The third edition of the UEFA Nations League continues Thursday in cities all over Europe, with featured matches broadcast across the FOX Sports family of networks (and streamed on the FOX Sports app).
Kicking things off on FS1, Portugal is took down Czech Republic 2-0 at Lisbon’s Jose Alvalade. Elsewhere, Spain stopped Switzerland with a shutout of its own at Stade de Geneve.
Here are the top plays.
Portugal 2, Czech Republic 0 (League A)
We have liftoff!
If you blinked, you might’ve missed João Cancelo airlift a screaming rocket into the back of the net for Portugal’s first conversion. Try to keep your eyes peeled.
João Cancelo fires a ball into the back of the net to give Portugal the 1-0 lead
João Cancelo gives Portugal the 1-0 lead over Czech Republic in their UEFA Nations League matchup.
Different play, same result
Like an ace pitcher does to big-league batters, Portugal switched speeds on its opponents’ goalie for its second goal. Gonçalo Guedes followed up Cancelo’s heater with a nasty curve to power his team ahead, 2-0.
Gonçalo Guedes doubles the Portugal lead quickly, 2-0
Gonçalo Guedes dribbles one into the opposite side of the goal to give Portugal the 2-0 lead over Czech Republic in UEFA Nations League.
Meanwhile, Diogo Costa remained sturdy in goal, coming up with multiple plays like this one to keep his shutout intact.
Spain 1, Switzerland 0 (League A)
Slidin’ for the score
Pablo Sarabia scored Spain’s first goal of the match, streaking in from the middle of the pitch to finish off a fine pass from Marcos Llorente.
Marcos Llorente sets up Pablo Sarabia to give Spain a 1-0 lead over Switzerland
Marcos Llorente’s beautiful assist puts Pablo Sarabia in a great position to score as Spain take a 1-0 lead vs. Switzerland.
Can I get a redo?
The Swiss had an opportunity to even the score with an empty net, but misplayed their shot attempt.
Here’s a look at the rest of Thursday’s games across the UEFA Nations League:
Norway 0, Slovenia 0 (League B)
Serbia 1, Sweden 0 (League B)
Bend the corner
Serbia’s chemistry showed beautifully on a late-half corner in additional time. After curling the initial pass into a slew of players, Luka Jovic powered in a perfect header pass for the lead.
Luka Jovic’s strike helps Serbia grab a 1-0 lead vs. Sweden
Luka Jovic continues to bag goals in the UEFA Nations League as he helps Serbia grab a 1-0 lead right before halftime.
Greece 3. Cyprus 0 (League C)
Slice it in
Greece began the affair with a stellar run, pushing its way inside the box, before Anastasios Bakasetas unleashed a pretty left-footed slicer to help his team go up 1-0.
Greece’s Anastasios Bakasetas blasts an outrageous outside-the-box volley against Cyprus, 1-0
Anastasios Bakasetas scored a ridiculous volley in the eighth minute to give Greece a 1-0 lead against Cyprus.
Turn it into points
Greece’s defense was just as commendable as its offense in the game’s early sledding, as it doubled its advantage after coming away with a turnover in minute 19.
Vangelis Pavlidis’ goal doubles Greece’s lead vs. Cyprus, 2-0
Greece extends their lead against Cyrpus, with help from Vangelis Pavlidis’ goal in the 23rd minute of UEFA Nations League.
High and outside
Greece was after full control in this one, and upped the ante in the 47th minute with this lofty conversion that was impossible to stop.
Kosovo 3, Northern Ireland 2 (League C)
Kosovo was awarded a penalty kick at the seven-minute mark. Vedat Muriqi stepped confidently up to the line for the squad, and hit the GK with a slippery fake before putting away his attempt.
Vedat Muriqi smashes in a penalty kick to give Kosovo the first goal vs. Northern Ireland
Kosovo’s Vedat Muriqi marked the first goal of the game vs. Northern Ireland with a penalty kick in the ninth minute of the game.
Convert the crosser!
Kosovo doubled its lead 10 minutes later, going up 2-0 after Zymer Bytyq capitalized on an exquisite dime from his teammate, who dropped a defender prior to the pass.
Zymer Bytyqi gives Kosovo an early 2-0 lead over Northern Ireland
Kosovo took a 2-0 lead over Northern Ireland with a stunning goal from Zymer Bytyqi in the 19th minute of the game.
Show off the hops
Northern Ireland wouldn’t be held scoreless though and got its first goal of the matchup in the 44th minute, courtesy of a graceful levitation display from Shayne Lavery.
Shayne Lavery’s goal puts Northern Ireland back in the game vs. Kosovo
Shayne Lavery marked Northern Ireland’s first score of the game shortly before halftime, answering Kosovo’s two early goals with one of his own.
Sea of blue
That’s what the penalty box resembled as Kosovo put away a decisive goal in minute 51, and its swarming team play opened up Muriqi’s second opportunity.
Vedat Muriqi scores his second against Northern Ireland, extends Kosovo’s lead to 3-1
Kosovo’s lead over Northern Ireland was extended to 3-1 with Vedat Muriqi’s second goal of the game, his twentieth total for the country.
Daniel Ballard came up with a big late-game goal on a header to bring Northern Ireland within one, but it was too little too late, and Kosovo made off with a 3-2 victory.
Daniel Ballard’s late goal gives Northern Ireland hope vs. Kosovo
Northern Ireland reduced the deficit to 3-2 vs. Kosovo on Thursday with a header late in the second half in the UEFA Nations League.
Gibraltar 1, Bulgaria 1 (League C)
Bulgaria didn’t have much time to get off this attempt before halftime, but it didn’t need much. The squad found the back of the net in the 45th minute on an attack that spanned less than 10 seconds after a string of well-placed passes.
Georgi Minchev’s header gives Bulgaria a 1-0 lead over Gibraltar
Georgi Minchev scored a beautiful header in the 45 + 1 minute to give Bulgaria a 1-0 lead over Gibraltar in the UEFA Nations League.
Gibraltar evened the tally on a penalty in the 60th minute, as Liam Walker went upper left corner to pull his team back into the match.
Gibraltar’s Liam Walker evens the score against Bulgaria, 1-1
Gibraltar’s Liam Walker takes advantage of a penalty kick in the 61st minute to even the score against Bulgaria, 1-1.
Georgia 3, North Macedonia 0 (League C)
After a scoreless first half, Georgia broke through in the 51st minute when Budu Zivzivadze converted a remarkable pass from the left side of the field.
Georgia takes a 1-0 lead after a beautiful cross is put into the back of the net by Budu Zivzivadze
Georgia took a 1-0 lead over Macedonia in the UEFA Nations League after Budu Zivzivadze scored off a beautiful cross.
Georgia went up 2-0 on a bullseye from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, as he turned a defender around with some nifty ball-handling before delivering the strike
Georgia takes a 2-0 lead after a vicious strike by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
Georgia increases its lead over Macedonia in the UEFA Nations League to 2-0 after Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s shifty ball handling and vicious strike.
Georgia made the most of a free-kick opportunity in minute 83, going up 3-0 on a tough sliding finish from Otar Kiteishvili.
Georgia takes a 3-0 lead after Otar Kiteishvili puts it into the back of the net
Georgia takes a 3-0 lead over Macedonia in the UEFA Nations League after a Otar Kiteishvili perfectly timed shot off a Nika Kvekveskiri free kick.
Estonia 2, Malta 1 (League D)
Estonia turned defense to offense to get on the board first in this one, taking the lead on Konstantin Vassiljev’s missile strike from outside the box.
Estonia takes a 1-0 lead on a Konstantin Vassiljev strike from outside the box
Estonia took a 1-0 lead over Malta in the UEFA Nations League after a strike by Konstantin Vassiljev from outside the box hit the post and went in.
Malta drew even in the 55th minute, finding pay dirt on a dazzling curving corner from Jurgen Degabriele.
Jurgen Degabriele scores the equalizer goal for Malta, ties score at 1-1
Malta caught up to Estonia 1-1 with a goal from Jurgen Degabriele early in the second half.
Never too late!
With just a minute left in five minutes of stoppage time, Estonia came away with a miraculous conversion as Sergey Zenjov coaxed Malta’s goalie out of position, before finding teammate Henri Anier for the clincher.
Henri Anier scores in stoppage time to give Estonia the 2-1 win over Malta
Henri Anier scored in stoppage time to give Estonia the 2-1 win over Malta in the UEFA Nations League.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism