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Spain 2-1 Italy: Last-gasp Joselu goal sees Spaniards through
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Joselu scored Spain’s late winner against Italy (Martin Meissner/AP)
Joselu scored Spain’s late winner against Italy (Martin Meissner/AP)

Joselu came off the bench to grab a late winner as Spain snatched a place in the Nations League final with a 2-1 win over Italy in Enschede.

The former Newcastle forward pounced two minutes from the end of a tight encounter on Thursday after a shot from Manchester City’s Champions League final match-winner Rodri was deflected into his path.

Spain had taken a third-minute lead through Yeremy Pino but Italy soon levelled with a penalty from Ciro Immobile.

Italy’s Davide Frattesi then had a goal chalked off for a narrow offside and Joselu had the final say, just four minutes after coming on.

The game was largely played at a slow pace but it got off to a lively start.

Pino gave Spain an instant advantage after robbing Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci on the edge of the area and firing past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

It was a lead that was soon erased as Italy were awarded a spot-kick seven minutes later after a shot from Nicolo Zaniolo was blocked by the arm of Robin Le Normand. Immobile made no mistake from 12 yards.

Italy were unfortunate not to be in front soon after as Frattesi finished superbly from a lofted Jorginho pass but VAR intervened.

Italy went close again before the break when Rafael Toloi volleyed just over and Spain had another chance when Alvaro Morata shot straight at Donnarumma.

The second half lacked dynamism but both sides had opportunities.

Rodri, fresh from his winner in City’s Istanbul triumph on Saturday, tried to catch Donnarumma out with an overhead kick that dropped over before Zaniolo forced a good save from Unai Simon at the other end.

Rodri was involved again for what proved the winner when his shot was blocked and Joselu calmly dinked past Donnarumma.

Spain will now play Croatia in Sunday’s final with Italy facing the Netherlands in the third-place play-off.


UEFA Nations LeagueItalySpain
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