Portugal, France lose perfect records; England beats Belgium
Portugal and France lost their perfect records in this season’s UEFA Nations League after playing out a 0-0 draw against each other, and Belgium saw its 13-match unbeaten run ended by a 2-1 defeat against England.
Two of the sport’s best forwards were kept quiet at a chilly Stade de France on Sunday.
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo had a good chance in the second minute of injury time, but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris palmed away his angled shot from the left. France’s Kylian Mbappe was substituted near the end after having failed to make an impression against the Nations League champion’s resolute defense.
Portugal stays top in Group 3 of League A, ahead of France on goal difference, with both teams on seven points.
Third-place Croatia has three points after beating Sweden 2-1. Substitute Andrej Kramarić scored the winner in that match, nine minutes after coming off the bench.
England came from behind to beat Belgium and move top in Group 2 of League A.
Marcus Rashford’s penalty cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s spot kick in the first half before Mason Mount’s looping, deflected shot clinched England’s first victory over a top-ranked team in nine years.
England moved a point ahead of second-place Belgium and three above Denmark which beat Iceland 3-0.
Italy was held to a 0-0 draw against Poland but remained top of its group after the Netherlands drew by the same score against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The match was supposed to pit two of Europe’s top goalscorers against each other in Robert Lewandowski and Ciro Immobile. However, Italy coach Roberto Mancini surprisingly left Immobile on the bench.
Italy is a point above the Netherlands and Poland in Group 1 of League A. It plays the Netherlands on Wednesday.
HAALAND HAT TRICK
Erling Haaland netted a hat trick to help Norway thrash Romania 4-0 and assuage its European Championship playoff disappointment.
Alexander Sørloth scored Norway’s other goal. Haaland already has six goals in the competition.
Norway lost a Euro 2020 playoff to Serbia on Thursday.
Norway is level on six points with leader Austria in Group 1 of League B.
Austria beat host Northern Ireland 1-0.
Finland beat Bulgaria 2-0 in Group 4 of League B and Ireland drew 0-0 against Wales.
Also in League B, it was: Israel 1, Czech Republic 2; Scotland 1, Slovakia 0; Russia 1, Turkey 1; and Serbia 0, Hungary 1.
There were four draws in League C: Armenia 2, Georgia 2; Estonia 3, North Macedonia 3; Kazakhstan 0, Albania 0; and Lithuania 2, Belarus 2.
Also, Greece beat Moldova 2-0 and Slovenia won 1-0 in Kosovo.
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- Bayern Munich roared back from two goals down to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2.
- Morata helped Juventus come from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 in Serie A.
- Messi helped Barca take the lead on the half-hour mark when he carved open Osasuna's defence with a superb cross-field ball to Alba, who controlled before blasting into the roof of the net.
- Daniel Amartey's 88th-minute header completed a comeback win for Leicester who stretched their unbeaten away run to 10 games.
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- Chelsea dominated Thursday’s game and could have had more goals to add to Mason Mount’s exquisite first-half strike that turned out to be the match-winner.
- FC Goa attacked Dessai through Saviour Gama before twinkle-toed Jorge Ortiz tested him. By the 17th minute, Dessai had been caught out thrice; the last time because of a poor pass which Alexander Jesuraj intercepted needing a tackle from Vignesh Dakshinamurthy that could have been a penalty.
- Muller wouldn’t feature regularly that season but he went on to score in the Champions League knockout stages coming on as a substitute against Sporting Lisbon.
- Musiala has been making steady progress since he joined Bayern’s under-17 team from Chelsea in 2019. He has made 27 appearances for the first team, scoring four goals.