UEFA Nations League

Portugal, Netherlands on course to need playoffs for Euro 2020 qualification

Portugal and Holland will be the biggest names relying on play-offs for Euro 2020 as things stand after the second qualifier window. The Nations League finalists are currently outside the automatic qualifying places in their Euro 2020 groups where games were being played while the duo were busy contesting UEFA’s latest trophy. Wales and Scotland are also on course for next March’s deciders, though England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have made strong enough starts to occupy automatic qualifying spots at this stage. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the state of play. How it works The Nations League decides the Euro 2020 play-off places (Niall Carson/PA) The play-offs are determined by the Nations League standings, with the four group winners from each leag...

Southgate hails England’s mentality – Sports Mole

Gareth Southgate believes his group made a mental leap at the Nations League as England’s attention turns to Euro 2020 glory. Jordan Pickford was the penalty shoot-out hero against Switzerland on Sunday as the Three Lions prevented the inaugural finals ending in deflating fashion, just three days after Holland came back to win their semi-final 3-1 in extra-time. It was England’s second penalties triumph in the space of a year and victory saw them improve on last year’s fourth-place finish at the World Cup, with Nations League bronze medals acknowledgement of the progress being made. ⏲️ RESULT! ⏲️ 🇨🇭 Switzerland 0-0 England (England win 6-5 on penalties) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 ℹ️ Three Lions finish third in the Nations League! #NationsLeague — UEFA Nations League (@UEFAEURO) June 9, 2019 Southgate knows t...

Van Dijk happy to face England boo boys

Virgil van Dijk says fans can boo him all they want as the Liverpool and Holland defender does not care a jot. The PFA Player of the Year won the Champions League at the start of the month but was unable to follow it up with further silverware in the Nations League. Ronald Koeman’s side lost 1-0 to hosts Portugal in the inaugural final on Sunday, when some England fans that made the trip to the game booed Van Dijk – just as they did as the Dutch won Thursday’s semi-final in extra-time. Virgil Van Dijk, left, was booed by England fans at the Nations League (Mike Egerton/PA) England manager Gareth Southgate joked that he would rather the fans booed him than his own players, but if the plan was to throw the defender off kilter then it did not work. “I don’t really care if somebody boos me or ...

Dier delighted as Southgate says he’s staying

Eric Dier believes it is “fantastic” that England manager Gareth Southgate has distanced himself from a return to club football as the Three Lions set their sights on Euro 2020 glory. On the eve of their Nations League third-place play-off win, on penalties against Switzerland, it was put to Southgate that he was a name linked with the manager’s role at Chelsea. It is little surprise that the former Middlesbrough boss has been on several shortlists for elite posts after he guided England to the World Cup semi-finals last summer. Gareth Southgate dismissed links with Chelsea or any job in club football (Tim Goode/PA) He followed that up with qualification for the inaugural Nations League finals and, after falling to Holland in the final four, England secured third place with a 6-5 shoot-out...

Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt yet to decide on future

The defender has been linked with Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Paris St Germain. Matthijs De Ligt does not know what colour shirt he will be wearing next season, with the highly rated Ajax teenager planning to mull over his options during the post-season break. Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Paris St Germain have all been strongly linked with the 19-year-old, who has impressed so much for club and country this season. It certainly appears a case of when rather than if De Ligt leaves Amsterdam, but the centre-back is in no rush to make his decision after ending the season with a 1-0 defeat for Holland in the Nations League final to hosts Portugal. Asked what colour shirt he would be wearing next season, he said: “I don’t know. I don’t know. “Now I am going on vacat...

Southgate and his England players look forward after finishing with a flourish

England manager Gareth Southgate and his players are determined to reach new heights after their penalty shoot-out triumph saw them win bronze at the Nations League. An unremarkable third-place play-off against Switzerland came to an entertaining conclusion at the Estadio D Afonso Henriques, where England’s glut of missed opportunities threatened to haunt them as the match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes. But a year on from ending a run of five successive shoot-out losses at the World Cup in Russia, the man who helped Southgate’s team overcome Colombia on penalties was on hand once more. Jordan Pickford denied Josip Drmic’s spot-kick in sudden death to seal a 6-5 win, having become the first goalkeeper to score a penalty for England in a competitive shoot-out. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was En...

Cristiano Ronaldo delighted with Portugal’s Nations League success

The Juventus forward basks in the glory of another trophy. Cristiano Ronaldo hailed a job well done after Portugal’s Nations League final victory over Holland in Porto. Goncalo Guedes scored the only goal to make sure the hosts were crowned the first champions of UEFA’s latest international competition. Ronaldo’s stunning hat-trick saw off Switzerland 3-1 on Wednesday and earned Portugal their place in the final. And although the captain and talisman did not score against the Dutch, he said afterwards: “I’m very happy. Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates the success in Porto (Mike Egerton/PA) “It is a very important trophy for all of Portugal and for the national team.” The triumph means Portugal can add the Nations League to the European Championship success of three years ago. Ronaldo is proud ...

Success is all relative for Portugal boss

Portugal boss Fernando Santos dedicated victory in the Nations League to his ill mother and brother-in-law as he once again guided the country to trophy success. Goncalo Guedes hit the only goal of Sunday’s final against Holland to be crowned the first champions of UEFA’s latest international competition. A match billed as a battle between the two captains, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk, was settled by Valencia’s Guedes on the hour-mark in Porto. Portugal coach Fernando Santos dedicated victory in the Nations League to his ill mother and brother-in-law (AP) The 1-0 win was enough for the reigning European champions to add the inaugural Nations League crown to their collection with victory in front of their own fans and on the eve of Portugal Day – a national holiday celebrated annu...

Result: Portugal beat Holland to win inaugural Nations League

Goncalo Guedes scored the only goal of the game as Portugal beat Holland to be crowned the first-ever Nations League champions. The final in Porto was not a game for the ages as a match billed as a battle between the two captains, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil Van Dijk, was settled by Valencia forward Guedes on the hour mark. The 1-0 win was enough for the reigning European champions to add the inaugural Nations League crown to their honours list with victory in front of their own fans. Goncalo Guedes, second right, scored the only goal of Sunday’s final (Armando Franca/AP) But, strangely in a country where Ronaldo is revered, it was Harry Maguire’s name which echoed around the Estadio do Dragao early on as those England fans who had purchased a ticket for the final hoping to see the Three ...

VAR gives England’s teams mixed ride

Gareth Southgate’s side saw a late goal in their Nations League match with Switzerland chalked off for a foul. England’s teams experienced the highs and lows of VAR on Sunday. Gareth Southgate’s men’s side saw a late goal in their Nations League third-place play-off against Switzerland chalked off for a foul before a penalty awarded for handball set Phil Neville’s women’s team on their way against Scotland. Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the two decisions. England 0 Switzerland 0 (6-5 on penalties), Nations League third-place play-off Seriously? 😐 Another #ThreeLions goal ruled out following a VAR check, after @CallumWilson thought he’d opened the scoring. — England (@England) June 9, 2019 Southgate’s side eventually clinched third place in the inaugural c...

Southgate pleased to see England’s penalty preparations come to fruition again

Gareth Southgate was delighted to see England’s penalty shoot-out preparations bear fruit again, with the Three Lions boss taking Nations League bronze as a welcome acknowledgement of the progress being made. An unremarkable third-place play-off against Switzerland came to a stirring conclusion at the Estadio D Afonso Henriques, where England’s glut of missed opportunities threatened to haunt them as the match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes. But a year on from ending a run of five successive shoot-out losses at the World Cup in Russia, the man that helped Southgate’s men overcome Colombia on penalties was on hand once more. A positive end to another year of progress for the #ThreeLions 💪https://t.co/4fwN0qhFgE — England (@England) June 9, 2019 Jordan Pickford denied Josip Drmic’s spot-kick in...

Southgate: I wouldn’t leave England for any job

Gareth Southgate says there is “no way” he would return to club management right now – and the England boss is confident assistant Steve Holland remains similarly committed amid talk of a move to former club Chelsea. A year on from bowing out of the World Cup in an extra-time semi-final loss to Croatia, the Three Lions are again nursing their wounds after Holland inflicted a 3-1 defeat in the final four of the inaugural Nations League in Portugal. Southgate was quick to focus on his side’s progress and the attempts to win Euro 2020 on home soil next summer – a mouth-watering opportunity that means a return to club management is not in his thinking right now. Gareth Southgate on the training pitch with England (Tim Goode/PA) “The only thing on my mind is that we’ve got a European Championsh...

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