Plus: Netherlands draw 1-1 with Italy and Portugal ease to 3-0 win over Sweden
Wednesday 14 October 2020 23:05, UK
France stretched their unbeaten run against Croatia to eight games after a late goal by Kylian Mbappe gave the world champions a 2-1 win in their Nations League top-tier Group 3 match on Wednesday.
The result left France second in the group on 10 points from four games, behind Portugal on goal difference after the European champions brushed aside Sweden 3-0. Croatia have three points and the Swedes none.
Antoine Griezmann fired France into an eighth-minute lead when he drilled the ball home off the underside of the bar from 12 metres after Domagoj Vida failed to clear a Ferland Mendy cross from the right.
Croatia midfielder Nikola Vlasic equalised in the 65th, unleashing a sublime shot with the outside of his foot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after good work by Luka Modric and Josip Brekalo.
Substitute Paul Pogba missed a sitter for France, who beat Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 World Cup final and defeated them by the same score in the reverse Nations League fixture last month, before the visitors secured victory 11 minutes from time.
It was a crafty three-touch move as Pogba found Lucas Digne with a long pass from inside his own half and the left back volleyed a cross into the penalty area for Mbappe to slide in and steer the ball past ‘keeper Dominik Livakovic.
Portugal 3-0 Sweden
Goals from Bernardo Silva and a double from Diogo Jota gave Portugal a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden in the Nations League on Wednesday as the hosts made light of the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo due to a positive COVID-19 test.
- Nations League table | Fixtures | Results
- Watch every Nations League game on Sky Sports
- Get Sky Sports
Silva opened the scoring in the 21st minute as Portugal won the ball back in the middle of the field and quickly countered, with Jota firing a precise pass to Silva in the penalty area for a perfect first-time finish.
Jota got on the scoresheet just before half-time, lashing home Joao Cancelo’s cross from deep on the right to make it 2-0, and he added a superb third with a solo run and thumping shot in the 71st minute.
With 10 points from four games, Portugal top Group 2 in League A on goal difference ahead of France, who beat Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb. The Swedes are bottom of the group after slumping to four straight defeats.
Italy 1-1 Netherlands
Italy extended their unbeaten run to 19 games with a 1-1 draw at home to the Netherlands on Wednesday, although they were knocked off the top of their Nations League group in the process.
Lorenzo Pellegrini put Italy ahead in the 16th minute but Donny van de Beek levelled nine minutes later as the Dutch ended a run of three games without scoring.
The game could have gone either way in an end-to-end second half but neither side could put the finishing touch to their approach work.
Italy, with six points from four games, were overtaken at the top of League A Group One by Poland who beat Bosnia 3-0 and have seven. The Dutch are third with five.
Poland 3-0 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Robert Lewandowski showed his predatory instincts as he scored two superb goals to help Poland to a 3-0 home rout of 10-man Bosnia in their Nations League top-tier Group 1 match on Wednesday.
The result left the Poles top of the section on seven points from four games, one ahead of Italy who were held to a 1-1 home draw by the Netherlands. The Dutch have five points and Bosnia have two.
The Bosnians were on the back foot from the start but their task was made more difficult in the 15th minute after central defender Anel Ahmedhodzic was shown a straight red card for tripping Lewandowski with the striker through on goal.
Lewandowski missed a close-range sitter and then hit the post from the edge of the penalty area before he finally broke the deadlock with an unstoppable shot in the 40th minute, as Kamil Jozwiak teed him up with some neat footwork.
Karol Linetty made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time with a clever downward header into the far corner past goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic, as Lewandowski turned provider with a sublime first-time pass into the midfielder’s stride.
Lewandowski put the icing on the cake for the home side with another trademark finish in the 52nd minute, side-footing the ball into the top right corner after he beat the offside trap to meet an inch-perfect Mateusz Klich cross.
Iceland 1-2 Belgium
Stand-in captain Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium got back to winning ways with a 2-1 away victory over Iceland in the Nations League on Wednesday.
Lukaku opened the scoring inside 10 minutes and added a penalty before half-time after Birkir Saevarsson had levelled for Iceland.
Belgium moved to the top of the League A Group 2 standings following England’s defeat at home to Denmark that dropped Gareth Southgate’s side down to third.
Iceland, who had lost all their previous games in the competition, equalised within eight minutes of Lukaku’s opener and full-back Saevarsson had other chances in a sprightly performance.
The hosts were without coach Erik Hamren and his entire backroom team on the bench after an unnamed staff member contracted COVID-19.
Belgium, however, proved too powerful and moved to nine points from their four games in the group, two above Denmark and England.
- Finland 1-0 Republic of Ireland
- Lithuania 0-0 Albania
- Belarus 2-0 Kazakhstan
- Bulgaria 0-1 Wales
- England 0-1 Denmark
- Estonia 1-1 Armenia
- Greece 0-0 Kosovo
- Moldova 0-4 Slovenia
- North Macedonia 1-1 Georgia
- Romania 0-1 Austria
- Russia 0-0 Hungary
- Scotland 1-0 Czech Republic
- Slovakia 2-3 Israel
- Turkey 2-2 Serbia
Source: Read Full Article