Nations League kick-off: Spain miss out on win

The start of the League of Nations
Spain narrowly fails to win

Last year’s finalist Spain squandered a prestigious victory at the start of the third edition of the Nations League. Despite being on top, the 2010 FIFA World Cup champions in Group A2 only drew 1-1 against neighboring Portugal. The Czech Republic is at the top of the table.

In the first senior game of the new Nations League season, Portugal just avoided an opening defeat. Substitute Ricardo Horta (82nd minute) made it 1-1 (0-1) in Spain late on Thursday night. Striker Alvaro Morata (25) gave the Spaniards the lead in Seville, which lasted for a long time – until Horta scored.

Like the Sporting Braga striker, star Cristiano Ronaldo appeared on the bench, but was no longer able to exert much influence after being substituted in (62nd place). After a strong first inning, the somewhat intense match prevailed.

Morata made the score 1-0 at the start after a great midfield combination from the Spaniards. Then the Portuguese paid to equalize. He did just that when Horta converted a low cross from Joao Cancelo.

On the other hand, Norway got off to a perfect start to the new season of the UEFA competition thanks to Erling Haaland. Noch-Dortmunder (26) secured a 1-0 win (1-0) in Serbia. After a nice cross, the 21-year-old only had to push the ball over the line.

Sweden also started successfully because RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg initially took a penalty kick (39) in the 2-0 win (1-0) in Slovenia; Dejan Kulusevski (88) confirmed the end result.

Among the most entertaining matches of the evening took place in Prague, where the Czech Republic beat Switzerland 2-1 (1-1). Jan Kochta (11) and an own goal by Djibril Su (58) in Frankfurt ensured success for the Czech Republic. Noah Okafor’s goal (44) was not enough for Switzerland. Even after the break there were many opportunities – and the referee was replaced by Daniel Seibert. The German was replaced by fourth official Harm Osmers due to an injury.

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