Those aren’t ideal results for Northern Ireland and Wales … but neither are the pair of goalless draws against, respectively, Switzerland and Estonia, disastrous. First place in Group E already looked a pipe dream for Wales, with Belgium running away with Group E, but Rob Page’s side have now drawn level on points with the second-placed Czech Republic, and they’ve got a game in hand. Northern Ireland meanwhile missed out on the chance of leapfrogging Switzerland into second place, but they stay on their tails, three points shy with four games still to play.
The full-time scores
Group B Greece 2-1 Sweden Kosovo 0-2 Spain
Group C Italy 5-0 Lithuania Northern Ireland 0-0 Switzerland
Group E Belarus 0-1 Belgium Wales 0-0 Estonia
Group I Albania 5-0 San Marino Hungary 2-1 Andorra Poland 1-1 England
Group J Armenia 1-1 Liechtenstein Iceland 0-4 Germany North Macedonia 0-0 Romania
FULL TIME: Poland 1-1 England. A draw that will feel like a defeat … but a draw/defeat that shouldn’t make too much difference in the grand scheme of things. Simon Burnton has the details.
FULL TIME: Wales 0-0 Estonia. Gareth Bale looks sickened as the final whistle goes in Cardiff. The Welsh couldn’t find a way past the inspired Estonia keeper Karl Hein, who nonetheless had the woodwork to thank a couple of times as well.
GOAL! Poland 1-1 England (Damian Szymanski 90+2). Robert Lewandowski turns provider for once, standing one up for Damian Szymanski to knock home. It probably makes little difference to England’s qualification chances, but there goes that 100 percent record in the group.
FULL TIME: Northern Ireland 0-0 Switzerland. Bailey Peacock-Farrell is the Irish hero after saving Haris Seferović’s first-half penalty, though Shayne Lavery had a very impressive game too. Northern Ireland leapfrog Bulgaria into third place in Group C.
GOAL! Kosovo 0-2 Spain (Ferran Torres 88). Job done for the 2010 winners in Pristina.
Wales come so close to opening the scoring in Cardiff! Gareth Bale storms down the inside-right channel, forcing a fine save from Karl Hein. The rebound flies his way, and he heads a second effort onto the post! So close. So frustrating for Wales.
GOAL! Greece 2-1 Sweden (Robin Quaison 80). The VAR officials took five minutes to decide whether Evangelos Pavlidis’s clearly onside goal for Greece should stand. When play finally restarted, Sweden wasted no time in halving the deficit, Emil Forsberg’s curler towards the bottom-right corner wonderfully parried by Odisseas Vlachodimos, only for Robin Quaison to slam the loose ball home.
GOAL! Hungary 2-1 Andorra (Max Llovera 82). It’s not quite all over in Budapest!
GOAL! Albania 5-0 San Marino (Myrto Uzuni 80). It’s now 24 and counting.
GOAL! Greece 2-0 Sweden (Evangelos Pavlidis 74). Viktor Claesson, spinning on a sixpence in the Greek box, whips a shot towards the bottom-left corner … only for the ball to carom off the base of the post and away to safety. And then the inevitable sucker punch, as Greece go down the other end and put some daylight between the teams. Sweden have been on top, but look at the score.
Not much going on in Cardiff, and not much going on in Belfast either. Ciaron Brown has seen his header from a corner blocked by Yann Sommer, and that’s the closest we’ve come to a goal for either of the home nations in a while.
GOAL! Poland 0-1 England (Harry Kane 72). The captain opens the scoring, surprising Polish keeper Wojciech Szczęsny from distance. Our man Simon Burnton has the details.
Sweden had been bossing things before that Greek opener. But the goal was lovely, Anastasios Bakasetas bursting through a gap in the centre of the Swedish defence, opening his body, and sidefooting confidently into the bottom left. Compare and contrast to the antics of Timo Werner, whose confidence must be in ribbons right now. Lukas Klostermann burst down the right and rolled a ball across the face of goal for the Chelsea striker, who was free, a couple of yards out. He somehow managed to hoick over the bar, one of those when the old cliche of It Was Harder To Miss really was geometrically true.
GOAL! Albania 4-0 San Marino (Elseid Hysaj 68). San Marino have now conceded 23 goals in five-and-three-quarter Group I matches.
GOAL! Greece 1-0 Sweden (Anastasios Bakasetas 62). The young Utrecht striker scores his second goal in just his fourth appearance for his country, and Sweden’s perfect start to Group B is suddenly under severe threat.
A poignant moment in Cardiff. The Welsh crowd rise as one to celebrate the life of the much-loved and much-missed Gary Speed, who would have been 52 today.
Wales have finally got an effort on target. Who else but Gareth Bale? However his header was parried well by Karl Hein in the Estonian goal. It’s still goalless.
GOAL! Albania 3-0 San Marino (Armando Broja 61). Scrub that.
GOAL! Albania 2-0 San Marino (Qazim Laci 58). It was 2-0 to Albania in Serravalle back in March; it’s heading that way in Tirana tonight.
GOAL! Iceland 0-3 Germany (Leroy Sane 56). A goal to go along with an assist for the Bayern Munich winger.
GOAL! Italy 5-0 Lithuania (Giovanni Di Lorenzo 54). It took a while, but something’s finally occurred in one of the matches. Praise be to Napoli defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
The second halves are underway. Nothing much happening in the very early stages, so here’s Charles Antaki’s take on Spain’s visit to Kosovo. “Nothing much has been happening in the Kosovo-Spain game, other than endless rondo, plus Kosovo forwards nearly but not quite catching out Spain’s astronomically high backline, plus the nifty passing working just the once and producing a goal. Not by Morata, that would be asking too much, but he did do the assist. Otherwise he’s not even had the chance of showing off his trademark skill of missing an obvious sitter. What happened to the Spain we knew?”