Montenegro-Russia qualifier abandoned; Kane scores on debut
A Russian player was hit by a flare after 20 seconds in Montenegro before a brawl between the two teams’ players eventually resulted in the European Championship qualifier being abandoned on Friday.
Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was taken to a hospital after collapsing to the field when he was struck on the head by a flare. It was 30 minutes before the game resumed.
But after Russia’s Roman Shirokov missed a penalty in the 66th minute with the score at 0-0, players and staff from both teams shoved one another.
A stadium announcement said the match would not resume. It was not immediately clear whether Russia would be awarded a victory.
Russia and Montenegro are third and fourth respectively in Group G, both with five points from four games. Austria remained top with a 5-0 rout of Liechtenstein, four points ahead of Sweden, which beat Moldova 2-0 thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s double.
Here is a look at the other two groups in action on Friday:
Harry Kane scored 80 seconds into his England debut, providing another astonishing moment in his breakthrough season in a 4-0 victory over Lithuania in European Championship qualifying.
The 21-year-old Kane replaced captain Wayne Rooney amid roars by expectant fans inside Wembley Stadium, and he delivered instantly by heading into an empty net in the 73rd minute.
The Tottenham striker stole the limelight from Rooney, who went within two goals of Bobby Charlton’s England record 49 with his sixth-minute opener, and Raheem Sterling tapping in his first international goal.
Danny Welbeck also scored as England made it five wins out of five in Group E, staying six points ahead of both Slovenia and Switzerland. Slovenia remained in the second automatic qualification place by routing bottom-placed San Marino 6-0. Switzerland stayed third after beating Estonia 3-0, making it 11 goals without conceding on a three-game winning run.
Alvaro Morata scored in his first start for Spain to help secure a 1-0 win at home over Ukraine and sole possession of second place in Group C, while Slovakia retained its spot at the top.
Starting in place of the injured Diego Costa Morata chipped in the game’s only goal in the 18th minute after receiving an exquisite pass from Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion.
It also took its unbeaten streak on Spanish soil to 30 straight competitive matches, a run dating back to June 2003.
A minute of silence was held at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville before kickoff in memory of victims of the Germanwings airplane tragedy.
Slovakia kept Luxembourg at the bottom of the group from first-half goals by Adam Nemec, Vladimir Weiss and Peter Pekarik in a 3-0 win.
Belarus fought back 2-1 at Macedonia to leapfrog the hosts into fourth place.