World Cup UEFA Qualifiers – Hugo Lloris howler gift Sweden victory; Ronaldo scores twice but Switzerland stay top; Belgium maintain lead

​Group A

Belarus 2 – 1 Bulgaria

Netherlands 5 – 0 Luxembourg

Sweden 2 – 1 France

  • Sweden 2 – 1 France

A blunder from Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saw Sweden snatch a dramatic stoppage-time winner to open up the battle at the top of World Cup European qualifying Group A.

Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud fired Les Bleus into the lead in the 37th minute with a superb volley into the top corner after taking the ball down at the far post.

Sweden hit back just before the break when midfielder Jimmy Durmaz lashed in an angled drive.

Jakob Johansson and then France forward Antoine Griezmann both had chances before, with just seconds of three minutes of added time remaining, Spurs keeper Lloris dribbled the ball out of his penalty area only to scuff an attempted clearance.

Toulouse forward Ola Toivonen clipped a first-time effort over the keeper from just inside his own half, which bounced into an empty net to spark wild celebrations from the home fans at the Friends Arena as Sweden moved above France to the top of the table on goal difference.

Sweden have not qualified for the finals since 2006.

  • Netherlands 5 – 0 Luxembourg

Holland are now just three points behind Dick Advocaat won his first game back in charge of the Netherlands as the Dutch hammered Luxembourg 5-0 to boost their chances of World Cup qualification.

The former Sunderland boss, 69, is  starting his third spell as national  team boss.

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben put the Netherlands ahead after 21 minutes.

Veteran midfielder Wesley Sneijder – making a record 131st international appearance on his 33rd birthday – slotted in a second after 35 minutes.

Advocaat, who was named as Danny Blind’s successor in May, saw his side go further ahead on the hour through Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Quincy Promes headed in a fourth with 20 minutes left, with a late penalty from Tottenham forward Vincent Janssen completing the rout.

  • Belarus 2 – 1 Bulgaria

Bulgaria, who had been third, slipped to a 2-1 defeat inBelarus.

The hosts went ahead after 33 minutes through a penalty from Mikhail Sivakov and a fine individual effort from Pavel Savitskiy sealed victory with 10 minutes left.

Georgi Kostadinov netted a consolation for Bulgaria in stoppage time.

Group B

Andorra 1 – 0 Hungary

Faroe Islands 0 – 2 Switzerland

Latvia 0 – 3 Portugal

  • Latvia 0 – 3 Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo scored two close-range headers as Portugal won 3-0 in Latvia.

Ronaldo – whose double helped Real Madrid win the Champions League final in Cardiff last Saturday – nodded Portugal in front five minutes before half-time after Jose Fonte’s header came back off the crossbar.

The 32-year-old headed in a second from almost on the goalline after 61 minutes, with Porto striker Andre Silva adding a third six minutes later.

  • Faroe Islands 0 – 2 Switzerland

Switzerland kept themselves ahead of Portugal at the top of Group B with a 2-0 away win over the Faroe Islands.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka put the Swiss ahead in the 36th minute with a low shot and Stoke playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri’s neat angled finish wrapped things up after 56 minutes.

  • Andorra 1 – 0 Hungary

Andorra moved off the bottom of the table with a shock 1-0 win over Hungary at Estadi Nacional where a header from Marc Rebes brought to an end a run of 66 competitive matches without a victory.


Group H

Bosnia-Herzegovina 0 – 0 Greece

Estonia 0 – 2 Belgium

Gibraltar 1 – 2 Cyprus

  • Estonia 0 – 2 Belgium

Belgium maintained their lead atop Group H with a 2-0 defeat of Estonia, who finished with 10 men at the A. Le Coq Arena.

The Belgians are yet to lose in qualifying thus far, taking 16 points from six matches, and were on the scoreboard after the half-hour.

Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the right was mishandled by Estonia goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu into the path of Dries Mertens, who comfortably slotted home at the far post.

Belgium then put the game away in the 86th minute through Nacer Chadli, who slotted home a De Bruyne pass from close range.

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 0 – 0 Greece

Second-placed Greece battled to a goalless draw away to Bosnia-Herzegovina, who remain a point behind.

The draw puts Greece in the playoff position on 12 points from six matches, while the hosts sit on 11.

  • Gibraltar 1 – 2 Cyprus

Fourth-placed Cyprus rallied to defeat last-placed Gibraltar 2-1.

Roy Chipolina’s own goal gave the visitors an early advantage in the 10th minute — the defender leaping to cut off a Konstantinos Charalampidis chipped ball into the area and inadvertently looping his header over onrushing keeper Deren Ibrahim and into the empty net.

Gibraltar responded, though, 20 minutes later through Anthony Hernandez, who received a through-ball in the area and curled his right-footed shot around the keeper.

Cyprus then went in front for good in the 87th minute — Pieros Sotiriou heading home Jason Demetriou’s cross from the centre of the box to give the Cypriots a valuable three points.


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