Teamwork makes the dream work

Spain stumble towards Switzerland; Portugal thump Czech Republic

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The Nations League continued on Saturday with no fewer than 9 video games happening throughout Europe.

We’re on the level of the marketing campaign the place wins and losses can dictate the ultimate standings, and there have been some main outcomes on this newest batch of fixtures.

Here is a rundown of the night time’s largest clashes.

Nations League A, Group 2

Spain’s eight-game unbeaten run got here to an finish in shocking style as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at dwelling to Switzerland.

Manuel Akanji headed Switzerland forward halfway by means of the primary half, setting the tone for the rest of the sport. The guests sat again and gifted Spain possession – Luis Enrique’s aspect ended with near 75% of the ball – and made it arduous for them to interrupt by means of.

Spain did seize an equaliser ten minutes after half-time by means of Jordi Alba’s sensible end, however that was cancelled out simply moments later as Eric Garcia turned the ball into his personal internet to inflict a shock defeat.

It was Spain’s first dwelling loss in 22 video games and places the stress on forward of Tuesday’s assembly with table-topping Portugal.

There have been no such worries for Portugal, who continued their sizzling run of type with a snug 4-0 thumping of the Czech Republic.

Manchester United duo Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes each netted within the first half, however issues almost took an unpleasant flip when Cristiano Ronaldo was penalised for a handball within the field and the Czechs have been awarded a penalty, however Patrik Schick despatched his effort crashing towards the bar.

Portugal caught their breath at half-time and Dalot fired dwelling a second seven minutes into the second half, earlier than Diogo Jota headed dwelling a fourth late on to safe the win.

The scoreline was maybe slightly unfair on the Czech Republic, however for Portugal, it means a draw towards Spain on Tuesday will see them win this group.

Nations League B, Group 1

Scotland returned to the highest of Group 1 with an enthralling 2-1 victory over the Republic of Eire.

After Troy Parrott’s earlier opener was dominated out for offside, John Egan gave Eire the lead halfway by means of the primary half following some chaos from a nook.

Jack Hendry headed in an equaliser early within the second half however almost noticed his purpose instantly cancelled out by Parrott, who broke on the counter however fluffed his traces when one-on-one with Craig Gordon.

It proved to be a pivotal second as Scotland would go on to safe the victory courtesy of a Ryan Christie penalty, which was awarded after Alan Browne Superman-ed his means right into a silly handball with ten minutes to go.

Nations League C, Group 2

Winger Conor McMenamin was pulled from the Northern Eire squad shortly earlier than kick-off due to what the FA described as a ‘historic social media video’ which started circulating on-line.

Kosovo have been the livelier of the 2 sides in what was an uninspiring first 45 minutes, and after Dion Charles noticed a potential opener dominated out for offside, Vedat Muriqi put the guests forward.

Jonny Evans noticed a header cleared off the road earlier than Josh Magennis’s aerial effort got here again off the bar, however the equaliser got here as Gavin Whyte tapped dwelling Shayne Lavery’s cross with eight minutes to go.

Whyte turned creator in stoppage time as, with 92 minutes on the clock, his cross was met by a looping header from Magennis and the hosts wheeled off celebrating their first-ever Nations League win.

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