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FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier: Alvaro Morata finds redemption as he sends Spain to Qatar

In the La Cartuja Stadium in June, also against Sweden, Alvaro Morata was substituted to a chorus of boos after missing a penalty and wasting another clear opportunity in a disappointing 0-0 draw in Spain’s Euro 2020 opener. 

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier: Alvaro Morata finds redemption as he sends Spain to Qatar Spain's Alvaro Morata (left) celebrates after scoring against Sweden in their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier. (Photo: Reuters)

Alvaro Morata said he was blessed to have scored the goal that sent Spain to the World Cup finals in Qatar in the same venue where he suffered jeers from the national team fans in June. The striker was on hand in the 86th minute against Sweden in Seville on Sunday to tap the ball in and give Spain a 1-0 win that secured their place in next year’s tournament.

In the La Cartuja Stadium in June, also against Sweden, Morata was substituted to a chorus of boos after missing a penalty and wasting another clear opportunity in a disappointing 0-0 draw in Spain’s Euro 2020 opener. “Destiny was good to me today,” Morata, who in June said he and his family had received death threats during the Euros, told a news conference on Sunday.

“It had to be here, where I went through some really difficult experiences. I feel so lucky and blessed that I helped my team to be in the World Cup. But we only did what we are supposed to do. Spain have to be in every World Cup,” the 29-year-old added.

Spain coach Luis Enrique was relieved with the late win and even happier that it was Morata who grabbed the headlines. “He deserved so much because of what he experienced here in this stadium and because he works so hard. I’m so excited for him to make peace with the fans,” Luis Enrique told reporters.

The coach conceded he was nervous about the match and that they had made an effort in the team to work on their mentality. “I felt more pressure now then in the Euros or in the UEFA Nations League. We tried to work a lot on the mental side, always trying to keep it positive. And the players responded well. I`m so proud of them and how they responded,” Luis Enrique said.

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