LONDON – Portugal moved closer to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Nations League on Thursday after securing a 3-2 win over Poland in the group stage, marking its second victory in the two matches played, while Russia drew against Sweden 0-0.
The current European champion won Thursday’s match without its captain and best scorer Cristiano Ronaldo as he is not included in the squad both in the current matches and those in November. Team manager Fernando Santos avoided giving details on the reasons behind the absence of Ronaldo, who is currently subject to an investigation in the United States over a rape allegation.
Without him, Portugal defeated Poland 3-2, strengthening its leadership in Group 3 of the Nations League with two victories from the two matches played in the tournament.
The first half ended with Poland leading 1-0 from a goal by Krzysztof Piatek – the 23-year-old attacker from Genoa made his debut in Italy this season and has been impressive with 13 goals in eight games so far.
Portugal managed to catch up and scored three goals from Andre Silva and Bernardo Silva and Turkish Kamil Glik’s own goal, although Poland’s Jakub Blaszczykowski scored one more in the 77th minute. With this victory, Portugal maintains a full six points on the group standing, five points away from its rivals: Poland and Italy. Only one more win will be enough for the Portuguese team to qualify for the next round.
Meanwhile, Russia remains on the top of Group 2 with four points, despite its goalless draw against Sweden in Kaliningrad. Its group stage rival Turkey is only one point away and Sweden, three points.