Gareth Bale was in action for Wales against Finland | Joosep Martinson/Getty Images
The round of international fixtures we all needed ahead of the start of the competitive club season began on Thursday night, with Germany, Spain, Wales and the Republic of Ireland among the sides getting their Nations League campaigns started.
Things began at a pretty pedestrian pace, with barely anything to shout about during the first halves throughout the continent, but thankfully some late drama spiced up the evening.
Here’s your roundup from Thursday’s Nations League action.
?¡¡¡¡GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOL, GOOOOOOOLLLL!!!!
¡¡TIEMPO CUMPLIDO Y GOOOOL DE GAYÀ!
!????? | 1-1 | 90+5′ |#SomosEspaña ??#SomosFederación pic.twitter.com/Jy3DBJcdJv
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) September 3, 2020
Timo Werner gave Chelsea fans another glimpse of his talent during Germany’s clash with Spain, skipping around numerous challenges to beat David de Gea for the game’s opener.
Spain have plenty of prestige in the first eight of their starting XI, but striker and new Leeds signing Rodrigo made a mess of a glorious opportunity to open the scoring, offering Manuel Neuer too much time to regain his ground after the Germany goalkeeper came charging off his line.
Spain took their time to net their equaliser, with their late pressure telling when Jose Gaya hooked home in the 95th minute.
You can find player ratings for the game here.
FT | ??1-1 ??
A late Shane Duffy header earns a draw for Ireland in Stephen Kenny’s first game in charge
A great moment for the defender!#COYBIG | #BULIRL pic.twitter.com/NXObobq1I9
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) September 3, 2020
There’s much to be excited about in the Republic of Ireland ranks right now.
Young stars Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly and Troy Parrott were all included in the nation’s squad by new manager Stephen Kenny. The former ROI Under-21 boss is regarded as one of the country’s best young coaches and took charge of his first game as manager in Ireland’s game in Bulgaria.
Bozhidar Kraev opened the scoring for the hosts in the 56th minute and the pushing and probing from the men in green late on seemed to be in vain.
However, new Celtic loan signing Shane Duffy stuck his big meaty forehead onto a Robbie Brady corner in injury time to salvage Kenny and Ireland a draw.
FT | ?? 0-1 ???????
This is definitely one of the best Thursdays ever.
??????? International football returns for the first time in 10 months.
??????? Kieffer Moore scores.
??????? Cymru win.
??????? It’s also 3 consecutive victories for Ryan Giggs.
Yup, we ❤️ Thursdays. #FINWAL pic.twitter.com/vfxMSm3pVn
— Wales ??????? (@Cymru) September 3, 2020
Yay! Gareth Bale started a game of football on Thursday night!
It would have been nice to see the Real Madrid ‘star’ get all the way through the match, but he was hooked at half time for Harry Wilson with the score locked at 0-0. He’s barely had any game time in 2020, and manager Ryan Giggs revealed after the match that the substitution was pre-planned.
However, who needs one of Wales’ greatest ever players when you’ve got Kieffer Moore up front?
The Cardiff striker tapped in Daniel James’ low cross for the game’s only goal, offering Ryan Giggs’ side the perfect start to their Nations League campaign.
Moldova 1-1 Kosovo
Slovenia 0-0 Greece
Latvia 0-0 Andorra
Faroe Islands 3-2 Malta
Germany 1-1 Spain
Ukraine 2-1 Switzerland
Russia 3-1 Serbia
Turkey 0-1 Hungary
Bulgaria 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Finland 0-1 Wales
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