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UEFA Nations League

Ronaldo-Less Portugal Off To Winning Start In Nations League

UEFA Nations League - League A

Result: Portugal 1-0 Italy

Date: 10 September 2018

Venue: Estadio da Luz

European champions Portugal, who were without Cristiano Ronaldo, defeated Italy 1-0 in their opening UEFA Nations League clash on Monday evening.

Gianluigi Donnaruma and Jorginho were the only players to retain their spots from Italy's 1-1 draw with Poland on Friday evening.

The several changes seemed to have an effect on Roberto Mancini's side, as they struggled to deal with the European champions in the opening 20 minutes.

Portugal went agonisingly close to taking the lead on 31 minutes as Mário Rui's strike took a deflection off Byran Cristante and crashed onto the frame of the goal.

It was one-way traffic in the first half as Fernando Santos' men were in full control, with the Azzurri failed to mount any serious attempts at Rui Patricio's goal.

Three minutes into the second half, Portugal took a deserved lead as Andre Silva collected a pass from Bruma before firing a left-footed effort into the far corner.

The hosts continued to threaten as Donnarumma was called upon in the 68th minute to keep out Pizzi's strike from distance.

Both coaches opted for a change with 15 minutes remaining in the half, as Renato Sanches came on for Pizzi while Mancini threw on Emerson from Domenico Criscito.

Italy did have a couple chances to level matters but the likes of Simeone Zaza and Mattia Caldara failed to capatlise on headed chances in the final 10 minutes.

In the end, Selecao hung on to claim three points, which sees them leap to the top of Group three in League A, following Poland and Italy respectively.

Other results:

League B
 
Sweden 2-3 Turkey
 
League C
 
Scotland 2-0 Albania
Serbia 2-2 Romania
Montenegro 2-0 Lithuania
 
League D
 
Andorra 1-1 Kazakhstan
Kosovo 2-0 Faroe Islands
Malta 1-1 Azerbaijan

 

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