UEFA Nations League: Matchday 1, September 3
Here are a few of the highlights of Matchday 1 of the UEFA Nations League.
Slow Start In League A
League A, group 4 had Germany against Spain. The first half of the match was pretty uneventful. Timo Werner scored the first goal of the match in the second half. However, Spain managed to even the score in the last minutes of extra time.
Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko scored two goals against Switzerland. This is a bad start for the Swiss, especially considering they ended the previous Nations League in 4th place. In this match, however, they played aggressively without daring to take a shot. Nico Elvedi and Renato Steffen received a yellow card each. Haris Seferovic delivered the redeeming goal in the 41st minute.
Russia Dominates Serbia, Ireland and Bulgaria Tied
Today was also the day for League B, groups 3 and 4. Russians approached their match against Serbia leisurely. The first half of the match was uneventful. However, in the second half, Artem Dzyuba scored for Russia. After another goal by the Russians, Aleksandar Mitrovic tried to fight back with a goal of his own. However, there was very little Serbs could do and Dzyuba sealed their fate.
Despite Turkey being in control of the ball for most of the match against Hungary, Dominik Szoboszlai scored the only goal of the match in the 81st minute.
The Republic of Ireland managed to get a tie in the extra time. Bozhidar Kraev, a Bulgarian striker, brought the score to 1-0. However, the extra time allowed Shane Duffy to even things out.
It seems that both Finland and Wales were focused more on fighting than on taking shots. The match ended with 7 yellow cards in total. That being said, Wales was much more precise in their efforts. With some help from Daniel James, Kieffer Moore’s goal was the only one in the match.
Group 3 in League C Tied
Kosovo attacked ferociously throughout their match against Moldova. They needed all of that energy to try and even the score after the first goal by Ion Nicolaescu in the 19th minute. The match was tough on Kosovo, despite them having possession of the ball more than 70% of the game.
Greece had ample opportunity to get ahead but could not make the best of it. Overall, their performance was better than that of Slovenia. However, Slovenias defense was impenetrable.
The Faroe Islands Get One Over on Malta
Arguably, the most action-packed match on September 3 was the one between the Faroe Islands and Malta. The Faroese scored in the first half, but Malta quickly retaliated. The second half started with a clear 1-1. Andrei Agius gave Malta the lead. It later seemed that the Faroe Islands may end with a tie, thanks to Andreas Olsen. However, crazy team coordination allowed Brandur Hendriksson to shake the net just three minutes after Olsen, in minute 90. Final score: 3-2.
It is interesting to see the most action in League D of the competition. Vladislavs Gutkovskis got punished with a red card in Latvia’s match against Andorra. Andorra, on the other hand, received a fine collection of yellows.