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Former Socceroos prospect steers Scotland to victory in Nations League

Dykes was born on the Gold Coast and played rugby league as a youngster in Canberra before taking up soccer again when his family moved back to Queensland.

His parents come from Dumfries in the west of Scotland, and four years ago he moved to play for the lower division club before getting a move to Livingston in the Scottish Premier League.

Dykes had been the subject of a tug of war between Socceroos boss Graham Arnold and the Scotland camp over the striker’s loyalties, but following his $3.5 million move to London-based championship side Queens Park Rangers earlier this year he opted to play for Scotland.

Dykes celebrates a goal for QPR.

Dykes celebrates a goal for QPR.Credit:Getty Images

They may be playing without their “Tartan Army” of fans to roar them on, but Scotland have been doing well recently and the win over Slovakia was their seventh game without defeat since they lost to Russia last year.

Elsewhere, Portugal and France lost their perfect records in this season’s Nations League after playing out a 0-0 draw against each other on Sunday, and Belgium saw their 13-match unbeaten run ended by a 2-1 defeat against England.

At the Stade de France, Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo had a good chance in the second minute of injury time, but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris palmed away his angled shot from the left. France’s Kylian Mbappe was substituted near the end after having failed to make an impression against the Nations League champion’s resolute defense.

Portugal stay top in group three of League A, ahead of France on goal difference, with both teams on seven points.

Third-place Croatia have three points after beating Sweden 2-1. Substitute Andrej Kramaric scored the winner in that match, nine minutes after coming off the bench.

ENGLAND COMEBACK

England came from behind to beat Belgium and move top in group two of League A.

Marcus Rashford’s penalty canceled out Romelu Lukaku’s spot kick in the first half before Mason Mount’s looping, deflected shot clinched England’s first victory over a top-ranked team in nine years.

England beat Belgium at Wembley.

England beat Belgium at Wembley.Credit:Getty Images

England moved a point ahead of second-place Belgium and three above Denmark which beat Iceland 3-0.

STALEMATES

Italy were held to a 0-0 draw against Poland but remained top of their group after the Netherlands drew by the same score against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The match was supposed to pit two of Europe’s top goalscorers against each other in Robert Lewandowski and Ciro Immobile. However, Italy coach Roberto Mancini surprisingly left Immobile on the bench.

Italy are a point above the Netherlands and Poland in group one of League A. They play the Netherlands on Wednesday.

HAALAND HAT-TRICK

Erling Haaland netted a hat-trick to help Norway thrash Romania 4-0 and assuage their European Championship playoff disappointment.

Alexander Sorloth scored Norway’s other goal. Haaland already has six goals in the competition.

Norway lost a Euro 2020 playoff to Serbia on Thursday.

Norway are level on six points with leaders Austria in group one of League B.

Austria beat hosts Northern Ireland 1-0.

with AP

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