England and France coast to Euro 2020 qualifying wins
BARCELONA – France and England moved top of their Euro 2020 qualifying groups as they strolled to easy wins on Saturday.
World champions France earned a comfortable 4-1 win over Albania with Kingsley Coman striking twice, while Harry Kane netted a hat-trick as England thrashed Bulgaria 4-0.
Iceland and Turkey are level on 12 points with France at the top of Group H after they beat Moldova and Andorra 3-0 and 1-0 respectively.
Kosovo are second in Group A behind England after a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic, extending their unbeaten run to 15 games.
Ukraine beat Lithuania 3-0 to march clear at the top of Group B, while Portugal won 4-2 in Serbia to go second.
France's game in Sant-Denis started inauspiciously as the Andorra national anthem was played instead of the Albanian, with the visitors not willing to kick-off until the situation was remedied.
However before the correct anthem was played the stadium announcer mistakenly issued the apology 'to Armenia'.
France were far slicker on the pitch and Bayern Munich's Coman was on target twice in an impressive display.
The winger was included in the starting line-up because of Paris St. Germain forward Kylian Mbappe's injury and took his chance with both hands.
Didier Deschamps's side took the lead after eight minutes when Coman finished calmly after a fine through pass from Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud doubled France's lead with a cool finish in the 27th minute.
Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann should have made it three but hit the crossbar with a penalty kick.
Coman netted his second after the break after a slick team move to give France's lead some deserved padding, with substitute Jonathan Ikone netting a fine fourth.
Hugo Lloris conceded a late penalty for France and could not keep out Sokol Cikalleshi's consolation.
Iceland thrashed Moldova 3-0 in Reykjavik to sit third, level on 12 points from five games with leaders France and Turkey.
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson broke the deadlock shortly after the half-hour mark as Iceland dominated the game.
Birkir Bjarnason grabbed the second from close range in the 55th minute, with Victor Mudrac's own goal completing the rout.
Turkey failed to break down Andorra in Istanbul until Ozan Tufan's 89th minute goal to earn a 1-0 win, denying Andorra their first ever point in a Euros qualifier.
Gareth Southgate's England moved top of Group A ahead of Kosovo with Kane bagging a treble against a weak Bulgaria.
Kane had an early goal disallowed for offside but was soon on the scoresheet when Bulgaria goalkeeper Plamen Iliev gifted Raheem Sterling the ball and he teed up the England skipper.
It was the only strike of a dull first half at Wembley but Kane doubled his tally from the penalty spot early in the second period when Nikolay Bodurov brought down Marcus Rashford.
Kane set up Sterling for the third after 55 minutes as England ripped apart their opponents.
The Tottenham striker added his third from the penalty spot as England saw out the game in style.
"In a game like this you have got to make sure the concentration is right. I always felt we had enough firepower to win the game," said Southgate.
"I'm generally pleased. Some of our attacking play was really exciting."
Ukraine stayed unbeaten too and recorded their fourth win in five qualifying matches to extend their commanding lead at the top of Group B to eight points with a comfortable triumph in Lithuania.
First-half strikes from Oleksandr Zinchenko and Marlos put them in control and Ruslan Malinovskyi added the third after the break with a powerful drive as the visitors maintained a fourth clean sheet.
Portugal edged a thriller in Serbia to usurp their opponents and move into second place.
William Carvalho and Goncalo Guedes put the visitors two goals up, with Cristiano Ronaldo adding a third after Nikola Milenkovic pulled one back.
Aleksandar Mitrovic struck to close the gap again but Bernardo Silva slotted home to seal Portugal's victory.