Mbappé, Sterling rediscover scoring touch in Nations League

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England's Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Iceland and England in Reykjavik, Iceland, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarson)

Kylian Mbappé and Raheem Sterling have started their new seasons a lot better than they finished their last.

With an individual goal that combined fortune and inspired impudence, Mbappé earned France a 1-0 win at Sweden in the Nations League on Saturday.

Earlier, Sterling converted a penalty in second-half stoppage time to give England a 1-0 victory at Iceland in their first meeting since the tiny Nordic nation's shock win at the European Championship four years ago.

Both forwards were making their first appearances after a shortened offseason break that was further truncated owing to their involvement in the closing stages of the Champions League last month.

While Sterling missed an open goal as Manchester City went out in surprise fashion to Lyon in the quarterfinals in Lisbon, Mbappé was among the Paris Saint-Germain players to spurn chances in the final as they lost to Bayern Munich.

They rediscovered their scoring touch with their countries in the round of games in the Nations League, which marks the return of international football after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. All games are being played without fans, with players taking mandatory pregame tests for COVID-19.

In other games in the top-tier League A, Portugal — still the reigning continental champion after the 12-month delay of this year's European Championship — beat Croatia 4-1 thanks to goals by Joao Cancelo, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix and Andre Silva. Portugal was missing Cristiano Ronaldo, who was out because of a toe infection.

Top-ranked Belgium secured a 2-0 win at Denmark after Jason Denayer's first international goal was followed by a second from Dries Mertens.