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Winning Football Shines in the UEFA Nations League

Winning Football Shines in the UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League – League D

It’s really hard for any football supporter to find football outside of the most popular footballing nations in Europe as attractive. Considering the fact that there aren’t a lot of football stars coming from the lowest tier of the UEFA Nations League, it would be understandable if not a lot of fans would give the matches being played in the inaugural run of this competition the time of day.

However, fans of the game know that memorable moments will emerge as long as there is football played on the pitch. The match day of the tournament has already produced impressive UEFA Nations League 2018 results as some nations showcased their knack for winning games.

It will be a while before the league resumes as the players return to their clubs, so we shouldn’t hold back and celebrate the beautiful international football brought about by the nations in League D.

Group 1

Georgia and their loyal supporters are smiling from ear to ear as they walk away from Day 2 as the clear leaders and heavy favourites to climb out of League D and have a better shot at Euro qualification. They followed up their strong 0-2 opening win against Kazakhstan with a fantastic home win against Latvia.

The hosts picked up the pace from their strong finish against Kazakhstan and kept on pounding their opponents on all aspects of the game. While Vladislavs Gutkovskis and Latvia put on an admirable stand away from home, Tomike Okriashvili was able to break through on the 77th minute with a well-taken spot-kick.

Meanwhile, Andorra and Kazakhstan put on an entertaining show as they played out a draw. The match was a physical affair that saw Serikzan Muzhikov walk off the pitch with two yellow cards. Kazakhstan was almost able to get away with a win from Yuri Logvinenko’s header, but Jordi Alaez’s superb equaliser late in the match got the entire team on their feet to celebrate the draw.

Highlight of the group: Vtalijs Maksimenko’s foul against Giorgi Chakvetadze is a matter of contention among the fans of both nations. The supporters of the 11 Wolves will cry that the Gent midfielder dove, while the supporters of the Crusaders will say that the penalty was a reward for their dominance on the pitch.

Key statistics: Kazakhstan will feel that they were robbed after this match. They had 72% of possession, made 13 goal attempts and had 11 corner attempts. Muzhikov’s red card definitely hurt their chances of securing the three points.

Group 2

Group B had great football games and made a lot of SBOBET punters happy with their results.

Luxembourg built on their impressive triumph over Moldova with a 0-3 thrashing of San Marino. Maxime Chanot, Aurelien Joachim, and Daniel Sinani all fired impressive goals against an overrun San Marino defence that was barely able to contain their attacks.

Belarus were expected to mow Moldova over after crushing San Marino in their opener. However, Moldova put on an admirable effort against Belarus’ constant attacks and walked away with an all-important point to put them on the board.

Highlight of the group: There are three impressive goals to choose from, but Joachim’s goal is easily the most impressive of the three. He made a first-time shot at the goal with a defender on his back and the keeper coming out of his line to narrow his options.

Key statistics: This group saw the guests overwhelm their hosts in dominant fashion. Both Belarus and Luxemburg attempted more than 15 shots on their hosts. However, Belarus were the more wasteful side of the two, only having two of those on target.

Group 3

Malta are one of the lowest-ranked nations in the FIFA World rankings, but their 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan have given the Falcons some hope. This especially true after the team ranked 90th in the world were overwhelmed in a 3-1 defeat against the Faroe Islands. All of the goalscoring action happened in the first half: Andrei Agius converted a penalty to put Malta ahead while Tamkin Khalilzade’s superb equaliser secured the draw.

Kosovo made history as they upset the UEFA Nations League 2018 odds and defeated the Faroe Islands in very outstanding fashion. Not much happened until the second half, but Arber Zeneli and Atdhe Nuhiu scored impressive goals to put the nation of their opponents.

Highlight of the group: Zeneli’s goal was nothing short of sublime. The left winger shook his marker loose with a couple of good moves inside the box before unleashing a curling effort past Gunnar Nielsen.

Key statistics: This win is Kosovo’s first victory in a competitive international, and their manner of victory is very convincing. They had 67% of possession, made 13 shot attempts and had 17 free kicks. They didn’t allow the Faroe Islands to play like they did against Malta.

Group 4

Macedonia’s reign at the top of League D’s Group 4 had a major upgrade after beating Armenia 2-0 at home. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unable to do anything while Egzijan Alioski and Goran Pandev scored for Macedonia.

Meanwhile, Liechtenstein didn’t give Gibraltar any chance as the hosts also scored 2-0 to keep the British territory scoreless to end the first two rounds of the competition. Dennis Salanovic and Sandro Wieser bagged superb goals to place them just behind Macedonia in the rankings.

Highlight of the group: Armenia had a chance to equalise before Macedonia sealed the game. Hovhannes Hambardzumyan capitalised on a defender’s mistake and was positioned dangerously in the penalty box. He made a cross for Tigran Barseghyan to tap in, but the Vardar midfielder didn’t reach the ball in time.

Key statistics: Liechtenstein may have won the game, but Gibraltar made sure that they earned their W. Benjamin Buchel had to make three saves while the backline had to make 15 fouls and get three yellow cards to keep Gibraltar away.



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Christian Alamodin
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