Portugal grab final slot as Scotland set up chance of group win
Nations League round-up: Sweden keep up their hopes of promotion
Scotland’s Steven Fletcher celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game from a penalty during the Uefa Nations League Group C1 against Albania at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Portugal secured a place in the Nations League finals next summer as a 0-0 draw against Italy in Milan clinched top spot in Group A3.
Italy could not take their chances, with Ciro Immobile wasting their best opening in the first half.
The draw at San Siro means Portugal, who host relegated Poland on Tuesday, cannot be overtaken at the top of the group and will take part in next summer’s finals, which they are set to host.
All three nations that bid to host June’s finals were in Group A3, so Portugal’s victory leaves them as the only candidate to stage the event, subject to formal appointment at a Uefa executive committee meeting on December 3rd.
Scotland will win Group C1 if they beat Israel on Tuesday following a 4-0 victory over 10-man Albania in Tirana.
Steven Fletcher scored on his international return as Alex McLeish’s team went joint top of the group.
The Sheffield Wednesday striker had not played for his country for over a year but netted a first-half penalty to put the visitors 2-0 up.
Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser earlier scored his first international goal when he fired into the corner after 14 minutes before Mergim Mavraj was sent off for the hosts.
James Forrest’s second-half double gives Scotland the platform to win the group on Tuesday and seal a playoff spot.
Sweden kept their hopes of promotion to the top tier of the Nations League alive with a 1-0 victory at Turkey, who were relegated to League C.
Andreas Granqvist’s second-half penalty was enough to move Sweden on to four points in Group B2.
Janne Andersson’s side must beat Russia – who top the group with seven points – on Tuesday to reach League A.
Serbia beat Montengro 2-1 to top Group C4 despite Aleksandar Mitrovic missing a penalty.
The Fulham striker scored Serbia’s second after Adem Ljajic had opened the scoring but missed from the spot when he chipped over seven minutes before the break. Stefan Mugosa pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining.
Kosovo beat Malta 5-0 and Azerbaijan beat the Faroe Islands 2-0. The teams set up a winner-takes-all clash when they face each other on Tuesday in Group D3. Elsewhere, Romania beat Lithuania 3-0 in Group C4.