Three for Gnabry on debut, Armenia and France hit back

Serge Gnabry enjoyed a Germany debut to remember in a thumping victory over San Marino, as France and Armenia overturned one and two-goal deficits in registering home victories.

Two-goal Jonas Hector (right) celebrates with hat-trick scorer Serge Gnabry
Two-goal Jonas Hector (right) celebrates with hat-trick scorer Serge Gnabry ©Getty Images
  • Serge Gnabry scores hat-trick on debut as perfect Germany put eight past San Marino in sodden Serravalle
  • England consolidate top spot in Group F with 3-0 triumph over Scotland at Wembley
  • Armenia come from 2-0 behind to beat Montenegro 3-2 in Artur Petrosyan's first match
  • France overturn 1-0 deficit to defeat Sweden, Poland record 3-0 success in Romania 
  • Next fixtures in these sections, except Group A, on 26 March 2017

Group A
France 2-1 Sweden
France came from a goal down to maintain their unbeaten record in Group A, inflicting a first defeat on their visitors in the process. Emil Forsberg's deflected free-kick had put Sweden in front, but the lead proved short-lived as Dimitri Payet's set piece was headed in by Paul Pogba. Provider turned scorer when Antoine Griezmann pressed Sweden keeper Robin Olsen into spilling a long ball, Payet picking up the pieces to slot in the winner.

Michael Krmenčik (centre) celebrates his debut goal
Michael Krmenčik (centre) celebrates his debut goal©AFP/Getty Images

Group C
Czech Republic 2-1 Norway
It took Plzeň forward Michael Krmenčik 11 minutes to mark his Czech Republic debut with a goal, tapping into an empty net after unselfish play by Ladislav Krejčí. Slavia midfielder Jaromír Zmrhal doubled the hosts' advantage on his home ground early in the second half. The Czechs held on for their first victory in the section despite Joshua King's 87th-minute reply.   

Northern Ireland 4-0 Azerbaijan
Northern Ireland moved above Azerbaijan into second spot after this handsome success. Kyle Lafferty's 27th-minute opener was the first goal the visitors had conceded in the group and they were two down before the break, Gareth McAuley nodding in a Chris Brunt free-kick. Conor McLaughlin headed in his first at this level before Brunt added late gloss.

Germany's Jonas Hector (right) is congratulated
Germany's Jonas Hector (right) is congratulated©Getty Images

San Marino 0-8 Germany
Serge Gnabry struck three times on his senior international bow, his third a side-foot volley from a Thomas Müller cross, as the world champions emphatically extended their 100% record in the section. Left-back Jonas Hector got in on the act with two goals, both created by Mario Götze.

Group E
Armenia 3-2 Montenegro
Armenia recovered from 2-0 down at half-time to gain their first points. It was some turnaround by the home team in their first outing under coach Artur Petrosyan, whose side were firmly up against it when Stevan Jovetić doubled Montenegro's lead with a neat chip. Varazdat Haroyan, who plies his trade in Iran, equalised from close range. Gevorg Ghazaryan won it at the death with a long-range strike. 

Christian Eriksen was the star turn in Copenhagen
Christian Eriksen was the star turn in Copenhagen©AFP/Getty Images

Denmark 4-1 Kazakhstan
Christian Eriksen scored twice, including a stunning solo goal, as Denmark eased away from Kazakhstan. A sensational 30-metre drive from Gafurzhan Suyumbayev had cancelled out Andreas Cornelius's headed opener. The final goal, though, capped everything that went before it as Eriksen slalomed past two defenders before sweeping in his second in added time.

Romania 0-3 Poland
Kamil Grosicki registered a fine solo effort before Robert Lewandowski notched twice after the interval, including a late spot kick, as Romania suffered a first home reverse in 14. The Poland captain has now scored in nine consecutive European Qualifiers. The Group E leaders are three points clear of Montenegro and still unbeaten.

Wayne Rooney and England goalscorer Adam Lallana
Wayne Rooney and England goalscorer Adam Lallana©Getty Images

Group F
England 3-0 Scotland
Three headers gave Group F pacesetters England the points against their neighbours. The hosts grabbed the initiative midway through the first half, Raheem Sterling's cross rebounding to the advancing Kyle Walker and Daniel Sturridge reacting adroitly to steer in the right-back's driven cross. After Scotland started the second period on the front foot, Adam Lallana turned in a Danny Rose delivery and Gary Cahill then nodded in Wayne Rooney's corner.

Malta 0-1 Slovenia
The visitors stayed unbeaten in the section, though they were made to work hard for their victory. The only goal came two minutes after half-time, a smart finish to a clever move. Some well-worked passing gave Jasmin Kurtič time and space down the right and his centre was skilfully flicked in at the near post by Benjamin Verbič.

Slovakia 4-0 Lithuania
Two goals in four minutes put Slovakia in control before a quarter of an hour had elapsed, Adam Nemec's powerful header breaking the deadlock before Juraj Kucka doubled up with a fierce effort. Captain Martin Škrtel made it 3-0 from close range before half-time and Marek Hamšík volleyed a late fourth.

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