Portugal lose to Switzerland in Nations League, Spain lead the group
GENEVA (AP) — Portugal left Cristiano Ronaldo at home and lost their 2022 unbeaten record and top of their Nations League group on Sunday.
A goal after 57 seconds from Swiss striker Haris Seferović was enough for a 1-0 win at Geneva despite late pressure from Portugal, including two scoring chances for captain Pepe, 39, playing as a striker. emergency.
Portugal’s slide, after letting Ronaldo skip the final game of a long season, saw Spain take top spot in Group 2 with a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic in the top-flight League A.
Midway goals in each half from Carlos Soler and Pablo Sarabia put Spain one point ahead of Portugal after four rounds. The last two rounds will be played in September.
Portugal had gone unbeaten in five games this year, starting with two wins in their World Cup qualifiers in March and including a 4-0 rout of the Swiss last weekend.
The Swiss had gone the other way with a five-match winless streak since qualifying for the World Cup from group rivals Italy in November.
Portugal barely had time to miss Ronaldo, or touch the ball much, when he fell behind in less than a minute. A quick series of linked passes from Xherdan Shaqiri lined up right-back Silvan Widmer for a dangerous cross.
He found Seferović, who plays in Portugal for Benfica, to guide a header into the lowest corner of the net.
Shaqiri was preparing to take a penalty 10 minutes later after his cross hit the hand of left-back Nuno Mendes, but a video review revealed a foul in the center circle of the build-up.
Starting on the bench after a tiring season in England and the Champions League, Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota were dismissed after an hour and within seconds Silva fired a shot which was saved by Swiss goalkeeper Jonas Omlin.
Omlin impressed with eight saves but nearly gave Silva a goal in the 67th. His misjudged pass from the mouth of the goal bounced off the Portuguese striker close enough to the keeper for him to dive for the loose ball.
Erling Haaland scored a total of 42 goals in all competitions as he netted another brace against Sweden to lead Norway to a 3-2 victory over their Nordic rivals.
The striker, who recently signed for Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund, also scored twice against Sweden last Sunday in a 2-1 win for Norway in the teams’ first double header this month in League B.
A week later in Oslo, Haaland rushed past a defender to score his first goal in the 10th minute and converted a penalty early in the second half to make it 2-0.
The 21-year-old star now has 20 goals in 21 senior international appearances, 13 of which have been scored this season. Haaland also picked up 29 for Dortmund.
Emil Forsberg curled a shot into the top corner to reduce Sweden’s deficit, only for Haaland to curl in on a cross that was met by a wide header from Alexander Sørloth.
Sweden’s second goal, by Viktor Gyökeres, came in the fifth and final minute of added time.
Norway top Group 4 on 10 points, three clear of Serbia who squandered a two-goal first-half lead in Slovenia to draw 2-2.
LEAGUES C AND D
A Bulgarian team whose bus was involved in a traffic accident shortly after arriving in Georgia drew 0-0 in Tbilisi.
Midfielder Todor Nedelev has undergone successful surgery for a head injury sustained in Friday’s crash.
Georgia lead Third Division Group 4 with a three-point lead over North Macedonia who beat Gibraltar 4-0.
Group 2 leaders Greece beat Kosovo 2-0 to give coach Guy Poyet’s side a six-point lead in the standings.
Northern Ireland and Cyprus remained winless in the group and each have two points after drawing 2-2 in Belfast. Defender Jonny Evans equalized for the hosts deep in stoppage time.
In League D, Malta beat San Marino 1-0.
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