WCQ: Victories for England, France, Spain, Italy, Germany (video)


A roundup of Sunday’s results in World Cup qualifying all around Europe, as the likes of England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany continue their march toward the 2022 tournament in Qatar…

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Albania 0-2 England

Harry Kane and Mason Mount (assisted by Kane, of course) got the goals for England either side of halftime, as Gareth Southgate’s side cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Albania. Notably, the renaissance of Luke Shaw continued in a strong way as the Manchester United left back dropped a perfect cross onto Kane’s head for the opener.

The victory puts England top of Group I with a perfect 2-for-2 record, having already beaten San Marino and Albania. 2nd- and 3rd-place Poland and Hungary, respectively, are up next — the former on Wednesday, the latter during the next round of World Cup qualifying in September.

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Kazakhstan 0-2 France

France, the reigning world champions, weren’t at their absolute best on Sunday but managed to beat Kazakhstan 2-0 in Nur-Sultan to claim their first victory of World Cup qualifying anyway.

Ousmane Dembele bagged the opening goal after 19 minutes before Sergiy Maliy made it 2-0 to France with an own goal just before halftime.

Anthony Martial appeared to injure his knee, just before the hour mark, after his studs got caught in the artificial playing surface inside the Astana Arena — an outcome that manager Didier Deschamps feared leading up to the game.

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Georgia 1-2 Spain

Spain had to come back from a goal down to beat Georgia, and they didn’t manage to pull ahead of the 89th-ranked nation in the world until second-half stoppage time. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia put the home side ahead, in front of a socially-distance and eventually delirious crowd, not long before halftime.

Ferran Torres pulled Spain level in the 56th minute, setting the stage for Dani Olmo’s thunderous strike from 25 yards out in the 91st minute. After two of eight games to be played, Spain sit 2nd in Group B after opening with a draw against Greece.

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Bulgaria 0-2 Italy

Andrea Belotti fired home from the penalty spot and Manuel Locatelli bagged his first senior international goal to secure a thoroughly lopsided 2-0 victory for Italy.

The Italians out-shot Bulgaria 22-3 (6-1 on target) to remain top of Group C with six points from their first two games. Roberto Mancini’s side won’t face 2nd-place (level on points) Switzerland for another two matchdays, with the sides set to finally tangle in September.

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Romania 0-1 Germany

Germany scored early (through Serge Gnabry), comfortably controlled the run of play despite failing to score a second goal, and got out of Romania with three points.

Just above Armenia on goal difference, Germany lead Group J after winning their first two games of World Cup qualifying.

UEFA World Cup qualifying results

Group B

Georgia 1-2 Spain
Kosovo 0-3 Sweden

Group C

Bulgaria 0-2 Italy
Switzerland 1-0 Lithuania

Group D

Kazakhstan 0-2 France
Ukraine 1-1 Finland

Group F

Denmark 8-0 Moldova
Israel 1-1 Scotland
Austria 3-1 Faroe Islands

Group I

Albania 0-2 England
Poland 3-0 Andorra
San Marino 0-3 Hungary

Group J

Romania 0-1 Germany
Armenia 2-0 Iceland
North Macedonia 5-0 Liechtenstein