Scotland and Serbia managed to secure the last two promotion ticket to League A in Nations League next edition. They replaced the last two relegated sides, Wales and Austria.
For the first time in years, Scotland are able to sit above England as they were officially relegated last week. They were able to seal one spot in the top tier after holding Ukraine in a goalless draw. Both teams were fighting for the top of the table. Unfortunately, they both also missed the chances to score despite a number of attempts. The veteran goalie, Craig Gordon managed to deny several chances from the home side, including the clear cut one from Artem Dovbyk and Mykhailo Mudryk, whereas Andrey Yarmolenko’s attempt flew high. The Tartan Army had fewer opportunities, one of them was Che Adams as he missed the target.
Ukraine vs Scotland 0-0
Ukraine: Andrey Lunin – Matviyenko, Zabarnyi, Tymchyk, Mykolenko – Taras Stepanenko, Danylo Ignatenko, Ruslan Malinovsky (Oleksandr Pikhalyonok 87) – Artem Dovbyk (Roman Yaremchuk 75), Andriy Yarmolenko (Oleksandr Zubkov 87), Mykhailo Mudryk (Viktor Tsygankov 75)
Scotland: Craig Gordon – Ryan Porteous, Jack Hendry, Aaron Hickey (Anthony Ralston 91), Greg Taylor (Stephen Kingsley 72) – McLean, McGregor, Ryan Jack (Stuart Amstrong 72), Ryan Fraser (Ryan Christie 72) – John McGinn, Che Adams (Lyndon Dykes 79)
Meanwhile, Serbia once again proved how dangerous they can be in the away fixtures. Dragan Stojkovic’s men snatched a 2-0 win against Norway in Oslo as well as were able to frustrate Erling Haaland in the six yard box. The Manchester City prolific striker only had two attempts and both of them were denied by Vanja Milenkovic-Savic, the younger brother of Lazio star, Sergej Milenkovic-Savic. Their winning goals came from their duo front men, Dusan Vlahovic and Alexander Mitrovic. Norway was unable to even break the deadlock. Such result spoils their positive campaign in the earlier stage when they were on the top of the group and humiliated Serbia in the reverse fixture.
In League A, Spain finally advances again to the final four after beating Portugal 1-0 on the road. Their winning goal came late as Alvaro Morata tapped in the ball into the back of the empty net. The Atletico Madrid man was able to optimise the cross from the debutant, Nico Williams, the brother of Athletic Bilbao striker, Inaki Williams. Inaki has decided to switch side to Ghana whilst Nico, despite being lured to follow his brother’s footsteps, opts for La Furia Roja instead.
The game itself was intense and tight. Fernando Santos’s men had more decent chances to score from Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota and surely Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet, Unai Simon was excellent between the sticks as he could block and deny the shots multiple times. The home side was also left frustrated as Spain piled up their players in the six yard box while defending so that they could block and make the clearance.
Spain will be joining Italy, Croatia and Netherlands in UEFA Nations League final four, which will be staged in June next year. This is the second time in a row for Spain and Italy to go through the final round. It is also the second time for De Oranje but not consecutively, while Vatreni makes their final debut. The Final Four is set to be contested in Netherlands.