Friday, September 11, 2020

A quiet return


After an absence of six months, international football returned to empty stadiums across Europe in the European League of Nations. Turkey suffered the lack of atmosphere and went down 1-0 to Hungary while Italy could only draw 1-1 at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but bounced back with a 1-0 victory in the Netherlands.  Norway came out of hibernation with a 2-1 home loss to Austria but thumped their Northern Irish hosts 5-1 with Alexander Sorloth and Erling Haaland both netting a brace while the Austrians, who took a 2 goal lead to the break, lost 3-2 to their Romanian visitors. The Czech Republic enjoyed a 3-1 win in Slovakia, but were without some of their key players due to health and safety reason when they lost 2-1 at home to Scotland while Finland upset the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Dublin. Albania triumphed 2-0 in Belarus but were stunned 1-0 at home to Lithuania days later while Montenegro were 2-0 winners in Cyprus and picked up 3 more points with a single goal in Luxembourg moving up 17 places in the rankings.