UEFA Nations League Matchday 3 of 6 Report 2020-21
2020-21 UEFA Nations League Matchday 3 of 6 Report – Sunday, October 11, 2020
Croatia 2, Sweden 1 – Group A3
Late Andrej Kramaric goal wins it for the Croatians
Croatia took the lead in the 32nd minute after having dominated for most of the first half at the Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb. A Luka Modric move set up Ivan Perisic down the left.
Perisic then found Nikola Vlasic at the far post and the CSKA Moscow forward had no problem in slotting the ball in.
Josip Brekalo threatened to double the hosts’ advantage after the break but his effort was saved by Swedish keeper Robin Olsen diving full-stretch but not before the custodian turned away a fierce Perisic attempt.
The Croats were made to pay those near misses as Sweden drew level in the 66th minute.
Mikael Lustig and Emil Forsberg combined beautifully down the right to tee up Marcus Berg who executed a simple finish.
The winner came for the hosts just six minutes before the final whistle when Swedish center-back Pontus Jansson failed to read a long pass allowing Perisic to essay a ball for substitute Andrej Kramaric to sweep the ball in from 10 meters.
The result leaves the Croats third in the group on three points from three outings, 3 behind holders Portugal and world champions France while Sweden find themselves at the bottom, having lost all their three opening fixtures.
Iceland 0, Denmark 3 – Group A2
The Danes get three past Iceland in Rejyavik
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand registered his first competitive win when his side thrashed Iceland 0-3 away in Rejyavik in a Group A2 clash of the UEFA Nations League.
In fact, it were the hosts that got off to a good start in the opening stages of the game with Alfred Finnbogason and Jon Dadi Bödvarsson both forcing saves from Danish custodian Kasper Schmeichel.
However the Danes got back their bearings midway through the first half and found the breakthrough they needed.
It was a fortunate opener for the visitors with keeper Hannes Halldorsson palming a Simon Kjaer header onto a hapless Runar Sigurjónsson, with the ball trickling into the Iceland net off the rebound for an own goal at the stroke of halftime.
With barely a minute gone into the second half, Denmark doubled their lead thanks to Christian Eriksen who carried the ball through half the length of the pitch and executed a cool finish.
Hoffenheim striker Robert Skov’s thumping right-footed effort from the edge of the box in the 61st minute sealed the issue for the visitors to the Laugardalsvollur and moved them to the 3rd place of Group A2 with four points, behind England and Belgium.
The Icelanders got pushed to the bottom after the home loss and are yet to record a win in this year’s edition of the Nations League
2020-21 UEFA Nations League – Matchday 3 of 6 Report – Monday, October 12, 2020
Northern Ireland 0, Austria 1 – Group B1
Michael Gregoritsch scores lone winner for Austria at Belfast
Northern Ireland continued their poor show in the UEFA Nations League when they lost to Austria by a solitary goal at Windsor Park, Belfast on Monday night.
The visitors were all over their rivals from the start and could have got at least three on the scoresheet. But their opener came in the 42nd minute through Michael Gregoritsch’s 42nd-minute strike.
Pacy NI wingers Jordan Jones and Gavin Whyte who came off the bench to win the game over Bosnia, were included in the starting line-up against Austria but to no avail as the hosts put up a toothless performance.
Leicester Cirty back Jonny Evans, who played the full 90 minutes, forced a save from Austrian keeper Pavao Pervan with a header in the second half, while Substitute Liam Boyce nearly pulled off an unlikely draw for NI in injury time but his superb strike from a set-piece went wide.
The loss in Belfast for coach Ian Baraclough’s men came three days after NI secured a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Bosnia in last Thursday’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Sarajevo.
The Austrians move smartly up the table to the Top of Group B1 after the Belfast win, while NI with 2 losses and a draw find themselves at the bottom with just one point.
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