World Sports News in Brief

Wasteful Germany secure 1-0 win at Romania

Monday, 2021-03-29 11:24:33
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Soccer Football - World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group J - Romania v Germany - National Arena, Bucharest, Romania - March 28, 2021 Germany's Serge Gnabry in action. (Photo: Inquam Photos via Reuters)
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Germany maintained their perfect start in 2022 World Cup qualifying after an early Serge Gnabry goal gave them a 1-0 win over Romania in Group J on Sunday (Mar 28) although they missed a string of chances against the home side.

The result left the Germans top of the group on six points from two games ahead of Armenia on goal difference before their next match at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday.

* Ryan Fraser struck a second-half equaliser for Scotland to again came from behind to draw a second successive World Cup qualifier as they held Israel to a 1-1 draw in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

* South Africa suffered a major embarrassment on Sunday as a 2-0 defeat by Sudan in Khartoum saw the hosts clinch a place at the Africa Cup of Nations finals at the visitors' expense with first-half goals from Saifeldin Maki and Mohamed Abdel Rahman. Sudan qualified for only the third time in 23 attempts, finishing second in Group C behind Ghana, who won 3-1 at home to Sao Tome e Principe at the same time.

* Spain striker Dani Olmo snatched a 2-1 win away to Georgia in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday with a stoppage-time strike from outside the area to kick-start his side's efforts to qualify for Qatar 2022 after a sluggish start. Spain host Kosovo on Wednesday, while Georgia visit Greece.

* Denmark turned on the style as they thrashed hapless Moldova 8-0 in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday to top Group F, with Kasper Dolberg and Mikkel Damsgaard both scoring twice against the nation ranked 177th in the world.

* Italy top Group C with maximum points after Andrea Belotti and Manuel Locatelli secured a 2-0 win over Bulgaria in Sofia. The Azzurri are ahead of Switzerland on goal difference after Xherdan Shaqiri's second minute strike was enough for a 1-0 win over Lithuania in St Gallen.

* Yamaha's Maverick Vinales overcame a slow start to win the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday in an exhilarating race where defending world champion Joan Mir lost out on a podium on the final lap to Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia.

* Harry Kane scored his first England goal since 2019 to lead his side to a comfortable 2-0 win against Albania in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday to top Group I. They top the standings with six points from two games ahead of their home clash with most-likely group rivals Poland at Wembley on Wednesday.

* Seven-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday after an epic, knife-edge thriller with Red Bull's Max Verstappen over the final laps. Verstappen, who passed the Briton with four laps to go only to have to hand back the lead for exceeding track limits, finished a mere 0.745 seconds behind after starting on pole position. Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas was third, 37.383 seconds behind after a slow stop.

* A match official for the CONCACAF men's Olympic qualifying tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, has tested positive for COVID-19, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean said on Sunday. The positive COVID-19 case came from the latest round of testing of the entire group of referees at the tournament and the individual is isolating and complying with CONCACAF protocols and regulations imposed by local authorities.

* Ousmane Dembele inspired France to a 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan on Sunday in their second match in World Cup qualifying Group D to mark a successful return to the world champions' team. Four days after being held 1-1 by Ukraine at the Stade de France, the French built their win in the first half with Sergiy Maliy's own goal adding to Dembele's opener before Kylian Mbappe missed a second-half penalty

* Stephanie Frappart reached another milestone on Saturday when she became the first female referee to take charge of a men's World Cup qualifier during the Netherlands' 2-0 win over Latvia in Amsterdam. Earlier in December, Frenchwoman Frappart became the first female official to take charge of a men's Champions League match when Italian champions Juventus defeated Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv 3-0 in the group stage in Turin.

Reuters