No Ronaldo, no problem as Portugal edge Italy in Nations League
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No Ronaldo, no problem as Portugal edge Italy in Nations League

As Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed his time off at the French Riviera, his Portugal teammates overcame Italy 1-0 in their UEFA Nations League opener.

The European champions did not need their captain Ronaldo - who skipped international duty to recharge after a busy summer.

Victory: Portugal's Andre Silva (right) celebrates his goal against Italy.

Victory: Portugal's Andre Silva (right) celebrates his goal against Italy.

Photo: AP

Elsewhere, Turkey mounted a remarkable comeback from two goals down against Sweden, while Kosovo made history with their first competitive win since being admitted to UEFA in 2016.

Portugal outplayed a revamped Italy, who are yet to win a competitive fixture under coach Roberto Mancini.

"We must develop. We have young players who are not used to playing at a high level, but we knew that," Mancini said.

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"In October we will be in better form, but we must find ways to score."

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Andre Silva scored on a counter-attack early in the second half to give Portugal the Group 3 win in the top-tier League A.

The hosts had several chances to extend their lead at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon, while Italy created little and relied mostly on set pieces.

"It was a fair result, we played better throughout the match," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

"Only in the final 10 minutes we slowed our pace a bit and that allowed Italy to grow."

Two goals five minutes apart early in the second half gave Kosovo a historic 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands in Group 3 of the fourth-tier League D.

Kosovo were accepted into UEFA and FIFA just two years ago.

Turkey bounced back from two goals down to defeat Sweden 3-2 thanks to two late goals by Emre Akbaba.

Akbaba scored in the 88th minute and then again two minutes into stoppage time to give Turkey the League B victory.

Isaac Kiese Thelin in the 35th minute and Viktor Claesson in the 49th had put the home side two goals up in Solna before Hakan Calhanoglu netted for the visitors in the 51st.

In the third-tier League C, Steven Naismith was the match winner for Scotland in their 2-0 defeat of Albania in Group 1.

His header shortly after the break was deflected into his own net by Berat Xhimshiti before he doubled the advantage with a looping header in the 68th.

In League C Group 4, Serbia and Romania drew 2-2 while Montenegro defeated Lithuania 2-0.

In Belgrade, Aleksandar Mitrovic twice put Serbia ahead, but Nicolae Stanciu from the penalty spot and then Marius George Tucudean earned Romania a point.

Montengro beat Lithuania 2-0 in C4 in Podgorica thanks to first-half goals from Stefan Savic (penalty) and Marko Jankovic.

In League D, Andorra and Kazakhstan drew 1-1 in Group 1 while Malta drew with Azerbaijan 1-1 in Group 3.

AP