Sports Desk, Jun 3 (EFE).- Denmark beat defending champions France 2-1 Friday in one of a trio of upsets by the visiting sides in the top tier of the 2022-2023 UEFA Nations League.
Memphis Depay had a brace as the Netherlands embarrassed archrivals Belgium 4-1, while Austria surprised 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia 3-0.
Austria lead Denmark on goal difference in League A Group 1, while the Dutch have the edge over Poland in A4.
Les Bleus had 60 percent possession and outshot the Danes 19-8 at Stade de France, yet the match remained scoreless until the 51st minute, when Karim Benzema broke the ice for the hosts with a great individual effort.
Denmark, with Christian Eriksen back as captain less than a year after suffering cardiac arrest on the pitch in Copenhagen, equalized in the 68th courtesy of sub Andreas Cornelius.
N’Golo Kante hit the post on a chance to reclaim the lead for France and Hugo Lloris denied Eriksen before Cornelius bagged the winner for the Danes with two minutes left in regulation.
In Brussels, the home side faced the Dutch without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, nursing an injury he picked up while making nine saves for Real Madrid in last weekend’s Champions League final.
Only the cross-bar stopped Timothy Castagne from giving Belgium an early lead and their prospects looked healthy until top attacker Romelu Lukaku left the match injured in the 27th minute, unable to continue after a collision with Nathan Ake.
Up 1-0 at the break on Steven Bergwijn’s goal in the 40th minute, the Dutch scored three times in 10 minutes in the second half – Depay’s double and one by Denzel Dumfries – to the audible disgust of the Belgian supporters.
Belgium had a goal called back for offside before Michy Batshuayi’s consolation marker in stoppage time.
Marko Arnautovic, Michael Gregoritsch, and Marcel Sabitzer scored to power Austria – who failed to qualify for World Cup 2022 – against Croatia. EFE apa/dr