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, with England defeating Italy and Scotland stunning Spain.

However, this recent victory is a significant boost for Spain’s manager, Luis de la Fuente, who took over from Luis Enrique after the World Cup, having previously spent a decade coaching Spain’s youth teams. It was a well-deserved win for La Roja, who made some notable selections.

Robin le Normand, 26, made his international debut after gaining Spanish citizenship through his seven-year stay in the country while playing for Real Sociedad. He formed a defensive partnership with Aymeric Laporte from Manchester City, who was also born in France. Additionally, 37-year-old Sevilla right-back Jesus Navas made his first international appearance since 2020.

“I’m extremely pleased and proud of the group, but I’m particularly happy for the coach. That’s how I feel right now, knowing that we’ve reached the final,” expressed Navas. “Our attitude and perseverance were fantastic. The group worked hard, giving their all, but I’m especially delighted for Joselu, the one who scored the winning goal.”

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