Mon, Jun 12, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Hat-tricks light up Euro World Cup qualifiers

AP

Poland’s Robert Lewandowski celebrates with the match ball after a game against Russia on Saturday at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland.

Photo: Reuters

While Harry Kane did not contribute to the glut of hat-tricks in European qualifying for the World Cup, the England striker grabbed a crucial equalizer on Saturday in a chaotic finale against Scotland.

A dramatic final six minutes in Group F at Glasgow’s Hampden Park saw Scotland come from 1-0 down to take the lead through two Leigh Griffiths free-kicks.

Kane, captain of England for the first time, volleyed home deep into stoppage-time to make it 2-2.

Things were simpler for Germany and Poland, who were aided by hat-tricks as the pair continued to dominate their groups.

Despite fielding a weakened team against minnow San Marino, Germany stayed perfect in Group C with a 7-0 win. Sandro Wagner scored a hat-trick on just his second appearance for Joachim Loew’s side.

Poland stayed unbeaten as Robert Lewandowski’s hat-trick took him level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring charts. Lewandowski scored two penalties during a 3-1 win over Romania.

However, that was not Group E’s only treble.

Stevan Jovetic scored Montenegro’s first ever hat-trick in a 4-1 victory over Armenia.

Kane, who has led the Premier League’s scoring charts for the last two seasons, had mixed emotions at full time.

GROUP C

It was only ever a question of how many goals Germany would score against San Marino at Grundig Stadium in Nuremberg, Germany.

Julian Draxler, one of the few regulars in a weakened Germany squad, opened the scoring before Wagner claimed his first international goal five minutes later, and he did not have to wait long before claiming his second, after fans indulged in waves.

Midfielder Amin Younes claimed his first goal for Germany before the break and there were more cheers after it when Shkodran Mustafi scored two minutes into the second half.

Fans needed a bit of patience before the sixth arrived courtesy of Julian Brandt, whose first international goal came in the 72nd, and Wagner completed the rout with five minutes remaining.

Norway and the Czech Republic played out a 1-1 draw in Oslo, as Theodor Gebre Selassie scored from close range 10 minutes before the break, but Norway’s Alexander Soderlund equalized from the penalty spot.

Northern Ireland took advantage of the result as Stuart Dallas scored an injury-time goal to consolidate second place in the group, five points behind Germany, but four clear of the third-placed Czech Republic.

Group E

Poland stayed six points clear as Lewandowski got on the score sheet for an 11th consecutive qualifying match. He emphatically headed home in the 57th before sealing his hat-trick with another penalty five minutes later.

Romania scored the goal of the night in the 77th through Bogdan Stancu’s stunning strike, but its qualifying hopes look bleak after losing ground to second and third-placed Montenegro and Denmark.

Montenegro started fast as Fatos Beciraj gave it the lead after just two minutes, before Jovetic took matters into his own hands. The captain doubled his side’s lead with a low strike in the 28th, and scored Montenegro’s 100th international goal to make it 3-0.

He saved the best until last, converting with a stunning scissor kick in the 82nd.

Ruslan Koryan bagged a late consolation for Armenia.

Denmark kept pace with Montengro in the race for second place as it beat 10-man Kazakhstan 3-1 in Almaty.

Nicolai Jorgensen opened the scoring in the 27th and Christian Eriksen added penalty before Islambek Kuat pulled one back for the home side, but substitute Kasper Dolberg sealed the win in the 81st.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top