Denmark keeps its perfect campaign intact; England slams five past Andorra
Denmark added to the most perfect campaign in World Cup qualifying and England also eased toward winning its group. Wins for Scotland, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine moved each closer to at least a place in the playoffs next year with the finals tournament in Qatar in sight.
In Group F Denmark has put together perhaps the world’s best series of qualifying results as the runaway group leader while Scotland and Israel served up the most dramatic game on Saturday.
The Danes’ 4-0 win at Moldova was a seventh straight win with no goals conceded and a European-best 26 goals scored.
One day after he made the Ballon d’Or nomination list, defender and captain Simon Kjær’s goal from the penalty spot was one of four in 21 first-half minutes in Chisinau.
Scotland beat visiting Israel 3-2 in a tense game with control of second place in the group — and a playoffs berth in March — at stake.
In Group I, England cruised to yet another rout, 5-0 at Andorra, though is still only four points clear of surprise second-place Albania.
Five different players scored against the 156th-ranked Andorrans: Ben Chilwell and Bukayo Saka in the first half and Tammy Abraham, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish in the second.
In Group C, while Italy is hosting the Nations League Finals this week, Switzerland closed the gap to three points beating Northern Ireland 2-0.
In Group B, Sweden forward Alexander Isak scored a contender for best goal on Saturday in a 3-0 home win over Kosovo.
The Real Sociedad striker collected a pass on the left wing, put the ball through the legs of a challenger, then shot into the top corner from 25 metres.
The results: Group A: Azerbaijan 0 lost to Republic of Ireland 3 (Robinson 7, 39, Ogbene 90); Luxembourg 0 lost to Serbia 1 (Vlahovic 68).
Group B: Georgia 0 lost to Greece 2 (Bakasetas 90-pen, Pelkas 90+5); Sweden 3 (Forsberg 29-pen, Isak 62, Quaison 79) bt Kosovo 0.
Group C: Lithuania 3 (Lasickas 18, Cernych 82, 84) bt Bulgaria 1 (Despodov 64); Switzerland 2 (Zuber 45+3, Fassnacht 90+1) bt Northern Ireland 0.
Group D: Kazakhstan 0 lost to Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 (Prevljak 25, 66); Finland 1 (Pukki 29) lost to Ukraine 2 (Yarmolenko 4, Yaremchuk 34).
Group F: Scotland 3 (McGinn 30, Dykes 57, McTominay 90+4) bt Israel 2 (Zahavi 5, Dabbur 32); Faroe Islands 0 lost to Austria 2 (Laimer 26, Sabitzer 48); Moldova 0 lost to Denmark 4 (Skov Olsen 23, Kjaer 34-pen, Norgaard 39, Maehle 44).
Group I: Andorra 0 lost to England 5 (Chilwell 17, Saka 40, Abraham 59, Ward-Prowse 79, Grealish 86); Hungary 0 lost to Albania 1 (Broja 80); Poland 5 (Swiderski 10, Brolli 20-og, Kedziora 50, Buksa 84, Piatek 90+1) bt San Marino 0.
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