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PIX: Germany crush Estonia 8-0; Italy, France win

June 12, 2019 14:17 IST

Images from the Euro 2020 qualifying matches played on Tuesday.

IMAGE: Germany's players celebrate after Serge Gnabry scored their sixth goal. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Germany scored five times in 27 minutes in the first half to crush Estonia 8-0 on Tuesday and make it three wins in three Euro 2020 Group C qualifiers.

 

The Germans are now on nine points, three behind group leaders Northern Ireland, who have four wins from four but needed an 86th minute winner by Paddy McNair to edge past hosts Belarus 1-0.

Germany got off to an explosive start and two goals from Marco Reus and one from Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Ilkay Guendogan's penalty saw them kill off the game by the 37th minute.

Their quick, flowing football gave their opponents no chance even when they piled 10 outfield players into the box.

Reus' second goal, a superb free kick from 20 metres, was Germany's first free kick goal since 2007.

IMAGE: Germany's Leroy Sane scores their eighth goal. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Gnabry then grabbed his second goal after the break before Timo Werner and Leroy Sane also got on the scoresheet in a completely one-sided encounter that also confirmed Germany's improving form.

The Germans are looking to rebuild after their woeful World Cup first round exit last year along with their Nations League relegation. They also beat Belarus 2-0 on Saturday.

"We wanted to score more goals than we did against Belarus and we managed that," Reus, who also hit the woodwork, told reporters.

"We did it very well in the opening half hour, we had really good rhythm and our passing game was outstanding."

Germany next play Netherlands on Sept 6 while Northern Ireland, who have won four games in a row at the start of a qualifying campaign for the first time, host Germany on September 9.

France enjoy therapeutic win at Andorra

IMAGE: France's Kylian Mbappe, right, in action. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

France eased to a 4-0 win away to minnows Andorra on Tuesday to return to the top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group H after their recent shock defeat to Turkey.

Kylian Mbappe put the World Cup holders in charge with a cool chipped finish in the 11th minute which was also the 20-year-old's 100th career goal.

Wissam Ben Yedder and then Florian Thauvin further stretched their lead before halftime with the help of some scrappy goalkeeping from Andorra's Josep Gomes, each scoring for the first time for their country.

Defender Kurt Zouma struck the fourth goal on the hour mark, also opening his account for France, heading towards goal from a corner then pouncing on the rebound to bundle the ball into the net after his first effort was parried by Gomes.

The victory eased the pain of last week's 2-0 reverse to Turkey and took France to the top of Group H on goal difference, locked on nine points with second-placed Turkey and third-placed Iceland.

Iceland beat Turkey 2-1 at home while Albania beat Moldova 2-0 at home to go fourth on six points, while Andorra remain stuck to the bottom of the group without a single point.

Iceland's game with Turkey took place amid tensions between the two nations after the visiting side complained of being made to wait for three hours at passport control a day earlier at Keflavik airport and being subjected to bag searches.

A man, apparently as a joke, also approached the players at arrivals and thrust a dish-scouring brush in their faces, mimicking the TV microphones around him, prompting Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman to complain about the "unacceptable disrespect" the team had been shown.

Defender Ragnar Sigurdsson gave Iceland the lead in the 21st minute with a header from close range following a corner and struck again 11 minutes later, again heading home following a well-worked corner routine.

Turkey responded with a headed goal of their own from a corner by Dorukhan Tokoz shortly before halftime but could not find an equaliser and saw their perfect start to qualifying halted.

Turkey coach Senol Gunes did not answer questions about the team's treatment at the airport after the game but blamed his side's performance on fatigue.

Italy rally to beat Bosnia

IMAGE: Italy's players celebrate after Marco Verratti scored their first goal. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Italy came from behind to maintain their perfect start to Euro 2020 qualifying with a 2-1 Group J win over Bosnia in Turin on Tuesday, while Greece fell to a shock defeat at home to Armenia.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy went into the game on the back of three consecutive victories, in which they had scored 11 times and not conceded a single goal.

However, AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko threatened an upset when he finished off a well-worked team move in the first half to put the visitors in front.

The hosts responded almost immediately after the break through a spectacular equaliser from Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, who smashed in a volley from the edge of the box directly from a corner.

Insigne was involved again for the winner, teeing up Marco Verratti for the midfielder to slot a low shot into the corner with four minutes remaining.

Italy remain at the summit of the group on 12 points, with surprise package Finland their nearest challengers in second place on nine points following a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein in Vaduz.

There was a big upset in Athens as Greece were beaten 3-2 by Armenia, who are ranked 106th in the world by FIFA.

The visitors were 2-0 up by halftime but Carlos Zeca pulled one back for the Greeks, only for Tigran Barseghyan to restore the two-goal cushion with 16 minutes remaining.

Kostas Fortounis struck for the home side late on to reduce the deficit again, but it was not enough as Armenia leapfrogged Greece into third place on six points.

Greece have picked up four points from their opening four matches and occupy fourth place, level with Bosnia.

Lukaku double helps Belgium thrash Scotland

IMAGE: Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne, centre, celebrates scoring their third goal with Romelu Lukaku, left, and Axel Witsel . Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Romelu Lukaku scored with two close-range finishes as Belgium beat Scotland 3-0 at the King Baudouin Stadium on Tuesday to secure a fourth straight win in Euro 2020 qualifying and move clear of the chasing pack in Group I.

Kevin De Bruyne added a third goal in stoppage time as a full-strength Belgium side, who top the FIFA rankings, dominated the Scots from the start.

Yet the likes of De Bruyne and Eden Hazard were unable to make a breakthrough until right on halftime, when Hazard scooped the ball up in the air from the byline for Lukaku to head home.

The Manchester United striker then netted his 48th international goal as he followed-up a shot by De Bruyne that was parried into his path by Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall in the 57th minute.

Lukaku put two efforts narrowly wide as he went in search of his hat-trick while Scotland could have pulled one back on a rare counter attack in the 85th minute.

Yet even with Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois out of position, the ball got stuck between the legs of first Ryan Fraser and then Oliver Burke and the opportunity was lost.

Russia are second in the group with nine points after beating Cyprus 1-0 in Nizhny Novgorod with Aleksey Ionov scoring in the 38th minute.

The narrow margin of victory contrasted with the 9-0 home win they had over San Marino on Saturday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kazakhstan beat San Marino 4-0 for a second win in the group, although it took them until just before halftime to break the deadlock.

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