Werner denies Ukraine, Ramos wastes Swiss chance

          Kanté downs Portugal in clash of the champions

          2020/11/14 22:07
          By Connor Andrews

          N'Golo Kanté scored a rare goal as world champions France inflicted European champions Portugal’s first UEFA Nations League defeat in a 1-0 win in Lisbon.

          The Nations League’s first ever champions, Portugal, went into the clash with a formidable record of seven wins and three draws from 10 games but looked stagnant as Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva failed to click up top.

          But France failed to take advantage, with Anthony Martial squandering multiple first-half opportunities as Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot ran the show from midfield.

          And Rabiot didn’t let up in the second half, making his way into the Portuguese box exchanging a lock-picking one-two with Antoine Griezmann before firing a quick shot at Rui Patrico who saved well, but an onrushing Kanté was there to bury the rebound.

          Fernando Santos brought on the troops in the second half with Trincao and Diogo Jota making an impact, but they failed to score in a game Portugal had to win for the opportunity of defending their Nations League crown, which France will now contest.

          The two previous World Cup winners were also in action in Group 4, with Germany needing Timo Werner to snap them out of their recent funk, netting a brace in a 3-1 comeback win over Ukraine.

          And in Basel, Sergio Ramos had the perfect opportunity to do exactly the same for a Spain side who were 1-0 down against Switzerland, but managed to put two appalling penalty attempts into the welcoming gloves of Yann Sommer, needing a last-minute equalizer from Gerard Moreno to slightly spare his blushes.

          In the final League A game of the night, Sweden recorded their first win of this edition of the Nations League, with the increasingly exciting Dejan Kulusevski scoring the opener in a 2-1 win over Croatia which could help spare them from relegation to League B, as they’ve now matched Croatia’s three points from five games.

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