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World Cup Qualifiers Round-up: England, France and Germany register wins

England defeated Scotland 3-0 in the fourth round of the European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup even as France had to come from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Sweden. Defending champions Germany, meanwhile, pummeled San Marino 8-0 on Friday to remain perfect in the competition.

The English prevailed at Wembley through goals by Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill to claim the top spot in Group F with 10 points, two ahead of Slovenia, who eked out a 1-0 win away at Malta. Slovakia vaulted over Lithuania into third place in the group with a 4-0 defeat of the Baltic side, who have five points.


Escobar freekick sees Panama beat Honduras 1-0 in World Cup Qualifier

Panama topped Honduras 1-0 here in the central American qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The away victory on Friday extended the Panamanians' unbeaten streak against Honduras to seven matches. The only goal of the contest came in the 22nd minute on a direct free kick by Panama's Fidel Escobar.

The visitors were on the verge of doubling their advantage when the Honduran goalkeeper made an outstanding stop on a shot from Alberto Quintero. But the television replay appeared to show the ball crossing the goal line before the keeper reacted.


Mexico down USA 2-1 in World Cup Qualifier

Despite a 49th minute strike from Bobby Wood and a spirited second half performance, the U.S. Men's National Team fell 2-1 to Mexico in front of a sold-out crowd of 24,650 at MAPFRE Stadium in the opening match of the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Friday night.

Early pressure from Mexico saw the visitors break through first as Miguel Layun's shot received just enough of a deflection to sneak inside the lower left post in the 20th minute. After losing starting goalkeeper Tim Howard to a right groin strain in the 40th minute, the U.S. came out raring to go in the second half, putting Mexico on its heels with the help of Bobby Wood's strike early in the half to knot the game at 1-1.


Man City superstar ready to make the next step up

Germany's next 2018 World Cup qualifier against San Marino this Friday evening might not be an important game for coach Joachim Loew and many of his players as the 2014 World Champions are the big favourite against the minnows. In the case of Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City) though, things are different. The 26-year-old midfielder, who was transferred to the Premier League club for 27 million euro, is the man to watch at present in the German squad.

The player with Turkish roots is set to replace Sami Khedira (Juventus) alongside Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) in Germany's midfield engine room. German football fans are rubbing their eyes in disbelief when watching a man that seems to be revealing previously unknown talents. Since leaving Borussia Dortmund last summer for Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, he seems to have gone through a metamorphosis.


Chelsea star withdraws from Spain squad, Liverpool reject called up

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Spain national football team coach Julen Lopetegui has called Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas into his 25-man squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying match at home to Granada on November 12 and international friendly away to England on November 15.

Aspas replaces Chelsea forward, Diego Costa who has been forced to withdraw from the squad as the result of a thigh injury which has been troubling him since playing against Everton in the English Premier League at the weekend.


Brazil thrash Argentina 3-0 in World Cup Qualifiers

Neymar scored a goal and set up another as Brazil heaped misery on Argentina with a 3-0 victory in their World Cup qualifier.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Guangzhou Evergrande's Paulinho were also on target to ensure that Brazil maintained their one-point cushion at the top of the South American zone (CONMEBOL) standings on Thursday.


Rooney returns to playing XI for England against Scotland

England football team's interim manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed striker Wayne Rooney will captain England in the World Cup qualifier against Scotland at the Wembley Stadium here on Friday.

The 31-year-old forward and skipper was dropped for the previous game, a 0-0 draw in Slovenia last month.


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