The Uefa Nations League finals in Portugal
The Uefa Nations League finals is coming up and starts on Wednesday 5th June. The two semi-finals will be played between Portugal and Switzerland and the other one being played between Netherlands and England. When the Nations League was first proposed it was met with a lot of criticism, however, once the tournament took place, many changed their mind on it. Firstly, it reduced the amount of meaningless international friendlies, as well as giving another competition for people to get behind their countries for.
All pot A’s were tough groups, with A1 being between the Netherlands, France, and Germany. No one expected the Netherlands to win this group with people even saying they wouldn’t win a single game as they had not qualified for the last two major tournaments. However, after losing the first game 2-1 to France, they battered Germany 3-0 at home and then beat France in the reverse fixture 2-0. Their last game of the group was against Germany in which they need two late goals to draw 2-2 and win the group on goal difference.
Switzerland were placed in a group with Belgium and Iceland. After beating Iceland in the first game 6-0 they lost to Belgium 2-1. They narrowly beat Iceland in the third game, but their big finale was still to come when they beat Belgium 5-2 in the final game to win the group.
Portugal were in a group with Italy and Poland. They won their first two matches against Italy and Poland 1-0 and 2-3 respectively, with the reserve fixtures ending both in draws. However, Italy could only win one and draw two others, meaning that Portugal went through with 8 points.
England were placed in a tough group against Spain and Croatia, who knocked them out of the world cup semi-final only a couple of months before. England lost their first match to Spain 1-2 and drew 0-0 in their second match with Croatia. It looked like it would be a tough task to get through, however, beating Spain 2-3 in their third match gave them hope. Croatia beat Spain meaning that whoever won between England and Croatia would go through. The two teams faced each other three days after that match and needed a late Kane goal to seal a 2-1 and send them to the finals.