The 29-year-old Spanish striker who is currently on loan at Juventus from Atlético Madrid stepped up to score the only goal in Spain’s FIFA World Cup qualification match against Sweden on Sunday, November 14.
Due to the poor run of form Alvaro Morata has been experiencing at Juventus, Spain national team coach, Luis Enrique, decided to keep him on the bench until the 59th minute of the match.
His introduction into the game did not change anything until the 86th minute when Morata took advantage of a rebound from Dani Olmo’s long-range shot. The Juventus star who is notorious for missing goalscoring opportunities made no mistake as he scored the match-winner.
Before Morata’s goal, Sweden did everything they could to score to the extend Zlatan Ibrahimovic had to be introduced into the game in the 74th minute. The introduction of the 40-year-old AC Milan striker could not change anything.
Before the World Cup qualification match which took place at the La Cartuja Stadium in Spain, the two countries needed a win to earn an automatic ticket.
However, Spain had a higher advantage because a draw in the game would have still helped them to win Group B. But coach Enrique wanted a win which his team recorded to land in Qatar.
If Sweden had won by any margin, the country would have won Group B while Spain would have had to rely on playoffs to qualify. However, the reverse was the case, thanks to Alvaro Morata’s goal.
“We worked hard to make it to this World Cup,” Morata said after redeeming himself in front of over 50,000 home fans.
‘We’ve gone through some difficult moments together but the World Cup is where we deserve to be.”
Recall that in July this year, Alvaro Morata lost the last spot-kick in the European Championship semi-final match between Spain and Italy which ended his country’s hope of playing in the final of the tournament. Italy went on to beat England in the final via penalties.
Since he missed the penalty kick, Morata has been subjected to different forms of criticism. But he would most likely take a break from the criticism after his heroic goal against Sweden on Sunday.
Before the World Cup qualification game against Sweden, Morata was forced to tell reporters his experience after he missed the spot-kick that kicked Spain out of the European Championship in July. The Spanish footballer said it was so hard on him that he sometimes felt like not getting out of bed.
“I always think about the fact that if we had beaten Italy, with our game, we would have had a lot of chances to beat England in the final as well”, he said.
“But we have earned the respect of our opponents and the fans. The whistles are never nice. No one is perfect, we are not machines, and I know what is expected of me.
“I have seen parents, who were with their children, with angry faces and that’s what they convey to their children.
“There have been times when I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I’ve often said I’ve had a lot of bad times and, with another mindset, maybe I could have been a better player.
“But I also have great willpower to get out of the dark times, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the career I had.”
Alvaro Morata scores after an outrageous hit by Dani Olmo 🤯 pic.twitter.com/lyOlI4Q7cU— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 14, 2021