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Ronaldo hits Portugal brace while Gavi becomes Spain's youngest scorer

The dropped points for Luis Enrique’s side combined with Portugal’s 4-0 win means they top Group B of League A in the Nations League.

Ronaldo celebrates (file photo).
Ronaldo celebrates (file photo).
Image: Armando Franca

GAVI BECAME SPAIN’S youngest scorer ever and Inigo Martinez headed home a late equaliser as they drew 2-2 with the Czech Republic in the Nations League.

But those dropped points combined with Portugal’s 4-0 rout of Switzerland means Cristian Ronaldo and Co top Group B of League A in the Nations League.

The Manchester United star scored twice to take his international goal tally to 117, but it was William Carvalho who opened the scoring after he was the first alive to the rebound when Swiss goalkeeper Gregor Kobel could only parry Ronaldo’s deflected free-kick.

There was no doubting Ronaldo’s execution when he smashed home from 12 yards after being teed up by Liverpool’s Diogo Jota, and the evergreen talisman was again alert in the box after Jota had an effort blocked.

Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo completed the scoring from 20 yards after the hapless Kobel left his goal attempting to clear a through ball.

czech-republic-spain-nations-league-soccer Spain's Gavi entered the record books with his goal. Source: ROMAN VONDROUS

Gavi, meanwhile, entered the record books for Spain with a low curling left-footer at the record age of 17 years and 304 days, levelling the first-half score at 1-1 just before half time.

Martinez blasted his header just over the line off the crossbar in the last minute of the game to hand Spain a draw.

The Czechs went up twice with counter-attack goals by Jakub Pesek and Jan Kuchta in the Group B, League A game.

Luis Enrique swapped eight players in his starting XI from Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Portugal as only goalkeeper Unai Simon, Gavi and Pablo Sarabia kept their posts.

His men were dominant throughout but it was the hosts who struck first only four minutes into the game.

Vladimir Coufal started a fast counter-attack on the right flank, finding a sprinting Kuchta who produced a perfect pass for a tap-in by Pesek.

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Gavi levelled three minutes into the first-half stoppage time following a pass from Rodri who had capitalised on a poor clearance.

Spain kept pushing but the hosts struck on a counter-attack again in the 66th minute as Vaclav Cerny sent Kuchta dashing through the defence and the striker chipped the ball over an advancing Simon.

With a minute to go, Asensio found Martinez with a cross from the left side and the Athletic Bilbao defender was on target.

Additional reporting by AFP 2022

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