Star-studded France and Portugal in Nations League stalemate


Paris (AFP) – France and Portugal played out a cagey UEFA Nations League goalless draw at the Stade de France on Sunday to remain locked together at the top of League A, Group 3.

Despite the array of attacking talent in their teams, Portugal, the reigning European and Nations League champions, and world champions France managed just four shots on target between them.

France came in on a five-game winning run having scored 11 goals in their last two matches while Portugal had won their last four competitive internationals. Yet the match was a repeat of the cautious Euro 2016 final at the same stadium which was 0-0 after 90 minutes before Eder scored the winner for Portugal in extra time.

On Sunday, Porto centre back Pepe did head the ball into the net from a free kick but was judged offside and Cristiano Ronaldo, chasing his 102nd international goal, was denied by a flying save from Hugo Lloris in added time.

For France, Kylian Mbappe had a one-on-one chance but goalkeeper Rui Patricio anticipated his gentle chip.

At the half-way stage in the four-team group, Portugal lead France on goal difference, with Croatia four points behind in third. They meet again in Portugal on November 14. Only the top team in each group advances.

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