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Spain reach finals; Scotland promoted; Ireland win thriller

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The September UEFA Nations League internationals are now consigned to the history books after the final round of matches on Tuesday.

There was still plenty to play for with Portugal and Spain battling for a spot in next year’s finals and Scotland holding out for promotion to League A.

Here’s your roundup of Tuesday’s action.

Nations League A, Group 2

Portugal 0-1 Spain

Spain left it late to leapfrog Iberian rivals Portugal in Group 2 and book their place in next summer’s finals.

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La Roja needed all three points to secure top spot in the group, and got the result they needed thanks to a late winner from Alvaro Morata.

Portugal spurned several chances to take the lead in Braga, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota and Bruno Fernandes all going close.

Spain were blunt for much of the game but kicked into gear in the latter stages, and eventually Nico Williams teed up Morata to give the visitors the win they needed.

Switzerland 2-1 Czech Republic

Switzerland fought off a second-half rally to relegate the Czech Republic from Nations League A.

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A quick-fire double from Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler had the hosts cruising at 2-0 with half an hour on the clock.

However, Patrik Shick pulled one back for the Czech Republic on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors some hope.

Nico Elvedi gave away a penalty just after an hour, but Tomas Soucek’s spot kick was saved by Yann Sommer and Switzerland held out to secure their safety.

Nations League B, Group 1

Republic of Ireland 3-2 Armenia

The Republic of Ireland had their blushes spared after throwing away a two-goal lead against Armenia, with Robbie Brady’s stoppage-time penalty saving the Boys in Green.

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John Egan headed Stephen Kenny’s men into a first-half lead to settle the nerves at the Aviva Stadium, and Michael Obafemi doubled the advantage just after the interval.

However, things quickly turned sour for Ireland as Armenia – who needed a win to move ahead of Tuesday’s opponents and fight off relegation – scored twice in three minutes, with Artak Dashyan and Eduard Spertsyan firing the visitors back into the contest.

But with Armenia needing a victory, they endeavoured to hand one to Ireland instead. The hosts were awarded a penalty for a handball and Hovhannes Hambardzumyan and Dashyan were both dismissed for dissent.

After minutes of debate, Brady stepped up to seal Ireland’s spot in Nations League B and relegate Armenia.

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Ukraine 0-0 Scotland

Scotland were promoted to Nations League A after a hard-earned 0-0 draw with Ukraine in Krakow.

Steve Clarke’s men were second-best for much of the evening, but will go into the next Nations League campaign as the highest-ranked British team following England’s relegation, while they have also secured at least a play-off spot for Euro 2024.

Che Adams had an early strike deflected behind by Taras Stepanenko, before Mykhaylo Mudryk’s cross somehow wasn’t turned in by Artem Dovbyk.

A collision between Adams and a couple of Ukraine defenders saw the referee sent to the VAR monitor, but he stood by his initial decision and the Scots were denied a penalty.

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Ryan Jack and Stepanenko both went close before the end of the first half but the two sides went into the break goalless.

In the second half, Mudryk brought a flying save out of Craig Gordon and Ukraine maintained their dominance, but ultimately could not find a way through and Scotland held on to win promotion.

Nations League B, Group 2

Albania 1-1 Iceland

Nations League B, Group 3

Norway 0-2 Serbia

Serbia promoted to League A.

Sweden 1-1 Slovenia

Sweden relegated to League C.

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Nations League C, Group 2
Greece 3-1 Northern Ireland

Greece promoted to League B.

Kosovo 5-1 Cyprus

Cyprus sent to relegation play-offs.

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Football

Monterrey signs midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Puebla

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Rayados de Monterrey have signed midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Club Puebla, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He joins the Guadalajara team on a four-season contract, according to Diego Armando Medina of TUDN.

“I have been delighted since the opportunity to come here was given, I always knew that I had to make a leap to these big leagues with one of the biggest clubs in Mexico,” Cortizo said of his transfer. 

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Cortizo kicked off his professional career with Queretaro in 2017, recording four goals in 76 appearances over the course of three years before seeing stints with Tijuana and Puebla. He managed well in Liga MX, but it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout. 

The offensive midfielder recorded five goals in 20 overall matches to inspire Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, Cortizo has 12 goals in 149 Liga MX appearances. 

“They are going to see a player who always tries, that will never fail, who will go for the ball, will try to play, propose offensive play, go forward and who will always give himself up for the club. It is my dream to be champion of the Liga MX, there is no better option today than to be sitting here and with this squad to achieve it,” he said.

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Cortizo stands as the first signing under new Monterrey president Jose Antonio Noriega, who replaced Duilio Davino  following the team’s elimination from the 2022 Apertura. Upon his arrival, Noriega insisted he needed to evaluate the team’s needs before making drastic changes. 

But the arrival of Jordi Cortizo will now set off the several moves already planned. 

The 2023 Liga MX Clausura kicks off on January 6.



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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

Line-up

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Saka, Foden, Kane.  

Senegal XI: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Ciss, N. Mendy; Diatta, Ndiaye, Sarr; Dia. 

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USMNT players apologize for World Cup elimination

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US men’s national team players took to social media to apologize to fans following their elimination from the 2022 World Cup.  

After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament, the American side entered Qatar with high hopes. The team kicked off with draws against England and Wales, before triumphing 1-0 over Iran to make the knockout round as second place of Group B. 

Gregg Berhalter’s side was forced to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium for the highly anticipated match up. Despite an energetic start to the game, the USMNT ultimately lost 3-1, with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries proving to be the difference between the two sides.

The Americans will now look forward to the 2026 World Cup where they will serve as hosts alongside Mexico and Canada. 

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