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Football Reporting


Antoine Griezmann edges France to World Cup qualifying victory, Spain, Italy, Denmark also win

Spain pulled off a convincing 3-1 win at home to Kosovo in World Cup qualifying Group B, despite a poor error from goalkeeper Unai Simon.

Dani Olmo gave Spain a deserved lead in the 34th minute with a delicate chip to add to his stoppage-time winner against Georgia in their previous outing, while Ferran Torres fired in the second goal two minutes later.

Spain looked in total control as they dominated possession and played with purpose but they allowed Kosovo back into the game in the 70th minute when Simon lost the ball after rushing out of his box and Besar Halimi ruthlessly pounced and scored from a distance.

World Cup Qualification UEFA

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The home side promptly restored their two-goal cushion five minutes later though thanks to a header from Gerard Moreno and saw out the win to move top of Group B with seven points after three games.

Antoine Griezmann struck again as France extended their Group D lead to four points with an unconvincing 1-0 away win against Bosnia.

Griezmann, who scored in last Wednesday’s opening game against Ukraine, put the world champions on seven points from three games.

Ukraine, who were held to a 1-1 home draw by Kazakhstan, have three points with Finland on two points from two matches.

Bosnia, who have not won in their last 11 outings, lie fourth with one point.

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Goals from Stefano Sensi and Ciro Immobile earned Italy a 2-0 victory over Lithuania as Roberto Mancini’s side made it three wins from three games in Group C.

Mancini made 10 changes to the side who beat Bulgaria 2-0 on Sunday and it showed as the visitors struggled to break down Lithuania on their artificial pitch in the opening period.

After the break however, Italy stepped up a gear, with halftime substitute Sensi firing the opener two minutes into the second half, before Immobile converted a stoppage-time penalty to make sure of the three points.

Another comfortable victory sees Italy remain top of their group on nine points after a sixth win in a row, with the Azzurri not conceding a single goal in that run.

Substitute Andreas Skov Olsen scored twice in a scintillating second half as Denmark made it three World Cup qualifying wins out of three with a 4-0 demolition of Austria in Group F.

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Denmark, who crushed Moldova 8-0 on Sunday, top the standings on nine points with 12 goals scored and none conceded. Scotland are second on five points, one ahead of Israel and Austria.

After a tight first half in which Joakim Maehle went closest to breaking the deadlock for the Danes, the game opened up and the introduction of Skov Olsen for Yussuf Poulsen in the 55th minute proved pivotal.

Three minutes after that switch, midfielder Thomas Delaney got free down the left and played a brilliant angled pass that left Olsen the simple task of smashing it into the net.

Maehle made it two five minutes later before Martin Braithwaite kept his cool in a race against keeper Alexander Schlager, jumping over the ball before squaring it for Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg to score Denmark’s third.

Olsen rounded out the scoring with his second, latching on to a long ball and twisting inside and then out before firing a left-foot rocket past Schlager in the 74th minute.

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