Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Portugal advance to UEFA Nations League Finals

Published:Sunday | November 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Italy's Nicolo Barella (left) and Portugal's Bruma challenge for the ball during the UEFA Nations League match at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. The match ended 0-0.

MILAN (AP):

No Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem.

Portugal drew 0-0 with Italy yesterday to pick up the point they needed to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals and confirm them as hosts of the first Final Four in June.

Ronaldo is taking a break from the national team and wasn't present at San Siro just as he wasn't in Portugal's first two Nations League matches both of which they won.

Poland have already been assured of finishing last in the group and will be relegated to League B, and Italy will finish second.

However, a year after Italian football's darkest moment, there are positive signs for the Azzurri.

Italy dominated and had the better of the chances in front of a packed home crowd in Milan.

The Azzurri almost took the lead as early as the fifth minute. Lorenzo Insigne unleashed a scorcher from distance, which Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio did well to beat away, and Ciro Immobile fired the rebound over from point-blank range.

Leonardo Bonucci's every touch was booed by the San Siro crowd - made up mainly of AC Milan and Inter Milan fans - and the Juventus defender was jeered loudly after he sent a header narrowly wide of the left post.

Yesterday's results: Serbia 2 Montenegro 1; Turkey 0 Sweden 1; Albania 0 Scotland 4; Romania 3 Lithuania 0.