Substitute Joselu scores late winner as Spain beats Italy 2-1, advances to Nations League final

Amsterdam June 9 (U.S.): Another weekend, another European final for Rodri. The midfielder, whose goal in Istanbul secured Manchester City’s Champions League title on Saturday, played another key role as Spain beat European champions Italy 2-1 on Thursday to qualify for the Nations League final against Croatia’s Luka Modric on Sunday.

As extra time approached, Rodri’s deflected shot fell in front of substitute Joselu in the 88th minute and the Espanyol forward – who was just in place – scored the winning goal from close range at Twente, reports the Associated Press.

It’s a second chance for Spain, who reached the Nations League final in 2021 – beating Italy in the semi-finals before losing to France.

It also marked a turnaround in the fortunes of Spain coach Luis de la Fuente, who replaced Luis Enrique after the World Cup in Qatar. He went into the game under pressure after his first two games in charge had been a narrow win over missing Norwegian side Erling Haaland and a 2-0 loss to Scotland.

Spain had opened the scoring in the third minute when Italy’s veteran captain Leonardo Bonucci was tackled by Jaffe and had Jeremi Pino sent off, who then calmly fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma for his second international goal.

But Ciro Immobile responded quickly for Italy, converting a penalty in the 11th minute after Nicol√≤ Zaniolo’s powerful shot hit the arm of Real Sociedad’s French-born defender Robin Le Norman, who was making his debut for La Roja.

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