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World Cup qualifiers: Germany win to top group, late goal lifts Spain

Sports Lounge Staff



Serge Gnabry Germany

Berlin: Serge Gnabry’s first half goal ensured Germany won 1-0 in Romania and stayed top of World Cup qualifying Group J despite a string of missed chances in Bucharest.

Gnabry tapped in a 15th goal in 19 internationals in the 16th minute but coach Joachim Loew watched in growing frustration as Germany failed to make the game safe through a combination of poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping from Florin Nita on Sunday.

Dani Olmo’s injury-time strike gave Spain a 2-1 win in Georgia.

Georgian goalkeeper Giorgi Loria could only help Olmo’s rasping strike from 25 metres on its way into the top corner as Spain’s second-half pressure paid off and the sizeable crowd inside Tbilisi’s Boris Paichadze stadium was silenced.

Ferran Torres had equalised earlier in the second half for Spain, the Manchester City winger scoring his fifth goal from six starts for his country to cancel out Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s opener just before half-time.

But the late goal from RB Leipzig’s Olmo was vital for Luis Enrique’s side, who were held 1-1 at home by Greece in their first qualifier on Thursday.

The result also sees Spain extend their remarkable record of not having lost in 65 World Cup qualifiers going back 28 years to a 1-0 defeat in Denmark in March 1993.

Italy extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches as the Azzurri won 2-0 away to Bulgaria in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, claiming the second consecutive victory in this campaign.

Italy conquered Northern Ireland 2-0. They found the net until the 42nd minute as Belotti went down in the box, and the Torino hitman converted the penalty by himself.

Belotti should have bagged the brace in the 72nd minute as he lobbed the ball onto the upright and followed to blast it over.

Azzurri sealed the win with a great team work in the 82nd minute when Marco Verratti’s smart back-heeled pass found Lorenzo Insigne, who pulled back for substitute Manuel Locatelli to curl into the net, collecting his maiden goal for the senior level.

England have made it two wins out of two after they won 2-0 in Albania.

Goals from captain Harry Kane and midfielder Mason Mount secured three points for Gareth Southgate’s side, adding to their win over San Marino first time out.

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