Euro 2020 qualifiers: Ronaldo injured, England, France collect landslide wins

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-26 11:13:04|Editor: Li Xia
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PARIS, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Powerhouses England and France both collected easy wins over their rivals as struggling Portugal were held to a draw in the second round of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers on Monday.

Portugal held a 1-1 home draw with Serbia in Group B after their captain Cristiano Ronaldo limped off with a muscular injury in 31st minute.

Serbia side Dusan Tadic kicked a penalty in 7th minute before Portugal tied it up with midfielder Danilo Pereira scored an exceptional long range goal in 42nd minute. Both sides failed to add a goal in the rest of time and ended in a 1-1 draw.

Ross Barkley's double goals helped England smash Montenegro 5-1 and reap 10 goals in two games to strength its position of Group A leader.

Although England was the more aggressive opponent in the beginning of the match, it was the home team that gained the initial advantage.

Marko Vesovic picked up the ball in the first attack of Montenegro in 18th minute and dribbled through two players to shake the net of England for 1-0.

Home team did not celebrate for long, as England set the score even in the 30th minute, after Michael Keane caught the long pass of Barkley, and beat Montenegro's keeper with a header.

Barkley brought the 2-1 advantage to England after picking up a deflected shot in the 39th minute.

In the 59th minute, Barkley scored another goal from some 12 meters, while Harry Kane increased the advantage to 4-1 in the 71st minute on Raheem Sterling's assistance.

The final score was set in the 81st minute after Sterling caught through ball of Jordan Henderson and slipped it between goalkeeper's legs.

World champions France met little resistence from Iceland en route to a 4-0 home win as Paris Saint-Germain's striker Kylian Mbappe contributed one goal and two assists.

Samuel Umtiti headed the opener for Les Bleus. Olivier Giroud bagged his 35th goal to sit third among France's all-time leading scorers. Antoine Griezmann completed the rout at the Stade de France.

France sit atop Group H with a superior goal difference over Turkey, who thrashed Moldova 4-0 at home.

Albania registered a 3-0 win away to Andorra in the other match of the group.