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Morata strike secures Spain’s World Cup spot

Luis Enrique’s side have topped Group B

Spain v Sweden - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Spain confirmed their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after securing a narrow 1-0 win over Sweden on Sunday at La Cartuja courtesy of a late strike from substitute Alvaro Morata.

Barcelona trio Sergio Busquets, Gavi, and Jordi Alba all started for Spain as Luis Enrique made six changes to the team that beat Greece last time out.

The hosts dominated the early exchanges but had nothing to show for it other than a hopeful appeal for a penalty after Dani Olmo had been brought down.

Yet we were also treated to the sight of Gavi looking completely at home on the international stage once again in the early stages.

Spain were then handed a real warning when Emil Forsberg ran from the halfway line and smashed a shot that flew just wide of the post.

Luis Enrique’s side continued to see plenty of possession but it was Sweden who went closest again with Forsberg volleying another shot just wide five minutes before half-time.

Sweden ought to have scored just after half-time too. An awful pass from Cesar Azpilicueta went straight to Viktor Claesson. The ball was nudged to Alexander Isak who cracked an effort just over the bar.

Spain changed things on the hour with Alvaro Morata and Rodrigo Moreno coming on for Raul de Tomas and Pablo Sarabia in search of a goal that would see off Sweden.

Morata was eventually the man to break the deadlock with just five minutes remaining. A fierce shot from Dani Olmo was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Robin Olsen and fell kindly to Morata to take a touch and then slot into the net.