European Qualifiers round-up: Turkey and Iceland secure comfortable away wins

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Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Calhanoglu scored the goals as Turkey won 2-0 in Albania in the European Qualifiers on Friday night.

Yılmaz’s 21st-minute effort after good work from Everton forward Cenk Tosun gave Turkey the advantage at the break at the Loro Borici Stadium.

A sensational strike from Calhanoglu helped the visitors pull clear with the AC Milan playmaker embarking on a solo run before finding the top right-hand corner from just outside the box, 10 minutes into the second period.

Elsewhere, Iceland beat Andorra by the same scoreline thanks to Birkir Bjarnason and substitute Vidar Kjartansson.

Bjarnason’s close-range header midway through the first half gave the Nordic country a slender one-goal lead at the interval at the Estadi Nacional.

The visitors doubled their advantage when Birkir Saevarsson swept the ball in from the right and Kjartansson was on hand to drive home Iceland’s second with a powerful near-post finish.

World champions France started their quest for Euro 2020 glory with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Moldova in their opening qualifier in Chisinau.

Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Olivier Giroud all scored in quick succession before the break, emphasising the difference between the Group H teams.

Les Bleus finished second in their Nations League group, missing out on progressing to the finals after defeat to the Netherlands, but there was no danger of another surprise defeat once they took a 23rd-minute lead.

Paul Pogba’s exquisite ball over the top was volleyed home from close range by Griezmann, who turned provider three minutes later as his corner was headed home at the near post by Varane.

Giroud then moved to joint third on France’s all-time top-scorers list, alongside David Trezeguet on 34 goals, after coolly volleying beyond Moldova goalkeeper Alexei Koselev from Blaise Matuidi’s cross in the 36th minute.

Kylian Mbappe got on the scoresheet three minutes from time after being teed up by substitute Thomas Lemar before Vladimir Ambros grabbed a late consolation for Moldova.

Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick helped England begin their campaign with a flourish, Gareth Southgate’s men brushing aside the Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley.

Sterling opened the scoring in the 24th minute after getting a boot to Jadon Sancho’s teasing cross and then won a penalty on the stroke of half-time, which Harry Kane converted.

The Manchester City forward scored twice more just after the hour before Tomas Kalas put the ball into his own net to complete a miserable night for the Czechs.

Group A rivals Bulgaria and Montenegro drew 1-1 in Sofia, Todor Nedelev’s penalty eight minutes from time ensuring a stalemate after Stefan Mugosa had opened the scoring just after half-time.

Portugal, who alongside England have reached the Nations League semi-finals in June, drew a blank in a goalless draw against Ukraine in Lisbon – despite Cristiano Ronaldo returning to play for his country for the first time since the World Cup.

Also in Group B, Leandro Barreiro and Gerson Rodrigues were on target as Luxembourg came from a goal down to defeat Lithuania 2-1.

Follow all of Saturday’s Euro 2020 Qualifiers live on Sky Sports Football from 2pm and via our live match blogs on SkySports.com

(c) Sky News 2019: European Qualifiers round-up: Turkey and Iceland secure comfortable away wins

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