portugal advance to nations league finals set to host tournament
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Portugal advance to Nations League finals, set to host tournament

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Arab Today, arab today Portugal advance to Nations League finals, set to host tournament

Cristiano Ronaldo.
Berlin - DPA

Portugal became the first side to qualify for the Nations League finals with a goalless draw against Italy in Milan on Saturday.

Without the resting Cristiano Ronaldo, European champions Portugal did enough to secure the point they needed against a bright Italian side.

As Fernando Santos's team finished ahead of rival host candidates Poland or Italy to qualify from League A Group 3, Portugal are now set to host the four-team finals in June.

Portugal finish their group matches with a game against relegated Poland on Tuesday.

Italy coach Robert Mancini saw an improved performance from the Azzurri who missed several chances before Portugal enjoyed a strong spell towards the end.

"In football, scoring goals is an important detail," Mancini said.

"We dominated Portugal and then had a drop in tempo after 70 minutes, which is only to be expected, as we can’t play in their half for 90 minutes.

"It’s a step forward compared to the Poland game, as Portugal are clearly superior to Poland and we controlled the game throughout.

"We tried to play for a result and also give valuable experience to the younger players."

Turkey were meanwhile relegated from League B after slipping to a 1-0 defeat against visiting Sweden in Konya.

Andreas Granqvist scored from the penalty spot in the 71st minute for Sweden, who move to four points in B2, three behind leaders Russia.

They will gain promotion if they beat Russia on Tuesday.

Serbia defeated Montenegro 2-1 in Belgrade in C4 with first-half goals from Adem Ljajic and Aleksandar Mitrovic and remain in contention with Romania who defeated relegated Lithuania 3-0 in the group.

Serbia now need to beat Lithuania on Tuesday to make sure of promotion.

In a C1 match in Shkoder, home side Albania had captain Mergim Mavraj sent off as they crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Scotland.

Ryan Fraser opened the scoring for Alex McLeish's side before Majraj was dismissed for a head-butt. Steven Fletcher from the penalty spot just before half-time and James Forrest twice after the break gave Scotland a comfortable win.

"I've had a few chances to scored before, but to score two on my 25th cap, I'm delighted and it takes a lot of confidence into Tuesday," Forrest told Sky Sports.

"You always have to believe in your ability and, when you get your chance, you need to take it because there's a lot of good players in team."

Scotland can now win the group with a victory in Tuesday's final game at home to Israel. The two sides are level on six points but Israel top the group on the head-to-head comparison after their 2-0 win over Scotland in Haifa.

In D3, Azerbaijan defeated the Faroe Islands 2-0, while Kosovo won 5-0 at Malta and will be promoted if they avoid defeat against visiting Azerbaijan on Tuesday.

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