Luis Enrique’s men win 1-0 in Braga against Portugal and will play the finals of the European competition alongside Italy, Croatia and the Netherlands
It is Spain that completes the picture of the Nations League Final Four, reaching Italy, Croatia and the Netherlands. Portugal throws away the qualification for the final phase of the tournament in one of the worst matches of Luis Enrique’s national team, who in the final however finds the flicker with Morata thanks to the freshness of Nico Williams from the bench. On the other hand, the Czech Republic is relegated, losing on the field of Switzerland. Ukraine does not go beyond 0-0 with Scotland, with the latter winning the promotion, while Armenia collapses just before the final whistle on the field of Ireland and leaves the League B. Serbia, dragged by a excellent Vlahovic, imposes himself in the direct clash on the field of Norway and wins the promotion. Sweden, on the other hand, falls to League C and draws with Slovenia; Northern Ireland will play the playout to stay there, defeated by Greece already qualified.
Under the direction of Orsato, Luis Enrique launches Morata from the first minute while Santos responds with Cristiano Ronaldo but without Leao. Spain would have the need to score, but it is only Portugal that becomes dangerous. Unai Simon was forced into overtime, first rejecting Neves’ shot in the 23rd minute and making an even more difficult intervention ten minutes later on Diogo Jota. Bruno Fernandes also tempts us with a great right (38 ‘), who finds only the outside of the net. In the second half the game script does not change and it is Cristiano Ronaldo who has an excellent opportunity at the opening, with Unai Simon saving on exit. The goalkeeper was then replaced by Carvajal on Ruben Dias’s shot in the scrum, with the Real Madrid player who managed to svirgolare over the crossbar (69 ‘). At 76 ‘, finally a sign of life from Spain, it is Morata who commits Diogo Costa with a left from distance that the goalkeeper rejects. It is the prelude to the prank for Portugal: in the 88th minute Carvajal launches for Williams, who sends a bank to the center that Morata, only in the center of the area, only has to push into the goal.
Switzerland-Czech Republic 2-1
The fun is not lacking between Switzerland and the Czech Republic. At 8 ‘Vlkanova hits the crossbar from distance, then it is Cerny who engages an attentive Sommer (21’). The Swiss held up and responded in the 29th minute when Freuler headed Shaqiri’s cross for the lead. On the new kick-off, Switzerland immediately recovers the ball and Embolo immediately signs the double with a precise right from outside. The final of the fraction is growing, Coufal’s pole (42 ‘) anticipates Schick’s goal. The Czechs could equalize from the spot, but Soucek is hypnotized by Sommer who baptizes the right corner and saves in two halves. In the final, the third wood hit by the Czech Republic with Kuchta’s header.
Haaland’s shot after a few seconds, saved by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, would have heralded a different match. In reality, Norway did not worry the defense of Serbia for most of the match. So, at the end of the first half, Vlahovic rises to the chair: first with a header saved by Nyland, then with the shot at the near post on Kostic’s assist which is worth the advantage of the guests (42 ‘). Stojkovic’s national team wasted no time and at the beginning of the second half they doubled with the usual Mitrovic, who ended a restart with a precise right from the edge always on the goalkeeper’s post. Odegaard tries in the final, but slams on the goalkeeper; the same fate touches an almost intangible Haaland who tries it diagonally.
Sweden 1-1 Slovenia
Exploiting above all the imprecision of the opponents, Slovenia resisted the push of Sweden and earned the stay in Lega B. Claesson suffered an opportunity in the first minute, touching the post. At 28 ‘Sesko does not think twice and kicks on Stojanovic’s throw, scoring one of the best goals of the tournament. Before the break, Forsberg equalized, who did everything by himself before shooting from the edge. Lovric just before the end wastes the opportunity to save himself from relegation.
Match blocked between Ukraine and Scotland, which ended with a 0-0 after a few dangerous situations. The first happens on the left of Yarmolenko who shoots very high from a few steps and at a practically empty goal in the 6 ‘. Another creates Dovbyk on the break, with Gordon good at opposing. At 24 ‘a penalty is awarded to the Scots for a touch of Malinovskyi’s hands that the Var proves to be non-existent: no penalty. Little or nothing happens in the second half.
Ireland does not stick and condemns Armenia to relegation, not without suffering. First Egan at 12 ‘, then Obafemi’s fireball from distance at 52’ are enough to limit the desperate attempt of the Armenians who come back with Dashyan and Spertsyan. This would not be enough for the stay in League B. At the end, however, things do not improve and we witness the total collapse of the guests: double expulsion (Dashyan, already booked, for handballs and Hambardzumyan for protests) and penalty kick for Ireland scored by Brady.
Only the honor at stake between Albania and Iceland. Reja’s national team passes with Lenjani’s goal in the 35th minute, with ten guests from 10 minutes after Gunnarsson’s expulsion (withheld on Uzuni who has been sent to the net) given through on-field review. A few seconds from the final whistle, Anderson equalized.
Greece does not spare even Northern Ireland, who will play the playout to avoid relegation: Pelkas opens the scoring in the 14th minute, the draw comes soon after with Lavery; in the second half the decisive goals from Masouras and Mantalos. Kosovo made five in Cyprus scoring with Muslija, Rrudhani, Rashani and Muriqi (double); Roberge’s goal of the flag.
September 27, 2022 (change September 27, 2022 | 23:01)
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