Spain secured a place at Euro 2024 after Gavi’s second-half goal was enough to defeat Norway 1-0 away on Sunday and they will be joined by their Group A rivals Scotland and Turkey from Group D following an eventful night in qualifying.
Spain and Scotland both secured spots in the top two with 15 points from six matches, with Norway third on 10 points having played a game more, while Turkey thrashed Latvia 4-0 to make sure they will finish among the qualifying places.
Gavi scored the game’s only goal for Spain, who ended Norway and their Manchester City star Erling Haaland’s chances of reaching the final in Germany next summer.
“I’m really happy with the result. We played well and it bore fruit,” Gavi said after the match. “We’re on a good run of wins. Norway are a tough team, above all at home. So we’re happy.”
On a chilly night in Oslo, Spain dominated possession but struggled to break down a resolute home defense, and it looked like VAR might prevent them from booking their Euro berth when Álvaro Morata had a first-half goal ruled out for offside.
The Spain striker was the centre of attention again when Gavi fired home four minutes after the break and another VAR offside check ensued, but this time he was in the clear and the goal was allowed to stand.
Gavi added: “I think it was because of Morata, who was in an offside position, I don’t know if he was or not, but they gave the goal and I’m happy about that.”
Norway set up to hit Spain on the break, but they struggled to create much in attack as the visitors cruised into the finals with two games to spare and rarely gave Haaland a chance to show his brilliance.
“It’s the work of the whole team, from the first forward to the goalkeeper, especially the defence, the centre-backs were spectacular,” said Spain manager Luis de la Fuente. “But it was the whole team, it was a complete game.
“When you have attitude and enthusiasm you can overcome any adversity. Danger can come from those situations and we dealt with it excellently, against a powerful team in that aspect of the game.”
A brilliant volley from Yunus Akgün just before the hour set Turkey on course for a comprehensive win against Latvia that ensured they will take their place at next year’s finals.
The visitors tried valiantly to equalize but instead they collapsed, with two late goals from Cenk Tosun and one from Kerem Aktürkoglu sealing Turkey’s participation in Germany.
They top their group with 16 points, six points ahead of Wales and Croatia after the Welsh beat the Croats 2-1 in Cardiff to keep their qualifying hopes alive.