There was late disappointment for Chelsea club captain Cesar Azpilicueta in Seville as the Spanish national team conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Portugal.
The game was the first in UEFA Nations League Group A2, with the Euro 2020 semi-finalists hosting their Iberian neighbours at the Estadio Benito Villamarin. Azpilicueta started at right-back for Luis Enrique’s side and played throughout in what was his 56th appearance of a hectic campaign, while Marcos Alonso was an unused substitute.
It meant the 32-year-old was up against some tricky forwards in the form of Bernardo Silva, AC Milan’s Serie A winner Rafael Leao and RB Leipzig centre-forward Andre Silva. Cristiano Ronaldo also came off the bench to play the final half hour and was involved in a couple of notable tussles with the Chelsea defender.
La Roja struck first midway through the opening half through former Blues striker Alvaro Morata, who netted his 26th goal in national team colours and his fourth in as many games with a neat finish inside the post at the end of a lightning-quick counter-attack.
While Spain had the majority of opportunities for the best part of the next hour, their chance to extend the lead was spurned time and again, leaving the stage set for Portugal to snatch a point eight minutes from time through Braga forward Ricardo Horta, who had only just entered the fray.
The draw leaves both sides on a point apiece after the opening round of matches, with Czech Republic stealing an early march in the group following their 2-1 victory over Switzerland. Next up for Spain is a trip to Prague on Sunday.