Italy picked up An first win since the lifting of the Euro 2020 trophy by Lithuania met 5-0, while Spain and Germany both won but Sweden was amazed at Greece.
Young strikers Moise Kean and Giacomo Raspadori inspired Lithuania’s beating to strengthen Italy’s grip on first place in Group C.
The two 21-year-oldies lit up the first half like Kean scored twice of side of an Edgaras Utku’s own goal and a strike by Raspadori, which caused his first start for his country.
It was the first time Italy, who endured frustrating draws against Bulgaria and Switzerland in their previous two qualifiers, had ever scored four goals in the first 30 minutes of An match.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo by accident added a fifth then be second-half cross shot nested in the bottom corner, like Roberto Mancini’s side comfortable extended their record international unbeaten run up to 37 matches.
In the group is different game Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s penalty save earned Northern Ireland a point while they fought out an often intense but ultimately 0-0 draw against Switzerland in windsor park.
Group B: Spain scrape past Kosovo defeated Sweden
Goals by Pablo Fornals and Ferran Torres earned Spain a 2-0 win away to Kosovo and dragged them back in automatic qualification conflicts.
Fornals produced a nice almost-post finish from the corner on 32 minutes after smart build-up play by Carlos Soler and Ivaro Morata.
Spain dominated the ball for large parts of the game, but were almost undone on countless occasions as their high defensive line was exploited by the hosts.
They were indebted to licentious workmanship, in in especially of Vedat Muriqi, who walked clear on goal but put his shot wide of Unai Simon’s left-hand post.
Simon then almost gifted the hosts an equalizer as he raced out of to be box long meet ball over the top, only to get in a mess with Inigo Martinez.
Athletic Bilbao’s stopper was just in able to climb back and stop Florian Loshaj’s attempt to keep Spain ahead.
It turned out to be a crucial save when Torres went on to seal the win in the 90th minute of a counter-attack. After initially being flagged for offside, the goal was awarded after a VAR check.
Sweden found himself on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat to Greece to end their perfect start to the group, and now sits four points behind Spain has played two games less.
Captain Tasos Basaketas fired the hosts ahead on the hour before Vangelis Pavlidis doubled the advantage in the closing phases. Sweden pulled one back leave on via Robin Quaison, but Greece held out on.
Group J: Germany punches Iceland
Winger Leroy Sané scored one goal and made another if Germany made it three wins in a row with a resounding 4-0 victory over Iceland.
The Germans took the lead in the fifth minute when Sané played in Serge Gnabry to score, and after a long VAR review for An possible offside, the goal was standing.
The visitors added An second 20 minutes later when Antonio Rüdiger was left unmarked to score with a header from a free kick by Joshua Kimmich.
Iceland almost pulled one back at the start of the second half when the curled effort of Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit the post and Albert Gudmundsson fired home the rebound, but he was offside in the build-up and the goal was limed off.
A constant threat with his quick dribbling and precise passing, Sane effectively killed the game off when he ball in the roof of the net after another fluent German attack 11 minutes in the second half.
Kai Havertz wasted a three-on-one chance by firing narrow broad with the goal at his mercy and Timo Werner on the one of other way failed to put Lukas Klostermann’s pass in an empty net.
Werner made improves by adding a late fourth that hit the left-hand post and bounced out before turning back over the line to round off an encouraging team performance.
second placed Armenia lost ground in their dim hope of catching Germany with a 1-1 draw at home until Liechtenstein, with a goalless draw between North Macedonia and Romania also neither do either of their hope much good.
Group E: Belgium edge Belarus, Estonia dents Wales hopes
Dennis Praet’s first-half goal a narrow 1-0 away safely win for Belgium over Belarus in Kazan to move them closer to World Cup qualifiers.
The 33rd minute strike of the midfielder maintained the Belgian unbeaten run in Group E when they advanced to 16 points, nine points forward of Czech Republic, who have played one game less, and Wales, who have two games in hand.
Praet sent a quick try wide of Belarus goalkeeper Sergei Chernik after he teed up by a short pass by Alexis Saelemaekers, two minutes after Michy Batshuayi de ball in the net but his attempt was disallowed for offside.
Belarus, who didn’t bother Belgium in the game, have now lost four of five qualifications and sit second from below in the group.
Wales’ hopes of automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup took a big hit as Estonia ground out a 0-0 draw in the Cardiff City Stadium.
Seven sit points off Belgium with two games in hand, Robert Pages team failed create enough against An side almost 100 places ranked below them and missed out on a much needed three points to stay in to touch with the group leaders.
Gareth Bale hit the woodwork late in the game on the rebound of his own effort, while Tyler Roberts was denied by Karl Hein when played clean and Harry Wilson side-foot wide from a good position in the opening minute.
Group I: Albania go second with spanking, England loved in Poland
Albania went forward of Poland go inside second place in Group I thanks to a 5-0 thump of minnows San Marino.
Rey Manaj fired the hosts in front with further goals from Qazim Laci, Chelsea striker Armando Broja, Elseid Hysaj and Myrto Uzini moving them one point further of Poland.
Hungary also moved in conflict for An play-off place with a 2-1 win over Andorra, and had to have a late scare on the way to victory.
Adam Szalai gave them the lead from the spot after nine minutes before Endre Botka doubled the lead.
But without more goals to show for their dominance, Hungary were linked back by Max Llovera’s late strike, before he on for victory.
England’s perfect start to World Cup qualifying ended up in dramatic fashion, with An last-panting equalizer grab Poland a 1-1 draw in Warsaw against Gareth Southgate’s side.
The visitors had been on of course to make it six beats six in Group I thanks to Harry Kane’s stunning long-range strike (72) only two minutes in stoppage time Robert Lewandowski stuck over for Damian Szymanski to head in at the back post.
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