France thanks Mbappé, Portugal can do without Ronaldo

France and Portugal started the Nations League with a victory. France defeated Sweden in Solna 1-0 and Portugal was too strong for Croatia in Porto 4-1.

The first big chance was in Sweden for the host when Marcus Berg appeared free for Hugo Lloris after a pass from Albin Ekdal. The French keeper saved and the rebound by Emil Forsberg was cleared by Raphaël Varane.

A few minutes later the ball was in on the other side. Kylian Mbappé was lucky in the Swedish defence and surprised keeper Robin Olsen in the short corner. There was no more scoring after the break. Antoine Griezmann had a chance to double the score well into injury time, but shot a penalty high over.

Ronaldo watches from the stands

Portugal, which beat the Dutch in the final of the Nations League last year, had to do without Cristiano Ronaldo against Croatia. The 35-year-old striker suffered from an inflamed toe and therefore missed an interstate for the first time since November 2018. As a result, he also had to postpone the hunt for his 100th goal for Portugal: he now stands at 99.

From the stands, Ronaldo saw that Portugal created several chances, hit the post three times and that defender João Cancelo opened the score with a nice shot with left. In the second half Diogo Jota (shot in the far corner) and João Félix (via goalkeeper Livakovic) made it 3-0 with their first goals for Portugal.

Bruno Petkovic scored in injury time for Croatia and André Silva set the final score at 4-1. On Tuesday France and Croatia will play a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final and Portugal will go to Sweden.