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International

Matchday: Portugal-Spain Decider Rounds off Nations League

September 27, 2022

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Tuesday:

LEAGUE A

Last year’s Nations League runner-up Spain visits Portugal in a winner-take-all match to decide who advances to the Final Four from Group A2. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal can secure first place with a draw in Braga. It took the group lead with a 4-0 win over the Czech Republic and Spain’s 2-1 home loss to Switzerland at the weekend. Portugal may see the return of forward João Félix, who missed the game against the Czech Republic because of an injury sustained while playing with Atlético Madrid. Portugal won the inaugural edition of the Nations League at home in 2019 but did not make it to the Final Four last year. Spain lost last year’s final to France. Switzerland, coming off consecutive victories over Portugal and Spain, hosts the Czech Republic needing a draw to avoid relegation to League B.

LEAGUE B

There are two showdown games to decide which teams join Bosnia-Herzegovina and Israel in being promoted to the top tier. Norway hosts Serbia tied on 10 points in Group B4 but needs only a draw. Norway holds the tiebreaker from its 1-0 win in Belgrade in June. The game pits six-goal Erling Haaland against five-goal Aleksandar Mitrović. Ukraine and Scotland face each other for the third time in less than four months The two previous games were in Glasgow and now they meet in Krakow, Poland, because Ukraine cannot host international games during the Russian military invasion. A draw will seal the Group B1 title for Scotland and a better seeding in the European Championship qualifying draw next month. Scotland is without standout defender Kieran Tierney. The Arsenal left-back sustained a head injury in a 2-1 win over Ireland on Saturday. Ireland now hosts Armenia needing to avoid defeat to stay in the second-tier level. Israel completes the Group B2 program at Albania. The three-team group played without Russia whose teams has been suspended from UEFA and FIFA competitions.

In League C, Group C2 winner Greece hosts Northern Ireland which is in a three-way relegation fight. Kosovo hosts last-placed Cyprus.

 

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