Gavi's knee injury overshadows Spain's 3-1 win against Georgia

Sun, Nov 19, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

Gavi's knee injury overshadows Spain's 3-1 win against Georgia

VALLADOLID, Spain (AP) - Ferran Torres scored and had an assist for Spain in its 3-1 home win against Georgia in a European Championship qualifying game on Sunday that was overshadowed by a potentially serious knee injury for midfielder Gavi.

Gavi was in tears when he limped off in the 24th minute in Valladolid.

Gavi's goal for Spain in a 1-0 win at Norway in October had already secured spots for both Spain and Scotland at next year's tournament in Germany.

The 19-year-old Barcelona player took a hard hit to the side of his right knee when he collided with an opponent. He kept playing for a few minutes and appeared to hurt the same leg while trying to control the ball. After that he immediately signaled to the team that he could not continue.

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Spain coach Luis de la Fuente embraced his young player before Gavi was taken into the locker room with team doctors.

Robin Le Normand gave Spain the lead four minutes into the game when Torres curled a cross to the second post for the Real Sociedad central defender to head home.

Georgia's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia equalized on a counterattack in the 10th after some hesitant defending by Le Normand and Dani Carvajal.

Giorgi Mamardashvili kept the score level at halftime after the Georgia goalkeeper, who plays for Spanish club Valencia, made a reflex save to parry Alvaro Morata's point-blank shot.

Torres scored from Jose Gaya's cross in the 55th with his header bouncing off the turf and beyond the reach of Mamardashvili.

Torres ran to the dugout and held up Gavi's jersey during his celebrations to dedicate the goal to his club teammate.

"We don't know the extent of the injury, but given that we know what a warrior Gavi is and how he left the field, we think it could be serious," Torres said. "We hope he can recover as soon as possible."

Gavi and Le Normand were the only two players that De la Fuente kept in his starting 11 from Spain's 3-1 win at Cyprus on Thursday.

Spain finished atop Group A with 19 points. Scotland was second with 17 points after it drew 3-3 with third-place Norway in Glasgow.

Georgia finished fourth with eight points from eight games.

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