Germany Wins Opening Qualifier
Rejuvenated Germany, with a goal from 20-year-old Sebastian Deisler, beat visiting Greece 2-0 Saturday on the first big day of European qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
Poland also found a new talent in a 3-1 win at Ukraine as Nigerian-born Emmanuel Olisadebe scored twice in Kiev to disappoint a crowd of 50,000 at Olympic Stadium.
In one of the day’s biggest upsets, Norway, which reached the second round of the World Cup two years ago, was held to a scoreless tie at home against lightly regarded Armenia. Ireland gained a 2-2 tie at the Netherlands and Russia won 1-0 at Switzerland.
In other games it was Cyprus 3, Andorra 2; Czech Republic 1, Bulgaria 0; Denmark 2, Iceland 1; Northern Ireland 1, Malta 0; Sweden 1, Azerbaijan 0; Turkey 2, Moldova 0; Belarus 2, Wales 1; Belgium 0, Croatia 0; Scotland 1, Latvia 0; Spain 2, Bosnia-Herzegovina 0; and Finland 2, Albania 1.
In an exhibition game, England played a 1-1 tie at France as Michael Owen scored in the 85th minute. Emmanuel Petit had put France ahead 1-0 in the 63rd at Saint-Denis.
In other World Cup qualifiers, Paraguay beat visiting Venezuela 3-0, while Colombia edged host Chile 1-0 in South American action. Honduras beat visiting El Salvador 5-0 in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
The United States plays Guatemala in Washington on Sunday, when seven games are scheduled for Europe, three for South America and five in CONCACAF.
Russia 1, Switzerland 0
At Zurich, Vladimir Beschastnykh scored in the second half. Both sides went into the game, watched by 14,000 rain-soaked fans at Hardturm Stadium, under pressure to make a winning start to the qualifying campaign after missing out on the 1998 World Cup.
Netherlands 2, Ireland 2
At Amsterdam, the Dutch needed a frantic late assault and an extraordinary long-range equalizer from Giovanni van Bronckhorst to tie. Robbie Keane put the Irish ahead after 21 minutes and Jason McAteer make it 2-0 in the 64th on a 20-yard shot. Dutch coach Louis van Gaal sent on sub Jeffrey Talan after the goal and it paid off six minutes later as the winger headed home Ronald de Boer’s pass, setting up Van Bronckhorst’s equalizer in the 84th.
Cyprus 3, Andorra 2
At Andorra la Vella, a 90th-minute goal by Mihalis Konstantinou was the difference. Konstantinou scored in the 25th but Emiliano Gonzalez tied it with a penalty kick in the 45th. Delfons Lima put Andorra ahead early in the second half, but Cyprus tied it on a 77th-minute goal from Marios Agathocleous.
Northern Ireland 1, Malta 0
At Belfast, Philip Gray scored the winner in the 70th minute, nine minutes after entering his first international game in two years.
Czech Republic 1, Bulgaria 0
At Sofia, Karel Poborsky scored on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute.
Denmark 2, Iceland 1
At Reykjavik, Denmark rallied on Dahl Tomasson’s 20-yard goal in the 26th minute and Morten Bisgaard’s goal in the 48th. Iceland’s Brynjar Bjorn Gunnarsson was ejected in the 73rd for a hard tackle from behind on Tomasson.
Turkey 2, Moldova 0
At Istanbul, Turkey got goals from Okan Buruk (45th minute) and Emre Belozoglu (75th).
Sweden 1, Azerbaijan 0
At Baku, visiting Sweden won 1-0 on a goal in the ninth minute by Anders Svensson before 15,000 at Central Stadium.
Norway 0, Armenia 0
At Oslo, heavily favored Norway didn’t have a scoring opportunity until the 74th minute. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit a post as the Norwegians pressured for a goal during injury time.
Belarus 2, Wales 1
At Minsk, Belarus got goals from Alexander Khatskevich (40th) and Valentin Belkevich (56th). Wales’ Craig Bellamy was ejected in the 66th for a violent tackle, and Gary Speed scored for the visitors in the 89th.
Poland 3, Ukraine 1
At Kiev, Olisadebe scored twice and Radoslaw Kaluzhni once. Ukraine was weakened by the absence of injured Dynamo Kiev goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskyi. Andriy Shevchenko scored for Ukraine.
Scotland 1, Latvia 0
At Riga, Latvia, Neil McCann scored in the 89th, taking advantage of a rare lapse in Latvia’s defense to slide a loose ball past goalkeeper Aleksandrs Kolinko.
Belgium 0, Croatia 0
In front of only 20,000 fans at the King Baudouin Stadium, both sides played hesitantly, not wanting to make mistakes.
Spain 2, Bosnia-Herzegovina
At Sarajevo, Joseba Etxeberria got the winner in the 72nd. Elvir Baljic scored for Bosnia, and Spain’s other goal was from Lopez Segu Gerard.
Germany 2, Greece 0
At Hamburg, Deisler scored his first international goal in the 17th minute, and Greece sweeper Marinos Ouzounidis accidentally put the ball in his own net off a Mehmet Scholl shot in the 75th.
Finland 2, Albania 1
At Helsinki, substitute Aki Riihilahti scored the winner in the 67th minute. Jari Litmanen gave Finland a 1-0 lead on a 23-yard shot in the closing seconds of the first half. Edvin Murati tied it in the 64th.
Paraguay 3, Venezuela 0
At Asuncion, substitute midfielder Gabriel Gonzalez had a goal and an assist as Paraguay improved to 4-2-2. Jose Cardozo and Carlos Huberto Paredes also scored. Venezuela dropped to 1-7.
Colombia 1, Chile 0
At Santiago, Jairo Castillo scored with 23 minutes left and Colombia (4-1-3) controlled Chile’s powerful scoring tandem of Ivan Zamorano and Marcelo Salas. Chile is 3-4-1.
Honduras 5, El Salvador 0
At San Pedro Sula, Carlos Pavon scored three goals as Honduras (3-1) moved atop Group D. David Suazo and Samuel Caballero also scored. El Salvador fell to 1-3.