Bulgaria hinders Italy’s start, Northern Ireland beat Lithuania in World Cup qualifiers

Rome: In its first appearance after winning the European football championships, Italy dropped to 1-1 with Bulgaria visiting Thursday in the fourth round of group C of the European qualifiers for the World Cup in program in Qatar next year, which saw a big win for Northern Ireland 4/1 against host Lithuania. Despite the draw, Italy remained in lead the group with 10 points in four games, four points clear of their closest rival, Switzerland, who have only played two games, while Northern Ireland finished third with four points in three games. The Bulgarian team was in fourth place with two points in 4 games, while the Lithuanian team remained in bottom of the standings without points, after losing the three games played in the group. Italy advanced with Federico Chiesa in the 16 ‘, but Atanas Iliev equalized for Bulgaria in the 39′, depriving the Italian team of full points, after interrupting the streak of consecutive victories, continued in the first three matches of the group. Northern Ireland scored their first group win, thanks to a 4-1 win over Lithuania. Daniel Ballar scored for Northern Ireland in the 20th minute, then Connor Washington scored the second goal in the 52nd minute from a penalty. Rolandas Paravikas narrowed the difference by scoring a goal for Lithuania in the 55th minute, but Shane Lavery and Paddy McNair scored the visitors’ third and fourth goals in the 67th and 82nd minutes respectively from a penalty. (Dpa)

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