Nations League: Kosovo defeat deepens Northern Ireland woes, Spain edge Swiss | Nations League

from Northern Ireland Nations League desperation deepened as they fell to a 3-2 defeat against Kosovo in Pristina, which caused some fans to openly turn against Ian Baraclough.

Early strikes from Vedat Muriqi and Zymer Bytyqi, the first with a penalty, put Kosovo in control. And although Shayne Lavery pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, Muriqi’s second early in the second half should have ended it, despite Dan Ballard’s late header.

Northern Ireland’s winless streak in this competition has extended to 13 games after their last loss. The team entered League C Group 2 as top seeds after relegation and Baraclough spoke boldly of aiming for 12 points in their June fixtures, but they only took one on three matches.

Spain picked up their first Nations League victory after a 1-0 victory in Swiss. Pablo Sarabia scored the decisive goal in the 13th minute after returning Marcos Llorente’s cross.

Portugal maintained their strong start to the Nations League with a 2-0 win at home against Czech Republic. The hosts opened the scoring in Lisbon after 33 minutes when Bernardo Silva set up João Cancelo and the Manchester City full-back fired home from a tight angle.

Silva provided another assist five minutes later when he released Gonçalo Guedes and the winger fired a shot into the net. The 2019 champions took seven points from their opening three matches to open a lead over Spain in Group A2.

Sweden collapsed in a 1-0 home loss to Serbia. Luka Jovic scored the winner just before half-time for the visitors.

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