World Cup qualifying in Europe took a unusual flip when the goalposts had been eliminated earlier than a match between Switzerland and Lithuania as a result of they had been deemed the inaccurate dimension.
It was one of many few issues that didn’t go to script on Sunday.
The entire continent’s heavyweight international locations secured victories, although Spain left it late — the second minute of stoppage time, to be exact — to see off Georgia 2-1 after falling behind.
Like Spain, France began its qualification marketing campaign with an sudden draw at residence but in addition acquired again on observe in its second recreation, easing to a 2-Zero win at Kazakhstan.
Italy stretched its unbeaten streak to 24 video games with a 2-Zero win in Bulgaria, and England additionally moved onto a most six factors in group play with a 2-Zero victory at Albania. Germany made it two straight wins to open qualifying, too, by beating Romania 1-Zero away.
In the meantime, Denmark grew to become the newest European group to make use of the World Cup qualifiers to direct consideration to staff’ rights in 2022 host Qatar. Its gamers wore pink T-shirts with the slogan “Soccer helps change” for the group photograph earlier than kickoff towards Moldova, which Denmark went on to beat Eight-Zero.
The Danish soccer federation mentioned the shirts shall be signed and auctioned to boost cash for initiatives with Amnesty Worldwide that assist migrant staff in Qatar.
OLMO RESCUES SPAIN
Dani Olmo got here off the bench to grab a come-from-behind win for Spain, his long-range shot getting palmed into the highest nook of the online by flailing Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Loria.
Ferran Torres’ fifth objective in six begins gave Spain, the 2010 world champion, the equalizer within the 55th after Georgia went forward a minute earlier than halftime.
Sweden appears to be like like being Spain’s greatest challenger in Group B for the one computerized qualifying place after sealing a second straight win by beating Kosovo Three-Zero.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, freshly out of worldwide retirement, had a hand in two of the targets having additionally claimed an help on his first recreation again, the 1-Zero win over Georgia on Thursday.
Spain began out by drawing 1-1 with Greece.
A missed penalty by Kylian Mbappe had little impact for France in its snug win in Kazakhstan.
The world champions had been already two targets forward by then, by way of Ousmane Dembele — one in every of a raft of modifications by Didier Deschamps — and an own-goal by Sergey Malyy within the first half.
Mbappe got here on after Anthony Martial appeared to harm his knee getting his studs caught within the artificial turf at Astana Stadium, and the Paris Saint-Germain star gained the penalty himself — solely to see his shot tipped across the put up.
Ukraine and Finland drew 1-1 and have two factors every to sit down behind France in Group D.
KANE VS. LEWANDOWSKI
England performs Poland in a key Group I qualifier at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday and each of their world-class strikers look in fine condition for it.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored for a 10th straight recreation for membership and nation, netting a double in Poland’s Three-Zero win over Andorra. The Poles opened by drawing with Hungary.
Harry Kane scored one objective and arrange one other for Mason Mount in England’s 2-Zero win in Albania, which constructed on the 5-Zero thrashing of San Marino on Thursday.
England leads the group with six factors. Hungary is stage with Poland on 4 factors after beating San Marino Three-Zero.
Italy’s back-to-back wins to open World Cup qualifying come after an ideal 10 wins in qualifying for Euro 2020.
Targets from Andrea Belotti, from the penalty spot, and Manuel Locatelli, the primary for his nation, adopted up a victory over Northern Eire on Thursday.
Switzerland is simply behind Italy on objective distinction after its 1-Zero win over Lithuania, secured by an early objective from Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri. The beginning of the sport was delayed by 10 minutes as a result of one of many targets was not regulation dimension and needed to be modified.
Germany tops Group J on objective distinction after Serge Gnabry completed off a group transfer within the 16th minute that concerned Chelsea gamers Antonio Rüdiger and Kai Havertz.
The Germans are rebuilding after a 6-Zero Nations League loss to Spain in November.
Armenia can also be on six factors after beating Iceland 2-Zero, whereas North Macedonia cruised to a 5-Zero win over Liechtenstein for its first factors of qualifying.
Denmark earned its greatest win in a World Cup or European Championship qualifier.
Kasper Dolberg and Mikkel Damsgaard each scored twice in Herning for the Danes, who had been 5-Zero up after 39 minutes.
Denmark is the one group in Group F with six factors. Austria is 2 again after coming from behind to beat the Faroe Islands Three-1, whereas Israel and Scotland drew 1-1.