Nations League | France, Portugal play out a goalless draw

Poland holds Italy; England bests Belgium to top group

Portugal and Italy kept hold of first place in their UEFA Nations League groups on Sunday with goalless draws against France and Poland, while England saw off Belgium to take the initiative in their pool.

There was not much to talk about at the Stade de France as a star-studded line up of players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann failed to muster much of a spectacle in the League A, Group 3 match.

The 1,000 fans gathered in the cavernous stadium just outside Paris to watch World champion France host the reigning European champion were treated to just four shots on target as two rugged defences cancelled out each team’s attacks.

No goals

Pepe headed home what he thought was a 74th-minute opener when he got on the end of Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick but was flagged offside. Ronaldo, chasing his 102nd international goal, was denied by a flying save from Hugo Lloris in added time.

Both sides are on seven points, four ahead of Croatia, whose 2-1 home win over Sweden earlier on Sunday was the group’s more entertaining match.

England manager Gareth Southgate said his side showed what it is made of after coming from behind to beat Belgium 2-1 and move top of League A, Group 2 earlier on Sunday.

The Three Lions are on seven points, one ahead of the world’s top-ranked side after Marcus Rashford’s spot-kick and Mason Mount’s deflected winner 25 minutes from time cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s early penalty.

Important results: League A: Group 1: Poland 0 drew with Italy 0; Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 drew with the Netherlands 0.

Group 2: England 2 (Rashford 39-pen, Mount 64) bt Belgium 1 (Lukaku 16-pen); Iceland 0 lost to Denmark 3 (Sigurjonsson 45-og, Eriksen 46, Skov 61). Group 3: France 0 drew with Portugal 0; Croatia 2 (Vlasic 32, Kramaric 84) bt Sweden 1 (Berg 66)

League B: Group 3: Russia 1 (Anton Miranchuk 28) drew with Turkey 1 (Kenan Karaman 62).

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