The 2022/23 UEFA Nations League continued apace on Saturday with 10 more games contested all over Europe, from Dublin to Bucharest and everywhere in between.
There were disappointing results for a handful of big countries, including England, Italy, Germany and Netherlands, with underdogs like Wales, Hungary and Poland impressing instead.
England 0-0 Italy
England sit bottom of the UEFA Nations League Group A3, after they played out a 0-0 draw with Italy on Saturday night.
The result means the Three Lions have failed to win each of their first three games in the competition and they can have few complaints about only picking up a point in Wolverhampton after another tepid display.
Both sides had chances to edge ahead, with Mason Mount rattling the bar in the first half and Italy forcing Aaron Ramsdale into a string of good saves. The game died a sudden death in the second half though, with neither team looking like scoring in the final half-hour.
Hungary 1-1 Germany
Hungary once again impressed on home soil by holding Germany to a 1-1 draw and firmly keep alive their chances of making the Nations League finals next year.
Early goals were the order of the day, with Hungary taking the lead through Zsolt Nagy just six minutes in and Hansi Flick’s visitors equalising through Jonas Hofmann three minutes later.
Germany remain win-less in this edition of the Nations League after three consecutive draws and, at this stage, will be vying with England just to stay in the top tier.
Netherlands 2-2 Poland
Netherlands and Poland shared four goals equally as the home side maintained their three-point lead at the top of Group A4.
Aston Villa’s Matty Cash got the game’s opening goal – and it was a fine strike. Piotr Zieliński than doubled Poland’s advantage just two minutes into the second period.
However, the home side would level things up with a three-minute double salvo. Davy Klassen netted the first and Denzel Dumfries continued the theme of full-backs scoring by completing the comeback seconds later.
Wales 1-1 Belgium
Wales put in another mature performances as they secured a valuable point against Belgium at the Cardiff City stadium.
Gareth Bale returned from the start in the capital and helped his side get to half-time level at 0-0. The game then sparked to life after the internal.
Youri Tielemans took just six minute to put the Red Devils ahead and for a long time that looked like being the winner. However, four minutes from time wonderkid Brennan Johnson popped up to secure a draw for Wales.
Ukraine 3-0 Armenia
Playing on neutral soil in neighbouring Poland, Ukraine made it two wins from two in the Nations League by securing what was eventually a comfortable victory over Armenia. The goals from Ruslin Malinovskyi, Oleksandr Karavayev and Vitaliy Mykolenko all came in the second half.
Republic of Ireland 3-0 Scotland
The Republic of Ireland bounced back from consecutive opening defeats in this year’s competition to beat Scotland 3-0 in Dublin. Alan Browne and Troy Parrott scored first half goals, before Parrott then laid on a third Irish goal for the impressive Michael Obafemi soon after half-time.
Montenegro 1-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Neighbouring rivals Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina played out a 1-1 draw, with both goals coming in the second half. It took 62 minutes for the game’s opener, scored by Bosnia’s Luka Menalo, with the hosts earning a point 13 minutes from time through Adam Marusic.
Romania 1-0 Finland
Romania were not made to rue George Puscas’ missed penalty as they held on to beat Finland 1-0. Puscas had the chance for an early lead in the 16th but he could not convert. Fortunately his blushes were spared by Nicusor Bancu, who nabbed the winner on the half-hour mark.
Faroe Islands 2-1 Lithuania
Faroe Islands got their first goals and points of the new Nations League campaign with their 2-1 home victory over Lithuania, who remain point-less at the bottom of the group. The visitors originally took an early lead, but Viljormur Davidsen equalised and Jakup Andreasen won it.
Luxembourg 0-2 Turkey
There was to be no underdog heroics from Luxembourg as favourites Turkey eased to a 2-0 victory. Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring from the penalty spot just before the break, but it took the visitors until the 76th minute to put the game beyond all doubt through Serdar Dursun.