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Alejandro Balde gets first Spain assist in win over Norway

A winning start for Luis de la Fuente

Spain v Norway: Group A - UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Spain began life under new manager Luis de la Fuente with a 3-0 win over Norway in Euro 2024 qualifying.

De la Fuente named Alejandro Balde and Gavi in his starting XI, with Alvaro Morata and Iago Aspas also getting the nod.

The hosts only needed 13 minutes to open the scoring with a goal which saw Balde grab his first assist for the national team. The teenager fired in a cross-cum-shot which Olmo flicked home from close range.

Spain’s early goal looked like setting the hosts up for a comfortable win, particularly as Norway were without injured striker Erling Haaland, but the visitors came back into it and were denied a leveller when Kepa pulled off a brilliant save to deny Aursnes.

Kepa was needed again at the start of the second half which led to De la Fuente making a double change just before the hour. Gavi and Aspas were taken off and replaced by Dani Ceballos and Mikel Oyarzabal.

More changes and more chances followed. Yeremy Pino replaced Olmo and missed the chance to make it 2-0 before Strand Larsen should have equalized but fired wide.

Fabian Ruiz and Joselu then arrived and the game swung in Spain’s favor. Joselu nodded home to make it 2-0 and then scored again from close range after Oyarzabal had a shot blocked on the line.

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