Sun12162018

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Goals galore in qualifiers

Germany 6-1 Republic of IrelandEngland, Germany and Spain all secured big victories in World Cup qualifiers.

Strikers Rooney and Welbeck led the charge with two goals apiece as England cruised to a 5-0 victory over San Marino.

Rooney, wearing the armband in the absence of the suspended Steven Gerrard, led by example as he scored twice in what ultimately proved to be a comfortable victory for Three Lions.

Wayne Rooney stepped up to open the scoring from the penalty spot after Welbeck, who moments earlier had hit the woodwork, was brought down by Simoncini.

Welbeck scored the second goal for England three minutes later with a neat finish, flicking the ball past Simoncini from Aaron Lennon pull back.

World champions Spain eased to a 4-0 win over Belarus in Minsk with Pedro Rodriguez netting three goals.

Pedro provided the assist for Barcelona team-mate Alba to open the scoring on 12 minutes before completing an impressive hat-trick.

The result puts Spain ahead of France at the top of Group I on goal difference.

Germany made it three wins out of three in Group C as they recorded a 6-1 win over Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Russia produced a strong defensive display to secure a 1-0 victory over Portugal.

Italy failed to hit top gear but emerged from their clash in Armenia with a 3-1 victory in Group B.

Italy took the lead with an early Andrea Pirlo penalty after Hrayr Mkoyan had handballed, but the hosts were level on 27 minutes through Henrikh Mkhitarian.

It took a Daniele De Rossi header on 64 minutes to restore the Azzurri's lead and the Roma midfielder crossed for club team-mate Pablo Osvaldo to round off the scoring with ten minutes remaining.