UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap: Hat tricks for Jovetic, Wagner, Lewandowski
UEFA World Cup qualifying’s sixth set of matches continued Saturday, with goals pouring into nets around Europe.
A trio of players netted hat tricks, while three road teams scooped up wins in the race for Russia 2018.
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Poland 3-1 Romania
Robert Lewandowski scored thrice, twice from the spot, as Poland remains in pole position for an automatic World Cup spot. The Eagles lead Denmark and Montenegro by six points, and next travels to the former.
Montenegro 4-1 Armenia
A day of hat tricks continued in Podgorica, where Stevan Jovetic scored in the 28th, 54th, and 82nd minutes.
Germany 7-0 San Marino
Sandro Wagner is making up for lost time. Hoffenheim’s big 29-year-old center forward nabbed a hat trick to give him three goals in three caps as the Germans ran rout over San Marino. Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi was also among the scorers.
Norway 1-1 Czech Republic
An Alexander Soderlund penalty gave the hosts an equalizer, but Norway knew a win was a must in this home encounter. The Czechs are now four points back of second place Northern Ireland in Group C.
Lithuania 1-2 Slovakia
Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamisk scored for a narrow road win, and Slovakia is within two points of leaders England.
Azerbaijan 0-1 Northern Ireland
Milli is a challenge, especially at home, and Northern Ireland needed 90-plus to find a winner. Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas did the trick in the second minute of stoppage time to keep NI in control of its second place destiny.
Kazakhstan 1-3 Denmark
Ajax teenage star Kasper Dolberg scored his first senior goal in stoppage time, and Spurs’ Christian Eriksen also scored as the visitors took all three points.
Scotland 2-2 England -- RECAP
A pair of Leigh Griffiths’ free kicks gave the Scots a late 2-1 lead, but Harry Kane scored an equalizer to keep England unbeaten in qualifying. England still hosts Slovenia and Slovakia, each of whom are within a win of the Three Lions.
Slovenia 2-0 Malta
Fiorentina veteran Josip Ilicic scored the opener, and 38-year-old Milivoje Novaković closed out the keep Slovenia within sight of England in Group F.