Italy set new unbeaten record

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 00:00 |
Italy’s midfielder Jorginho (C) reacts after missing a penalty kick during the World Cup 2022 qualifier football match between Switzerland and Italy, on September 5, 2021 at St Jakob-Park stadium in Basel. Photo/AFP

Paris,  Monday

Italy broke the world record for the longest unbeaten run in international football with a goalless draw at Switzerland on Sunday, while Germany got their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track by thrashing Armenia 6-0.

European champions Italy should have taken all three points, but Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved Jorginho’s second-half penalty.

The Azzurri remain top of Group C, four points above Switzerland who have two games in hand.

Italy are bidding to banish the memories of their shock failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The group winners automatically reach next year’s finals in Qatar, with the runners-up heading into the play-offs.

The Germans brushed off the cobwebs of their underwhelming 2-0 win over Liechtenstein in Hansi Flick’s first match in charge by thrashing previous leaders Armenia to go top of Group J.

Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry scored twice in the first 15 minutes.

Timo Werner set up Marco Reus, who was recalled by Flick, to put the result beyond doubt before netting himself to complete a dominant opening 45 minutes.

The home crowd in Stuttgart were given a fifth goal to cheer by Jonas Hofmann early in the second period, before the four-time world champions added further gloss in added time through 19-year-old debutant Karim Adeyemi.

A shock home loss to North Macedonia earlier this year had put Germany’s qualification in danger.

A much-changed England laboured for long periods before seeing off Andorra 4-0 in their first match at Wembley since their Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy on penalties.

Jesse Lingard, who missed out on Gareth Southgate’s Euro squad, put the hosts ahead in the 18th minute, but a second goal did not arrive until substitute Harry Kane’s penalty 18 minutes from time.

England, for whom Southgate made 11 changes, did enjoy a late goal spree as Lingard netted a second and Bukayo Saka marked his birthday by finding the net.

England have won all five of their matches in Group I and visit Poland, who they lead by five points, on Wednesday.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice and Adam Buksa grabbed a hat-trick as the second-placed Poles hammered San Marino 7-1.

Spain, who are in danger of not qualifying automatically, thrashed Georgia 4-0 in Badajoz.

Belgium put one foot in Qatar with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic which saw Romelu Lukaku mark his 100th cap with a goal.  - AFP

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