European Qualifiers: Italy, Germany purr, England hauled back – UEFA.com - Techy Hunters

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

European Qualifiers: Italy, Germany purr, England hauled back – UEFA.com

Italy and Germany flexed their muscles while Spain and Belgium extended their advantages at the top of their groups on Wednesday. It was a different story for Sweden and England, though, as they surrendered their perfect records.

On Tuesday, Memphis Depay hit a hat-trick as the Netherlands produced an irresistible display to sink Turkey and replace them at their group summit, and an Antoine Griezmann-inspired France and Denmark opened up even greater leads in their sections.

UEFA.com wraps up all the action from both nights of Matchday 6.

All Wednesday’s matches

Group B: Greece 2-1 Sweden, Kosovo 0-2 Spain
Group C: Italy 5-0 Lithuania, Northern Ireland 0-0 Switzerland
Group E: Belarus 0-1 Belgium, Wales 0-0 Estonia
Group I: Albania 5-0 San Marino, Hungary 2-1 Andorra, Poland 1-1 England
Group J: Armenia 1-1 Liechtenstein, Iceland 0-4 Germany, North Macedonia 0-0 Romania

Another Italy record
The Azzurri scored four times in the opening 30 minutes of an international for the first time as they extended their world-record sequence of unbeaten games to 37 with a 5-0 taming of Lithuania in Reggio Emilia. Moise Kean scored twice – his second a delicious left-foot volley on his instep – with Giacomo Raspadori and Giovanni Di Lorenzo also getting first goals for their country. An own goal from Edgaras Utkus capped a miserable night for the visitors.

Flick just the trick
Hansi Flick made it three wins from three, without conceding, as Germany coach after a 4-0 stroll against Iceland in Reykjavik. Serge Gnabry’s fourth-minute strike was followed by a wonderful header from Antonio Rüdiger. Leroy Sané and Timo Werner secured the victory with further goals in the second half. The result put Die Mannschaft top of Group J by four points.


Germany impressed in Iceland

Germany impressed in IcelandAFP via Getty Images

England checked
Damian Szymański claimed his first international goal in stoppage time to end England’s perfect start to Group I. Szymański nodded in Robert Lewandowski’s cross to deny England a sixth win. A contest light on chances was lit up by Harry Kane’s magnificent strike, the England captain becoming his nation’s fifth-highest scorer with a stunner from 30 metres. Kane has now netted in the last 15th EURO/World Cup qualifiers in which he has played.

Spain find form
Goals by Pablo Fornals, on his first national-team start, and Ferran Torres handed Spain a vital win in Kosovo. Elbasan Rashani fizzed a shot narrowly past a post for Kosovo; however, Fornals’ powerful effort just after the half-hour mark took Spain in front. Vedat Muriqi spurned a glorious chance to level after the break before Torres raced away to seal it in the dying seconds and send La Roja four points clear in their pool.


Spain's Ferran Torres enjoys his goal

Spain’s Ferran Torres enjoys his goalAFP via Getty Images

Best of the rest
Dennis Praet’s goal was enough as Belgium moved nine points clear in Group E, with Wales held by Estonia. Sweden were brought back down to earth after beating Spain as undefeated Greece ruined their 100% record in Athens. A word too for Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who saved a penalty for a second straight qualifier to refuse Switzerland three crucial points.

All Tuesday’s results

Group A: Azerbaijan 0-3 Portugal, Republic of Ireland 1-1 Serbia
Group D: Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-2 Kazakhstan, France 2-0 Finland
Group F: Austria 0-1 Scotland, Denmark 5-0 Israel, Faroe Islands 2-1 Moldova
Group G: Montenegro 0-0 Latvia, Netherlands 6-1 Turkey, Norway 5-1 Gibraltar
Group H: Croatia 3-0 Slovenia, Russia 2-0 Malta, Slovakia 2-0 Cyprus


Highlights: Netherlands 6-1 Turkey

Highlights: Netherlands 6-1 Turkey

Majestic Oranje
Depay hit his first international treble – after seven doubles previously – as the Netherlands dismantled Turkey 6-1 in Amsterdam. Davy Klaassen’s opener after 54 seconds set the tone, with Çağlar Söyüncü sent off before half-time. Guus Til and Donyell Malen scored late goals before Cengiz Ünder pulled one back at the end in Turkey’s worst World Cup qualifying loss since an 8-0 defeat by England in 1984.

Griezmann matches Platini
Griezmann moved level with Michel Platini as France’s third-highest scorer as his brace sank Finland in Décines. Les Bleus played some electrifying football, not least the opening goal, teed up by Karim Benzema and finished by Griezmann, who fired in a second from a tight angle as world champions won for the first time in six matches.


Highlights: France 2-0 Finland

Highlights: France 2-0 Finland

Scotland up to second
Scotland gave their World Cup hopes a major boost with a battling victory in Vienna which lifted them to second place in their section but left Austria off the pace in fourth. Lyndon Dykes got the crucial goal, drilling a penalty down the middle following a push on Che Adams, who was excellent throughout.

Smolov steps up
Fedor Smolov celebrated receiving the captain’s armband by capitalising on generous defending to poke Russia ahead against Malta in Moscow, although his side survived some nervy moments before Zelimkhan Bakaev sealed victory with a late penalty. The Russians are second to Croatia on goal difference in their pool.

Best of the rest
Denmark are the only side with six wins out of six, Simon Kjær netting a rare goal 11 days after accepting the 2021 UEFA President’s award, while Erling Haaland struck a hat-trick in Norway’s comfortable success. Elsewhere, it was a case of no Cristiano Ronaldo, no problem for Portugal as they stayed top of their group with a resounding win in Azerbaijan, courtesy of Bernardo Silva, André Silva and Diogo Jota goals.



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