World Cup Qualifiers: UEFA – Spain stroll to victory;  Coleman suffers broken leg as Wales draw with Ireland

​Group D

Georgia 1 – 3 Serbia

Austria 2 – 0 Moldova

Ireland 0 – 0 Wales

  • Ireland 0 – 0 Wales

Wales’ hopes of World Cup qualification look increasingly remote following a goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland, whose captain Seamus Coleman suffered a broken leg after a wild tackle that led to Neil Taylor being sent off.

The hosts seemed content to play for a draw as their deep-lying and stubborn defence shackled Wales – and the visitors’ lack of creativity and incision contributed to an underwhelming encounter.

Gareth Bale twice went close for Wales, but their task became a daunting one after 69 minutes as Taylor was shown a straight red card for his lunge on Coleman, who was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital.

That incident lit the fuse for a tempestuous atmosphere that appeared to inspire the Republic, but despite their push for a late winner, Martin O’Neill’s side had to settle for a point and second place in Group D.

  • Georgia 1 – 3 Serbia

Serbia erased an early deficit to move top of Group D on goal difference with a 3-1 win away to Georgia.

Georgia’s Nika Katcharava pounced on a terrible back pass from Aleksandar Kolarov in the sixth minute.

But Serbia equalised on the stroke of half-time through a penalty from Dusan Tadic, who then provided assists for Aleksandar Mitrovic and Mijat Gacinovic to score in the second half.

  • Austria 2 – 0 Moldova

Marcel Sabitzer scored the opening goal before Martin Harnik’s late second as Austria edged Moldova 2-0 in Vienna.

The win puts the Austrians level on points with Wales, though they have an inferior goal difference.


Italy 2 – 0 Albania

Liechtenstein 0 – 3 FYR Macedonia

Spain 4 – 1 Israel

  • Italy 2 – 0 Albania

Gianluigi Buffon kept a clean sheet in his 1,000th professional appearance for club and country as Italy beat Albania 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Buffon had little to do in his 168th cap for Italy, making only one save as the Italians controlled the action in Palermo.

The opening goal came in the 12th minute after Migjen Basha hauled down Andrea Belotti in the box during a set piece, and Daniele De Rossi converted the penalty.

Visiting Albania fans threw flares on the pitch before the spot-kick, and in the second half the game was halted for nine minutes after large amounts of smoke were set off from the stands.

Ciro Immobile made sure of the points for Italy in the 71st minute, heading home following a set piece.

Italy remained level on points with Spain atop Group G, though La Roja hold first place on goal difference following a 4-1 win at home over Israel.

  • Spain 4 – 1 Israel

Diego Costa was among the scorers as Spain strolled to a 4-1 win at home to Israel in a World Cup Qualifier on Friday to stay top of their group.

Manchester City playmaker David Silva put Spain ahead in the 15th minute with a low shot through the legs of goalkeeper Ofir Marciano while Vitolo doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time just after Israel had squandered a chance to level.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa scored a fourth international goal in four games to put Spain 3-0 up early in the second half with a header from a corner although Israel striker Lior Rafaelov made amends for an earlier miss by pulling one back in the 76th minute.

Isco then restored Spain’s three-goal advantage in the 88th minute, rolling the ball into the near corner to complete a sweeping counter began by a burst forward from Costa from the halfway line.

Spain top Group G with 13 points from five games, ahead of Italy on goal difference. Israel are third on nine points and Albania are fourth on six.

The eventual winners will qualify directly for the 2018 World Cup in Russia while the second placed side will enter a two-leg play-off.

  • Liechtenstein 0 – 3 FYR Macedonia

Boban Nikolov scored before a Ilija Nestorovski brace gave Macedonia a 3-0 win at Liechtenstein in a battle of teams who had failed to earn a single point from their first four games.


Turkey 2 – 0 Finland

Croatia 1 – 0 Ukraine

Kosovo 1 – 2 Iceland

  • Croatia 1 – 0 Ukraine

Nikola Kalinic scored as Croatia held off Ukraine 1-0 to stay on top of Group I.

The only goal came in the 38th minute as Ivan Rakitic back-heeled a pass into the box for Kalinic, who turned and fired into the back of the net.

Croatia maintained a three-point lead over Iceland.

  • Kosovo 1 – 2 Iceland

Iceland, who are second after a 2-1 win against UEFA newcomers Kosovo in Albania.

Bjorn Sigurdarson scored the opener for the visitors on 25 minutes, before Gylfi Sigurdsson doubled the lead from the penalty spot 10 minutes later.

And though Atdhe Nuhiu got a goal back for Kosovo just seven minutes after the break, Iceland held on to move past Ukraine into second place.

  • Turkey 2 – 0 Finland

Turkey defeated Finland 2-0 thanks to a four-minute brace from Cenk Tosun.

The Besiktas forward opened the scoring in the ninth minute, bundling home an Olcay Sahan flick-on from point-blank range.

Tosun then collected his second in the 13th — the Turkey No. 9 rising and placing his pinpoint header past Finland keeper Lukas Hradecky from a Selcuk Inan corner kick.

The win revived Turkey’s hopes of qualifying from Group I, pulling them level on points with Ukraine and two points back of Iceland in second.


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