Portugal and Spain win Nations League matches

Portugal took control of its group in the Nations League by defeating the Czech Republic 2-0 on Thursday, while Spain earned a first win by edging past struggling Switzerland 1-0.

Portugal, the inaugural champion in 2019, jumped to the top in Group 2 of the top-tier League A, two points ahead of Spain and three in front of the Czechs after three matches.

It was the second consecutive win for Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal after...

READ MORE

Portugal took control of its group in the Nations League by defeating the Czech Republic 2-0 on Thursday, while Spain earned a first win by edging past struggling Switzerland 1-0.

Portugal, the inaugural champion in 2019, jumped to the top in Group 2 of the top-tier League A, two points ahead of Spain and three in front of the Czechs after three matches.

It was the second consecutive win for Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal after it had opened with a draw against Spain, last year’s runner-up to France.

The Spaniards ended their winless run with the victory over last-place Switzerland, which has lost all its matches.

Portugal opened the scoring with João Cancelo’s low shot from a narrow angle in the 33rd minute, and Gonçalo Guedes added to the lead five minutes later from inside the area after an assist by Bernardo Silva.

Spain got on the board in the 13th minute with Pablo Sarabia redirecting a cross by Marcos Llorente for a goal that had to be confirmed by video review to check for offside.

It was the teams’ first meeting since Spain defeated the Swiss on penalties in the quarterfinals of the European Championship last year.

Portugal will close play in the June international window in Switzerland on Sunday, while Spain will host the Czech Republic.

The group winners make it to the Final Four, while the last-placed teams will be relegated.

In the second-tier League B, Erling Haaland drew a blank in Norway’s 0-0 home draw with Slovenia. Haaland arrived as one of the Nations League’s leading scorers with three goals.

Norway leads Group 4 while Slovenia, which was a man down from the 63rd after Miha Blazic was sent off, is in last place. Serbia won 1-0 at Sweden with a goal by Luka Jovic to jump to second place, three points ahead of the Swedes.

In League C, Kosovo defeated Northern Ireland 3-2, Greece routed Cyprus 3-0, Gibraltar drew 1-1 with Bulgaria and Georgia defeated North Macedonia 3-0.

Georgia’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Greece’s Tasos Bakasetas each scored Thursday to join Haaland and Turkey’s Serdar Dursun with three goals.

Estonia won 2-1 at Malta in League D.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.