How did the UEFA EURO 2020 contenders get on in their opening European Qualifiers?
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Spain's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign got off to a stuttering start on Thursday, but there were more convincing displays from the likes of England, Germany and Italy. UEFA EURO 2020 contenders Hungary and Poland, meanwhile, shared a thrilling 3-3 draw, while North Macedonia suffered a dramatic defeat by Romania. Keep track of all the EURO teams' pre-tournament form, including recent results, line-ups and upcoming fixtures.
Group B: Spain 1-1 Greece, Sweden 1-0 Georgia
Group C: Italy 2-0 Northern Ireland, Bulgaria 1-3 Switzerland
Group F: Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands, Scotland 2-2 Austria, Israel 0-2 Denmark
Group I: Andorra 0-1 Albania, England 5-0 San Marino, Hungary 3-3 Poland
Group J: Germany 3-0 Iceland, Liechtenstein 0-1 Armenia, Romania 3-2 North Macedonia
The points were shared in Granada as Spain failed to beat Greece in the teams' first meeting since UEFA EURO 2008. Álvaro Morata opened the scoring 34 minutes in before Tasos Bakasetas tied the game from the spot just before the hour.
England eased past San Marino thanks to a Dominic Calvert-Lewin double as well as goals by James Ward-Prowse, captain Raheem Sterling and debutant Ollie Watkins. Visiting keeper Elia Benedettini prevented a more emphatic scoreline with several fine saves.
In their first fixture since head coach Joachim Löw announced his intention to step down this summer, Germany looked very comfortable against Iceland, with Leon Goretzka, Kai Havertz and İlkay Gündoğan all on the scoresheet.
After a quiet first half, Sasa Kalajdzic twice put the visitors in front only for Scotland to hit back on each occasion. Grant Hanley's header initially restored parity before John McGinn's late, audacious overhead kick ensured the spoils were shared.
Domenico Berardi smashed the Azzurri ahead from an angle on 14 minutes and Ciro Immobile drove in the second before the break, but a spirited second-half showing from the visitors had Italy rattled at times.
A six-goal thriller, with Robert Lewandowski rescuing a point for the visitors after substitutes Krzysztof Piątek and Kamil Jóźwiak had initially cancelled out the hosts' two-goal advantage. Willi Orbán was the player denied a Hungarian 'winner'.
Romania survived a late fightback to claim three points. Two goals in as many minutes from subs Arijan Ademi and Aleksandar Trajkovski erased the 2-0 lead given Romania by Florin Tănase and Valentin Mihăilă, but there was still time for Ianis Hagi to pop up with a clincher.
Jonas Wind played a central role for the Danes, his flick putting Martin Braithwaite in for a clever chipped finish for the early breakthrough. Wind volleyed the second in the second period, his third goal for his country on his fifth outing, to seal victory.
Much of the pre-match attention focused on the return of Zlatan Ibrahimović, and the Sweden star almost inevitably had a hand in the only goal, his clever flick allowing Viktor Claesson to turn in ten minutes before half-time. A fine save by Kristoffer Nordfeldt denied Levan Shengelia an equaliser.
Breel Embolo’s header launched a seven-minute Swiss flurry early on – Haris Seferović and Steven Zuber also on target. Despite a positive second half, Kiril Despodov managed Bulgaria’s only goal.
Group A: Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan, Serbia 3-2 Republic of Ireland
Group D: Finland 2-2 Bosnia and Herzegovina, France 1-1 Ukraine
Group E: Belgium 2-1 Wales, Estonia 2-6 Czech Republic
Group G: Gibraltar 0-3 Norway, Latvia 1-2 Montenegro, Turkey 4-2 Netherlands
Group H: Cyprus 0-0 Slovakia, Malta 1-3 Russia, Slovenia 1-0 Croatia
Two goals from Burak Yılmaz and one from Hakan Çalhanoğlu put the home team in charge, before Davy Klaassen and Luuk de Jong struck to set up a dramatic finale. However, Burak's fine free-kick completed his hat-trick and secured the win.
Antoine Griezmann's superb 19th-minute strike opened the scoring, and the world champions were seemingly cruising until Ukraine were rewarded for a dogged display, Serhiy Sydorchuk's second-half effort finding its way past Hugo Lloris.
Roberto Martínez’s side responded to Harry Wilson’s early opener with a typically emphatic attacking display. Kevin De Bruyne drilled them level, and Thorgan Hazard headed the Red Devils in front before the break, with Romelu Lukaku’s penalty sealing victory.
Next: Czech Republic vs Belgium (27/03), Wales vs Czech Republic (30/03)
The European champions dominated but only took three points thanks to Maksim Medvedev's own goal. Goalkeeper Shakhrudin Magomedaliyev was at fault for the winner, but did well to prevent Fernando Santos's 50th Portugal victory being more emphatic.
Estonia went ahead early but this was a splendid evening for the visitors crowned by Tomáš Souček's first international hat-trick. The West Ham man scored in the 32nd, 43rd and 48th minutes, but may find the going tougher against Belgium next time out.
Miroslav Stevanović denied Finland all three points with a late equaliser. The visitors led through Miralem Pjanić but Teemu Pukki’s quick double had Finland dreaming of victory until Stevanović struck six minutes from time.
Russia had to work for their points. It was 2-0 at half-time, Artem Dzyuba and Mário Fernandes on target, but Joseph Mbong’s super strike gave the hosts something to chase, and it was tense in the closing stages until Aleksandr Sobolev clinched the win.
Ivan Oblak pushed a Nikola Vlašić effort on to the post early on, but Croatia looked listless after conceding Sandi Lovrić’s 15th-minute goal, a composed Slovenia side keeping control to earn a first ever win in ten meetings with their neighbours.
Three big saves from Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka helped the visitors scramble a point from their group opener, albeit Slovakia substitute Ivan Schranz missed a great chance to earn all three points late on.