UEFA Nations League roundup: Sterling breaks the ice for England, Portugal hammers Croatia and Mbappe scores the winner for World Champions


England kick-off their UEFA Nations League campaign with a win, thanks to Raheem Sterling’s late penalty.

A dull contest between Iceland and England ended dramatically as both teams were awarded injury-time penalties and in the end, three Lions came out on top.

The first-half ended on parity and both teams failed to create goal-scoring opportunities, however, Harry Kane does put the ball back into the net but his sliding effort was ruled off by the linesman in the absence of VAR.

England went down to 10-men in the 70th-minute after Man City full-back Kyle Walker was shown second yellow following his sliding tackle in an effort to win the ball. However, the home side could not benefit from the number advantage and in the 89th-minute, Sverrir Ingi Ingason was sent off after he blocked Sterling’s shot with the arm.

With Harry Kane already substituted, Sterling stepped up and keep his composure from the spot-kick to put England ahead. On the other end of the pitch, Joe Gomez’s clumsy foul right at the death almost threw visitor’s lead, but Birkir Bjarnason squandered the golden opportunity to restore parity as his penalty went way off-target.

Sterling's late-pen hands England their first win
Sterling's late-pen hands England their first win

Top News 2: Portugal hammer World Cup finalists

Portugal recorded their biggest UEFA Nations League without Ronaldo
Portugal recorded their biggest UEFA Nations League without Ronaldo
Defending Champions Portugal thrash Croatia 4-1 in the opening game of their UEFA Nations League campaign.

No Ronaldo, no problem. European Champions made a remarkable return to the tournament they won in 2019 in the absence of their star-man Cristiano Ronaldo, who was ruled out from the game with a toe infection, forcing the Juve striker to support his team from the stands.

Portugal started the game on high, hitting the woodwork a couple of times before Joao Cancelo put them ahead from a long-range strike as the first half ended 1-0.

Diego Jota and Joao Felix tripled the advantage of the home side after the break and in the stoppage time, Bruno Petkovic reduced Croatia’s advantage, but Andre Silva restored three-goal lead with the last kick of the game.

Portugal will travel to Sweden next and Ronaldo, who is on 99 international goals, may be available for the selection. Whereas, Croatia will face WC-winner France on 8 September at Stade de France.

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Top News 3: Mbappe scores the winner for World Champions

Mbappe's goal in 41st minute was France's first shot on target
Mbappe's goal in 41st minute was France's first shot on target

Kylian Mbappe’s first-half strike proved sufficient as France started their UEFA Nations League campaign with a win.

Didier Deschamps fielded the strongest possible XI in Sweden with Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann leading the attack and PSG winger Kylian Mbappe occupying the left-flank.

Four minutes before the break, Mbappe cut inside from the left-wing and scored a superb solo-goal beating Robin Olsen at his near post.

Even with more possession and more shots on target, Sweden couldn’t make the most of their chances. France got the opportunity to double their lead right at the death after Victor Lindelof fouled Man United teammate Anthony Martial, but Griezmann was way off-target from the spot-kick keeping the winning margin to one goal only.

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