BERLIN (AP) – Spain and Germany scored lackluster victories in the Nations League on Saturday, during a day that also saw victories for Luxembourg and Montenegro.
Thanks to a mistake by the Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer, Spain won a 1-0 victory over the Swiss national team on Saturday in an empty stadium in Madrid and remained the leader of their group
For their part, Germany beat Ukraine 1-0 in front of more than 17,000 spectators in Kiev. It was his first victory in this competition, in his seventh match.
Those led by Joachim Löw had drawn three games and lost three since 2018, when this tournament began to be played.
FROM GEA RESCUES SPAIN
Rushed by the Spanish siege, Sommer misdelivered a ball, putting it at the feet of Mikel Merino. The midfielder gave Mikel Oyarzabal, his Real Sociedad teammate, to score the only goal of the game at 14 minutes.
While Sommer sank his team, David de Gea saved Spain in Madrid.
The only occasion was shortly before Oyarzabal’s goal. In a counterattack, Silvan Widmer was projected alone and made a change of front towards Loris Benito on the left. But De Gea excelled by repelling Benito’s saber with one hand.
“It was not an easy game in which we were especially fluid, but the rival is a physically very strong rival and has put pressure on us,” concluded Spanish coach Luis Enrique. “We have also pressed. It was not a showy game because this game generates mistakes, making decisions in a short space of time. We used the high pressure very well to score the goal and we had a few more chances ”.
Spain leads Group 4 with seven points. Germany escorts him with five, Ukraine with three and Switzerland with one.
In its next engagement, Spain visits Ukraine on Tuesday.
GERMANY WINS AT THE END
Defender Matthias Ginter and midfielder Leon Goretzka scored to give Löw’s side their first group win of the year, after three games, including the friendly against Turkey, in which the German team allowed themselves to be reached.
A late penalty made by Ruslan Malinovskyi created tension again at the end. But a Ukrainian squad decimated by the coronavirus and injuries achieved nothing more.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side was beaten just on Wednesday, 7-1 by France in a friendly.
After drawing 3-3 with Turkey in Cologne earlier that day, Löw turned to his regular players in Kiev. He built his formation around the Bayern Munich bloc, made up of Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süile, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry.
Also returning to the starting line-up were Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg from Leipzig, as well as Toni Kroos from Real Madrid.
Löw later confirmed that he will try to maintain the same lineup for Tuesday’s game against Switzerland in Cologne, another city where coronavirus cases are increasing.
The German coach acknowledged that there was concern about playing in Kiev, where the infection rate has been increasing.
SMALL TEAM WINS
Two first-half goals by Daniel Sinani were enough for Luxembourg to defeat visiting Cyprus 2-0, while Montenegro retained its perfect record in Group I of League C, thanks to a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan.
The Montenegrin team accumulated nine points in three games, followed by the Luxembourgish with six, the Azeris with three and the Cypriots with none.
Meanwhile, an early goal from Tijay de Barr was enough for Gibraltar to beat Liechtenstein 1-0. It was Gibraltar’s second consecutive win in someone else’s yard, and also its second in Group 2 of League D, which it leads with six points.
Liechtenstein has three units and San Marino is at zero.
In Group 1 of League D, Andorra drew goalless against Malta and the Faroe Islands drew 1-1 with Latvia. The Faroe are leaders with seven points from three games.
Ciarán Fahey is on Twitter as: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP.