Highlights | Switzerland 2 Portugal 0 | Cyprus 0 Belgium 3 | Sweden 1 Netherlands 1 | Belarus 0 France 0

Belgium

Switzerland 2 Portugal 0

Cyprus 0 Belgium 3

Sweden 1 Netherlands 1

Belarus 0 France 0

Spain 8 Liechtenstein 0

Diego Costa and David Silva both score twice as new boss Julen Lopetegui makes winning start in opening World Cup qualifier.
Spain defeated Liechtenstein 8-0 in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Group G. The game in Leon was new coach Julen Lopetegui’s competitive debut after friendly win against Belgium. Chelsea striker Diego Costa broke his international goal drought by scoring a goal in each half. Defender Sergi Roberto burst into the box to finish from close range for Spain’s second goal. Manchester City playmaker David Silva and Sevilla’s Vitolo added goals in the space of five minutes. Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata replaced Costa to score a brace and Silva completed the rout.

 Israel 1 Italy 3

Goals from Graziano Pelle, Antonio Candreva and Ciro Immobile give Giampiero Ventura’s men victory.

Shandong Luneng’s Graziano Pelle opened the scoring for Italy after 15 minutes with a close range finish. Inter Milan attacker Antonio Candreva scored a penalty to double the Azzuri’s lead with half an hour gone. Tal Ben Haim pulled one back for Israel with a delightful chip not long after Candreva’s spot kick. Giorgio Chiellini was sent off early in the second half after clashing with Tomer Hemed off the ball. But Ciro Immobile put the game beyond doubt on 83 minutes after driving home a Pelle knockdown.

Wales 4 Moldova 0

Sam Vokes, Joe Allen and Gareth Bale strike to give Chris Coleman winning start to World Cup qualification.
Sam Vokes headed Wales into the lead before half-time after meeting Gareth Bale’s inch-perfect cross. Joe Allen fired home a second minutes later to score his first goal in international football. Gareth Bale scored a third to become Wales’ joint-second all-time goalscorer behind Ian Rush. Real Madrid star added a fourth from the penalty spot in stoppage time to reflect hosts’ dominance. Wales back in action for the first time since losing to Portugal in the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in July.

 

Slovakia 0 England 1 

England began their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Slovakia on Sunday evening.

Sam Allardyce included Wayne Rooney in the starting line-up, making him the nation’s most capped player. While Harry Kane led the line for the Three Lions.

England struggled to create any openings in the opening 20 minutes, while the Slovakians were quite happy to sit back and absorb the pressure. Slovakia squandered a glorious chance to break the deadlock after 37 minutes when Pekarik picked out Duris, who failed to hit the target with an empty net at his mercy. The score remained 0-0 as the sides entered the halftime break.

Slovakia were then reduced to 10 men after 57 minutes when Martin Skrtel was sent off for a stamp on Kane. Allardyce then introduced Theo Walcott for the in-effective Raheem Sterling after 70 minutes, as they searched for an opening goal. Adam Lallana carved out England’s first clear-cut opening of the game in the 76th minute when he rattled the upright, before Walcott blazed the rebound horribly wide. The Three Lions pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages and were rewarded in stoppage time, as Lallana turned and slammed home from close range.

Norway 0 Germany 3

Thomas Muller bagged a brace and an assist to inspire Germany to a 3-0 win over Norway in their 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Joachim Low opted to start Mario Gotze, as the Borussia Dortmund forward lead the line with support from Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Julian Draxler. The visitors broke the deadlock after 15 minutes as Norway failed to clear Mesut Ozil’s pass, which allowed Thomas Muller slot home from close range. Germany were in control from the onset, but nearly saw their lead wiped out after 23 minutes but Valon Berisha blazed over the crossbar from close range.

The World Champions doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime as Muller turned provider to tee up Joshua Kimmich, who fired into the bottom corner. Germany continued to dominate and added a third goal after 60 minutes when Muller bagged his second by turning home Sami Khedira’s cross. Both nations opted for changes after the 70-minute mark, as Germany introduced Julian Brandt, while the hosts brought on Alexander Sorloth.

Norway created a couple chances in the closing stages, however they were let down by some poor finishing by Adama Diomande. Nonetheless, the score remained 3-0 to the World Champions at the full-time whistle, as they begin the campaign with three points.

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