MADRID (AP) — As Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed his time off at the French Riviera, his Portugal teammates were busy handing Italy another disappointing result in the UEFA Nations League.
Portugal did not need Ronaldo — who skipped international duty to recharge after a busy summer — to beat Italy 1-0 in Europe's newest soccer competition.
The European champions easily outplayed Italy, which had opened its Nations League campaign with a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Poland in its first competitive match under coach Roberto Mancini.
Andre Silva scored on a counterattack 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.
The Nations League gives UEFA's 55 member countries competitive games and eliminates friendlies. The winners of the League A groups — featuring the highest-ranked countries — go into a final-four competition in June.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos did not call up Ronaldo after talking to the player and saying he needed more rest following the World Cup and his transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus. Ronaldo also didn't play in the team's 1-1 draw in a friendly against Croatia last week.
Social media photos showed Ronaldo and his family enjoying time off in Monaco in recent days.
It was Italy's second competitive match since last year's World Cup playoff loss to Sweden.
TURKEY BEATS SWEDEN
Turkey bounced back from an opening loss to Russia by coming from two goals down to defeat Sweden 3-2 thanks to two late goals by Emre Akbaba.
Akbaba scored in the 88th minute and two minutes into stoppage time to give Turkey the League B victory.
Sweden, making its Nations League debut following its surprising quarterfinal appearance at the World Cup, had taken a 2-0 lead by the 49th minute at Friends Arena in Stockholm.
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