UEFA World Cup qualifying scores: Romelu Lukaku scores on 100th cap for Belgium; Italy drop points

The possible World Cup qualifiers from Europe are starting emerge as UEFA’s 10 teams reached the midway stage this weekend. For some, qualification appears to be like to be an growing certainty with England now 5 from 5 in Group I and Belgium romping their method by Group E. Nevertheless there’s loads of drama available elsewhere with European champions Italy struggling to maintain their momentum going from the summer time and Spain in a tussle with Sweden for Group B’s high spot.

Listed here are the outcomes from Sunday:

UEFA World Cup qualifying scores

Group B
Spain 4, Georgia 0
Kosovo 1, Greece 1

Group C
Bulgaria 1, Lithuania 0
Switzerland 0, Italy 0

Group E
Belarus 2, Wales 3
Belgium 3, Czech Republic 0

Group I
England 4, Andorra 0
Albania 1, Hungary 0
San Marino 1, Poland 7

Group J
Iceland 2, North Macedonia 2
Romania 2, Liechtenstein 0
Germany 6, Armenia 0

Lukaku marks his century in fashion

A player of Romelu Lukaku’s excellence would by no means let an event as vital as his A centesimal cap cross by with out providing a wholesome reminder of the standard that has seen him attain a century of Belgium appearances scarcely greater than six months after his twenty eighth birthday. The Chelsea striker continued his glorious begin to the brand new season inside eight minutes, his 67th worldwide purpose a traditional of his style.

Timing his run to a tee, he darted down the within proper channel to gather Hans Vanaken’s by ball. Opening up his physique he formed to bend the ball inside Tomas Vaclik’s far publish however as an alternative lifted it excessive into the highest nook. 

To make a tricky activity all of the tougher for the visiting staff goalkeeper Vaclik was pressured off after 13 minutes, unable to shake off the harm he had suffered in a collision with Lukaku simply 30 seconds into the sport. The No. 9 was a relentless menace to the Czech protection however he was not alone on a powerful evening from Belgium, whose passing strikes reduce by the opposition swiftly and crisply.

The sport was over 4 minutes earlier than the break, Youri Tielemans and Vanaken combining to tee up Eden Hazard for his first worldwide purpose since November 2019. Alexis Saelemaekers would add a 3rd simply after the hour, each of the sooner scorers teeing him up with one contact flicks that put him in place to sidefoot the ball previous substitute goalkeeper Jindrik Stanek.

The victory opened up a six-point lead for Belgium on the high of Group E and was celebrated no much less enthusiastically in Cardiff with Wales now solely a degree behind the Czech Republic having performed two video games fewer.

Italy drop extra factors

Italy’s gradual begin to life since successful Euro 2020 continued as they adopted their 1-1 draw at residence to Bulgaria with a goalless attract Basel. Roberto Mancini’s aspect had their probabilities early on in opposition to a Switzerland aspect that with key figures lacking by harm and COVID and new administration bedding in wanted time to settle into the sport. Their gradual begin ought to have been punished, not least by Domenico Berardi. One on one with the Swiss goalkeeper he in some way contrived to roll the ball at his arms.

That was moderately the story of the match, Italy — who set a record with their 36th match in a row without defeat — getting themselves into good positions however probably not testing Yann Sommer, a shot stopper who proved at Euro 2020 that he solely lets the most effective pictures transcend him. There weren’t lots of them from the European champions.

Lorenzo Insigne curled large simply after the hour from the form of spot on the left fringe of the penalty space the place he so typically pings the ball in on the far publish. Because the half wore on, nevertheless, Switzerland settled into the sport and Manuel Akanji’s header from a set piece flew large in what may need been a decisive second for the house staff.

Italy’s profligacy continued into  the second interval when a pair of errors by Ricardo Rodriguez in fast succession went unpunished. First the left again miscued his clearance then made issues worse by diving in to deliver down Berardi. Sommer ensured his teammates clumsy defending went unpunished, letting Jorginho attempt his hop and skip from the penalty spot however refusing to commit till the Chelsea midfielder tamely rolled a shot to his left. 

Spain, Germany retake high spots with spectacular wins

Having begun their qualification campaigns in considerably cumbersome trend with dropped factors in opposition to groups they may have anticipated to beat there was abruptly little room for additional slip ups if perennial qualifiers Germany and Spain had been to e book their spots in Qatar. Neither appeared to be within the temper to take dangers as they romped to convincing wins over Armenia and Georgia.

For Spain the problem has been turning good soccer into objectives, acquainted foibles that had been on full show as they dominated possession and pictures in a 2-1 defeat to Sweden that noticed them slip off high spot in Group B. They’re again there for now — albeit having performed two extra video games than the Swedes and with yet one more level to their title — after an imposing win in Badajoz that started in scruffy trend when Jose Gaya’s shot deflected off Guram Kashia within the 14th minute. By half time Luis Enrique’s aspect had been three objectives to the great, Carlos Soler scoring his second purpose in as many caps earlier than Ferran Torres’ miscued third.

Pablo Sarabia added additional lustre to the scoreline within the second half, main and ending a searing counterattack with good work from Pablo Fornals in between, while Luis Enrique was sufficiently safe within the outcome handy Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez his worldwide debut as an alternative.

Germany’s win in Stuttgart was much more emphatic, a 6-0 victory that made it two wins from two beneath new supervisor Hansi Flick. Serge Gnabry acquired Die Mannschaft off to a flying begin with two objectives within the first quarter-hour earlier than Marco Reus and Timo Werner took the scoreline to 4-0 earlier than the interval, the latter netting his second in as many worldwide video games.

Jonas Hofmann had carried out impressively in a full again position for Flick and was rewarded with a purpose earlier than two of the nice younger hopes of German soccer mixed for the sixth in added time, Florian Wirtz giving the ball to Karim Adeyemi, darting on for the cross again to him earlier than teeing up the Crimson Bull Salzburg striker for a purpose on his worldwide debut.  

England make heavy climate of Andorra win

England had been at all times going to beat Andorra, the sixth-lowest ranked nation in Europe. Actually the one subject to be determined within the Wembley solar was what number of they’d rating, whether or not they might actually reduce unfastened and who would benefit from the minutes afforded to them as Gareth Southgate made 11 modifications from the aspect that received in Hungary.

Finally they acquired a complete win that ensures they’re 5 from 5 in Group I however this was hardly an important look ahead to residence supporters in England’s first match for the reason that Euro 2020 remaining. The hosts moved the ball neatly sufficient however irrespective of the standard of opponents it would not often be straightforward to interrupt down opposition that can put 10 or 11 males behind the ball.

Although it’s typically onerous to evaluate performances in what’s a glorified assault versus protection coaching drill, the shining mild may need been Jude Bellingham. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is used to the next class of opponent within the Bundesliga and appeared to relish the possibility to delve deep into his field of methods, drawing Andorran defenders to him after which brushing by them.

That was how England’s opener took place. Because the opposition gravitated in the direction of him Bellingham had the imaginative and prescient to change the play to Saka on the left. The cross was not precisely to the usual that Arsenal followers have come to count on of the teenager they name their starboy however Marc Vales’ clearing header solely went so far as Lingard, who dragged the ball out from beneath his toes with a low drive into the underside nook.

That was nothing in comparison with when Lingard put the ball within the net for the second time, a lob that appeared to drift out of Wembley’s orbit earlier than dropping into Josep Gomes’ net. He was a good few toes offside when debutant Patrick Bamford performed him in, maybe the linesman simply needed to see what Lingard would do. It was price letting him play on.

It was to Andorra’s credit score that they stayed within the contest for so long as they did, although England wasted their share of probabilities together with a Conor Coady bicycle kick over the bar. It was the form of day the place the Wolverhampton Wanderers heart again was allowed to attempt these kinds of pictures. Making his debut on his birthday, Bamford was moderately starved of the service he wanted to mark that particular second with a purpose. Certainly not till he made method for Harry Kane did the second arrive, fellow substitutes Jack Grealish and Mason Mount combining to win a penalty that their captain transformed for his thirty ninth worldwide purpose.

Lingard quickly added the third, Saka reducing infield and teeing up the No. 10, whose top-spin shot bounced awkwardly in entrance of Gomes and reared over the Andorra goalkeeper. Roles had been reversed for the fourth as Trent Alexander-Arnold took a fast nook to Lingard, a drilled cross flicked in by Saka as he celebrated his birthday — and return to Wembley after his miss within the Euro 2020 remaining penalty shootout — in fashion.

Bale the hero in important Wales win

England is probably not the one one of many “residence nations” to succeed in Qatar subsequent winter with Wales firmly within the hunt for a top-two berth of their group after an exciting late win over Belarus in Kazan, Russia. As has so typically been the case of their latest footballing historical past Gareth Bale was the Welsh hero, his hat trick turning what threatened to be a dangerous defeat for Rob Web page’s aspect into a significant win.

Bale’s first two objectives got here from the penalty spot, opening the scoring within the sixth minute and drawing the nominally away aspect degree within the 69th minute after objectives from Vitali Lisakovich and Pavel Sedko put the Belarussians forward in an exciting interval across the half hour. It appeared like Wales, with out 4 injured starters together with Aaron Ramsey and with a number of gamers unable to make the journey to Russia as a consequence of visa points, had been set for a dangerous loss in what’s shaping as much as be a tightly contested group because the clock ticked past the hour mark.

Nevertheless a slipshod foul by Max Ebong as Ben Davies flew by the air gave Bale an opportunity to attract the sport equal, one he took with composure. If the primary two objectives had not examined the Actual Madrid man’s approach his late winner requested loads of Wales’ file scorer.  Substitute Mark Harris pressured the problem in added time, discovering house within the left aspect of the field and squirming an effort that was simply cleared in entrance of the purpose line by a recovering defender. Belarus couldn’t have wished for a worse opponent to see ready for the rebound. Off steadiness and transferring away from purpose, Bale did fantastically to hook his left foot across the ball with enough tempo to beat Sergei Chernik as he scrambled again. 

He had not scored a global purpose in two years however it was price ready for that trio; with Belgium thumping the Czech Republic in Brussels in a while within the day Wales discovered themselves a degree off second having performed two fewer video games. A win or perhaps a attract Plzen subsequent month would put a top-two berth inside Welsh management. centesimal-cap-for-belgium-italy-drop-points/ | UEFA World Cup qualifying scores: Romelu Lukaku scores on A centesimal cap for Belgium; Italy drop factors


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