Football: Portugal brush off Ronaldo absence to outclass Sweden in Nations League; Belgium wins 2-1 against Iceland

Portugal's Bernardo Silva (centre) in action with Sweden's Lindelof (right).
Portugal's Bernardo Silva (centre) in action with Sweden's Lindelof (right).PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LISBON/REYKJAVIK (REUTERS) - Goals from Bernardo Silva and a brace from Diogo Jota gave Portugal a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden in the Nations League on Wednesday (Oct 14) as the hosts made light of the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo due to a positive Covid-19 test.

Silva opened the scoring in the 21st minute as Portugal won the ball back in the middle of the field and quickly countered, with Jota firing a precise pass to Silva in the penalty area for a perfect first-time finish.

Jota got on the scoresheet just before halftime, lashing home Joao Cancelo's cross from deep on the right to make it 2-0, and he added a superb third with a solo run and thumping shot in the 71st minute.

With 10 points from four games, Portugal top Group 2 in League A on goal difference ahead of France, who beat Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb. The Swedes are bottom of the group after slumping to four straight defeats.

Meanwhile, stand-in captain Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium got back to winning ways with a 2-1 away triumph over Iceland in the Nations League on Wednesday.

Lukaku opened the scoring inside 10 minutes and added a penalty after Birkir Saevarsson had levelled for Iceland to give Belgium the three points.

They moved to the top of the League A Group 2 standings following England's defeat at home to Denmark that dropped Gareth Southgate's side down to third.

Iceland, who had lost all their previous games in the competition, equalised within eight minutes of Lukaku's opener and full back Saevarsson had other chances in a sprightly performance.

The hosts were without coach Erik Hamren and his entire backroom team on the bench after an unnamed staff member contracted Covid-19 and they had to go into isolation.

Belgium, however, proved too powerful and moved to nine points from their four games in the group, two above Denmark and England.

Belgium's 13-match unbeaten run ended on Sunday when they lost to England at Wembley and they travelled to Iceland with an injury-depleted squad, missing captain Eden Hazard and his deputy Kevin De Bruyne.