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Christensen helps Denmark to Nations League promotion; France shocked in Holland

Wales 1-2 Denmark; Netherlands 2-0 France in Friday’s Nations League action

Wales v Denmark - UEFA Nations League B Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Andreas Christensen has been in the news lately for all sorts of unsavory reasons, but on Friday, it was all good news as he and his fellow Danes secured promotion to League A in the Nations League with a 2-1 victory over Wales in Cardiff. The visitors scored in the final few minutes of each half, which meant that Gareth Bale’s late-late effort was for nought.

Christensen had been playing in defensive midfield for the national team more often than central defence, but last night he was restored to his “natural” position alongside Huddersfield Town’s Zanka, and the two of them combined for a veritable plethora of clearances, and a few lucky let-offs, to keep the home team at bay.

For Wales, Ethan Ampadu played most of the second half, also in central defense, replacing the injured James Chester in the 50th minute. Ampadu now has six caps to his name and has played in three of Wales’s last four matches.

As unexpected as defeat for Wales may have been, few expected France to succumb to the same fate against the Netherlands in Rotterdam, but the 2-0 final scoreline was perhaps not even reflective of the resurgent Dutch team’s dominance. Outside of Hugo Lloris, not one World Cup winner could say that they played well, and that included starting Chelsea duo N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud, who was removed after just 65 minutes.

It was just the second loss in the last 24 games for Didier Deschamps, and their first competitive loss since a 2-1 shocker in Sweden during World Cup qualifying 17 months ago. With the win, the Netherlands keep their hope alive of reaching the title tournament while also confirming Germany’s relegation to League B. Those two meet on Monday in the final match of Group 1.

Former Chelsea prospect Nathan Aké played the last couple minutes for the Netherlands, who are starting to find a good core group of players once again after a series of disappointments over the past few years, including failure to qualify for either Euro 2016 or the 2018 World Cup.

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