The European football governing body announced this week the draw for the UEFA Nations League finals, with Italy to take on Spain, while Belgium to face France. The matches will be respectively at San Siro in Milan on October 6 and the JuventusStadium in Turin a day later, UEFA said after an Executive Committee meeting via video conference. The third-place game and final will take place on October 10.
World Cup champions France were the first team to qualify for the 2020-21 finals after they secured their place at the top of Group A3 ahead of Sweden, Croatia and defending champions Portugal. Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante scored just his second international goal as France defeated Portugal 1-0 in Lisbon to secure a place in next year’s finals.
Meanwhile, Spain handed Germany its worst defeat, winning 6-0 to advance to the final four. Ferran Torres scored a hat trick to lead Spain to the historic victory. Alvaro Morata and Rodri gave Luis Enrique’s side a 3-0 halftime lead, while Ferran struck again early in the second half and completed his hat-trick. Substitute Mikel Oyarzabal tapped in the sixth goal in the 89th minute to hit a superb finish.
The Azzurri reached the Nations League final four and extended their unbeaten run to 22 games with a 2-0 win away to Bosnia last week. An impressive goal from Andrea Belotti broke in the 22nd minute and Domenico Berardi midway through the second half secured Italy’s spot as they top Group A1 with 12 points from six games. Italy also earned the right to host a star-filled Nations League final.
Belgium secured a spot in the final four after thrashing Denmark 4-2. Youri Tielemans got the opener in the third minute, while Lukaku netted twice in the second half before Kevin De Bruynescored in the last three minutes as Belgium won the group by five points. Earlier, Belgium ended England’s Nations League berth with a 2-0 win to seal their place in the final four.
Italy and Spain will play the first semi-final at San Siro, followed a day later by FIFA’s top-ranked team Belgium taking on World Cup holders France at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. The third-place play-off in Turin and the final in Milan will both take place on October 10. The Nations League finals will be held a couple of months after the European Championship named its new champions.