Italy salvage draw against Spain as Wales settle for point in Austria

A late Daniele De Rossi penalty for Italy rescued a 1-1 draw with Spain in World Cup qualifying at Juventus Stadium on Thursday.

Spain went ahead on a rare gaffe from Gianliugi Buffon on 55 minutes. The legendary goalkeeper charged out of his goal to meet a Sergio Busquets through ball only to completely miss his kick and allow Spain forward Vitolo to roll the ball into the vacant net.

Diego Costa was lucky not to see a second yellow card after the hour mark for kicking a ball after the offsides whistle had blown. Referee Felix Brych chose to give the Chelsea striker a stern warning before allowing play to continue.

Brych did rule in Italy’s favour in the 82nd minute, however, when, after deliberating with his line judge, he adjudged Sergio Ramos’ tackle in the box on Eder to be a penalty, which De Rossi stepped up and converted past a sprawling David De Gea.

Spain left-back Jordi Alba and Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo were each forced off with injuries in the first half. They were replaced by Nacho and Giacomo Bonaventura, respectively.

In Group D, a brace from Marko Arnautovic helped Austria rally twice to earn a 2-2 draw at home against Wales.

Joe Allen gave Wales the lead after 22 minutes with a powerful, long strike on the half-volley, only for his Stoke City teammate Arnautovic to answer six minutes later as he raced onto a David Alaba ball over the top.

Wales again went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer saved James Chester’s close-range header, but it rebounded off defender Kevin Wimmer and over the line.

But Arnautovic equalised a second time when he intercepted Allen’s pass, ran toward goal and finished past Wayne Hennessey.

Seamus Coleman scored the only goal as Republic of Ireland defeatedGeorgia 1-0.

Coleman made a strong run to the goal-line, stayed with the ball under pressure and tapped in for the breakthrough on 56th minutes.

Ireland, who could have scored more, appear likely to be without Robert Brady for their next qualifier after the midfielder suffered a head injury in the second half.

Dusan Tadic had a goal and two assists as Serbia cruised to a 3-0 win atMoldova.

Southampton’s Tadic won the ball from a defender and ran through on goal before passing across to Filip Kostic to tap in.

Branislav Ivanovic headed in a second following a well-worked set piece straight from the training ground, before Tadic capped the scoring himself just before the hour mark.

In Group I,  Euro 2016 heroes Iceland scored two late goals to turn an apparent defeat into a 3-2 win over Finland.

Teemu Pukki headed the visitors in front on 21 minutes, and though Kari Arnason answered with an equalising header on 37 minutes, it took only moments for Finland to retake the lead through Robin Lod’s shot from the top of the box.

But Finnbogason headed home right on 90 minutes to equalise, and Ragnar Sigurdsson, who missed a penalty earlier in the second half, bundled home the winner five minutes into stoppage time.

Mario Mandzukic recorded a hat trick in the first half to give Croatia a 6-0 win over Kosovo, who played their first-ever “home” qualifier in Albania.

Mandzukic ran onto a through ball from Andrej Kramaric to give Croatia the lead in the sixth minute, then doubled their advantage midway through the first half with a diving header.

The Juventus man then met Sime Vrsaljko’s through ball to put the game to bed after just 35 minutes.

And once Mandzukic came off on the hour mark, goals from Matej Mitrovic, Ivan Perisic and Nikola Kalinic followed as Croatia won easily.

Turkey fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Ukraine.

Andriy Yarmolenko opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Artem Kravets was fouled in the box, and three minutes later Kravets doubled Ukraine’s lead following a pass from Yarmolenko.

Ozan Tufan got a goal back for Turkey with a header following a corner in first-half stoppage time, and Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty completed the comeback after Taras Stepanenko pulled down Cenk Tosu with 10 minutes to play.

Also in Italy and Spain’s Group G, Israel managed a 2-1 win at Macedonia, Tomer Hemed heading in Eyal Golasa’s cross on 25 minutes before Tal Ben Chaim’s calm finish shortly before half-time.

Macedonia struck back after the hour mark through Ilija Nestorovski, but Israel held on to earn three points.

Albania top Group G after earning a 2-0 win at Liechtenstein, thanks to Jahmir Hyka’s header from close range, a shot that goalkeeper Peter Jehle fumbled over the line.

Bekim Balaj added a second goal in the 71st minute to seal Albania’s second-straight win.

espnfc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s