World Sports News in Brief

Soccer-Germany stroll to opening win over Iceland

Friday, 2021-03-26 09:12:56
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Soccer Football - World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group J - Germany v Iceland - MSV-Arena, Duisburg, Germany - March 25, 2021 Germany's Kai Havertz scores their second goal as Iceland's Hannes Halldorsson attempts to make a save. (Reuters)
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Germany made light work of their start to the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign after goals from Leon Goretzka, Kai Havertz and Ilkay Gundogan gave them a 3-0 home win over Iceland in a lopsided Group J clash on Thursday.

Goretzka and Havertz fired the Germans into a 2-0 lead inside the opening seven minutes before Gundogan sealed victory with a sizzling low shot from 25 metres in the 56th.

* Striker Jonas Wind created a goal for Martin Braithwaite and scored another himself to get Denmark off to a good start in their World Cup qualifying campaign as they cruised to a 2-0 win away to Israel in Group F on Thursday.

* England kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of San Marino on Thursday (Mar 25) as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice and Ollie Watkins marked his debut with a goal.

* Italy made a comfortable start to the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign by beating Northern Ireland 2-0 in Group C on Thursday. First-half goals from Domenico Berardi and Ciro Immobile settled Italy's nerves as they look to banish the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

* Spain were left frustrated after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifying Group B fixture on Thursday.

* Robert Lewandowski struck a thunderous 83rd-minute equaliser as Poland fought back to earn a 3-3 draw with Hungary in a pulsating World Cup Group I qualifier at the Puskas Arena on Thursday.

* Scotland twice came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw with Austria in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifying Group F tie on Thursday.

* Tajikistan handed bottom side Mongolia a 3-0 defeat in Dushanbe on Thursday as the second round of Asia's World Cup qualifying campaign resumed on Thursday after an almost 18-month pause.

* Three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka faces a few weeks on the sidelines after having an operation on his left foot for a niggling problem, the Swiss said on Thursday.

* First half goals from debutant Miki Yamane and Daichi Kamada set Japan up for a comfortable 3-0 friendly win over great rivals the Republic of Korea at Yokohama International Stadium on Thursday (Mar 25) evening.

* The 2021-22 Premier League season will begin on Aug 14 and end on May 22 following an agreement with shareholders, the English top-flight said in a statement on Thursday (Mar 25). The final match round of the campaign will take place on May 22, 2022 when all games will kick off simultaneously, it added.

* Bilbao is set to be named as the starting point for the 2023 Tour de France, local media reported on Thursday. Bilbao-based El Correo newspaper reported that the city will host the first two stages of cycling's most prestigious race, including the Grand Depart, in two years' time.

* World No.1 Ash Barty faced down a match point against qualifier Kristina Kucova at the Miami Open on Thursday before clawing her way back for a 6-3 4-6 7-5 victory in the Australian's first match outside her home country in more than a year.

* France midfielder N'Golo Kante will return to Chelsea after sustaining a hamstring injury on international duty, the country's soccer federation (FFF) said. The 29-year-old felt some discomfort towards the end of France's 1-1 draw with Ukraine in Wednesday's 2022 World Cup qualifier.

Reuters, CNA