No surprise as European heavyweights grab World Cup qualifying victories

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No surprise as European heavyweights grab World Cup qualifying victories


The European heavyweights have secured victories in qualifying for the World Cup, with France recording their first Group D victory, beating Kazakhstan 2-0 in Astana.
France, world champions, held 1-1 by Ukraine in Paris last Wednesday, scored both goals in the first half thanks to the goal directed against their side by Ousmane Dembele and Sergiy Maliy.

Manchester United striker Anthony Martial was taken out after receiving treatment for a second-half injury and Kylian Mbappe saw a 75th-minute penalty saved.

England, Spain, Germany and Italy all scored victories to take control of their respective groups, while Switzerland’s Group C match against Lithuania in St. Gallen was delayed by 15 minutes after replacing one of the goal posts.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored the only goal of the game in the second minute, but not before a new goal frame was put in place after one of the posts in the original frame could not be broken in. far enough into the ground.

Harry Kane ended his drought of international goals as England won 2-0 over Albania in Tirana to take the lead in Group I.

Kane directed his first England goal since November 2019 over Luke Shaw’s cross shortly before half-time and then set up Mason Mount for an impressive finish just past the hour mark.

To close

Mason Mount celebrates with his English teammates after scoring in Tirana (Florian Abazaj / PA)

Kane hit the underside of the crossbar with a shot before the break and Phil Foden’s effort was returned to a post early in the second period.

Dani Olmo’s goal in the stoppage time saw Spain win 2-1 against Group B rivals Georgia in Tbilisi.

Olmo struck in the second minute of added time after Ferran Torres called up Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s first-half opener for Georgia at the start of the second period.

Spain have four points in their first two qualifiers after a 1-1 draw in Greece on Thursday.

Denmark won back-to-back Group F victories, beating Moldova 8-0 in Herning.

The Danes, who won 2-0 in Israel on Thursday, led 5-0 at halftime thanks to a penalty from Kasper Dolberg, a brace from Mikkel Damsgaard and goals from Jens Stryger Larsen and Mathias Jensen.

Dolberg returned to Denmark sixth at the start of the second period, Robert Skov made it 7-0 and Marcus Ingvartsen completed the Danes’ record-breaking World Cup qualifying victory in the finals.

Armenia won 2-0 in Yerevan against Iceland to claim back-to-back wins in Group J. Second-half goals from Tigran Barseghyan and Khoren Bayramyan scored six points in two matches for Armenia, who won 1-0 at Liechtenstein on Thursday. .

Serge Gnabry scored the only goal of the game for Germany in their Group J match against Romania in Bucharest, while Andrea Belotti’s penalty in the first half and Manuel Locatelli’s late effort against Bulgaria in Sofia allowed Italy to stay ahead of Group C.

Ludwig Augustinsson and Alexander Isak gave Sweden a 2-0 halftime lead in Kosovo before Seb Larsson’s penalty guaranteed Group B leaders a 3-0 victory in Pristina.

Bernard Berisha of Kosovo was sent off for a second yellow card offense in added time.

Ryan Fraser’s equalizer in the second half saved Scotland from a 1-1 draw against Group F rivals Israel, which led at the break thanks to the long-range effort of Dor Peretz.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Poland before Karol Swiderski’s late goal sealed a 3-0 home win over Andorra and Hungary by the same score in San Marino. Poland and Hungary have two points behind England in Group I.

Austria recorded their first Group F win, 3-0 against the Faroe Islands in Vienna, Ukraine survived Vitaliy Mykolenko’s late dismissal to draw 1-1 with Finland and North Macedonia a defeated Group J against Liechtenstein 5-0 in Skopje.

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