Spain outdo Italy on good night for Serbia and Ukraine

UEFA.com has highlights of every qualifier; Saturday’s games will be available to view from 24:00CET on Sunday.

Group D

Serbia 3-0 Moldova
Serbia opened up a two-point lead over the Republic of Ireland, who they visit on Tuesday, thanks to a comfortable victory in rainy Belgrade. Mijat Gačinović and Aleksandar Kolarov struck in the first half-hour and late on Aleksandar Mitrović claimed his sixth goal in his last five qualifiers


©AFP/Getty Images

Georgia 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Ireland lost ground despite taking a fourth-minute lead through Shane Duffy, who headed his first international goal. Valeri Kazaishvili gave Georgia a deserved equaliser after being set up by a mazy Jano Ananidze run in the 34th minute and although the home side were unable to produce their first win in the group, they ended their run of having lost all eight previous meetings with Ireland.

Wales 1-0 Austria
Wales closed the gap on second-placed Ireland to two points with a crucial win, thanks to a teenage debutant. Seventeen-year-old Ben Woodburn – who had only come on five minutes earlier – marked his first international appearance in spectacular fashion, curling a low 25-metre shot into the corner of the net with 16 minutes left. Austria, in fourth, are now five points off second place with three games to go.

Group G

Spain 3-0 Italy
Isco was Spain’s hero as he scored twice to take his team three points clear of Italy. The opener was a brilliant 14th-minute free-kick while his second, not long before half-time, was also from outside the box. The third arrived with 13 minutes left as Sergio Ramos centred for Álvaro Morata to slot in. Italy’s 11-year, 56-game unbeaten run in all qualifiers is now over; Spain’s 60-match run without defeat in World Cup preliminaries, that began in November 1993, continues.


©AFP/Getty Images

Albania 2-0 Liechtenstein
Albania kept up their hopes of an unlikely top-two finish, closing the gap on Italy to four points with a routine victory in Tirana. The home team controlled the first period but were made to wait until nine minutes into the second for the breakthrough, Odise Roshi touching in Migjen Basha’s low drive from close range. Captain Ansi Agolli clinched the points with a fine curling low strike 12 minutes from time after cutting in from the left.

Israel 0-1 FYR Macedonia
Israel also could have moved to within four points of their hosts on Tuesday, Italy, but instead are seven adrift after Goran Pandev struck to double FYR Macedonia’s points tally to six. It was Pandev’s first competitive international goal in nine years and he is the first FYR Macedonia player to score 30 in all matches for his country.

Group I


©AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine 2-0 Turkey
The home side moved top of the table thanks mainly to a dominant first-half display in Kharkiv, and an Andriy Yarmolenko double. The Ukraine No7 rounded off a swift passing move by steering in a mis-hit Viktor Kovalenko shot to open the scoring in the 18th minute; three minutes before half-time, Borussia Dortmund’s new signing kept his head to calmly evade a collection of defenders and slot in Yevhen Konoplyanka’s pull-back to make it 2-0. Turkey, three points behind Ukraine, now need a good result at home to Croatia on Tuesday.

Finland 1-0 Iceland
Alexander Ring’s fine early free-kick – only the New York City FC midfielder’s second goal for his country on his 44th international appearance – proved enough for Finland’s first win in Group I, a result that badly damages Iceland’s hopes of a finals place. The visitors remain on 13 points, level with Croatia having now played a game more and a point behind Ukraine, who Iceland host on Tuesday.

Croatia A-A Kosovo
Match abandoned in 22nd minute after heavy rain. Croatia are a point behind Ukraine and level with Iceland though have this game in hand on both.

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