Spain open World Cup qualifying with big win as 10-man Italy hold on
Spain cruised to victory while Italy held on to open their World Cup qualifying campaigns with wins in Group G on Monday.
Diego Costa, David Silva and Alvaro Morata all scored twice as Spain broke the game open in the second half to thrash Liechtenstein 8-0.
Costa rose the highest to meet Koke's free kick from the side of the box in the 10th minute.
Spain were frustrated for the rest of the first half as Sergio Busquets saw an effort cleared off the line by defender Michele Polverino. But the floodgates soon opened with three goals inside a five-minute span.
Sergi Roberto started the onslaught by putting the ball through the keeper's legs after Nolito did the same to a defender with a through ball.
Vitolo passed to David Silva, who made it 3-0, before the Sevilla man scored himself from close range a minute later.
Costa found his second of the night five minutes after that as he cut inside only to see his shot saved by Peter Jehle, but it came directly back to him to head home.
Alvaro Morata replaced Costa and found two goals himself, first beating Jehle at his near post and then seconds later firing a hard shot that the keeper should have handled.
Silva thought he had a second in the late stages but had it ruled out for offside, but moments later he did find the net to cap the scoring.
Italy escaped a scare after Giorgio Chiellini was sent off for the first time in his long international career, coming away with a 3-1 win in Israel.
Marco Verratti played a good pass to pick out Luca Antonelli on the wing, whose short cross found Graziano Pelle to tap in the opener in the 14th minute.
Italy were two goals to the good on the half-hour mark when Ben Bitton tripped up Antonelli on the edge of the box and Antonio Cardreva converted the resulting penalty.
Israel struck back five minutes later, however, when Chiellini misplayed the ball and it fell to Tal Ben Haim, who took one touch before chipping Gianluigi Buffon from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Chiellini, who had already been booked in the first half, was then sent off 10 minutes into the second half for a second yellow after colliding with Tommer Hemed.
Buffon came to Italy's rescue, pushing Eran Zahavi's shot inches wide of the post, as the Azzurri held on until Ciro Immobile shrugged off a defender to score an insurance goal in the 83rd minute.
The final game in Group G was suspended in the 78th minute because of heavy rain with Albania and Macedonia level at 1-1. It will conclude on Tuesday, UEFA said.
Armando Sadiku provided the hosts the lead in the ninth minute, doing well to gather the ball in the box, cut back to evade two defenders and shoot inside the post.
But Ezgjan Alioski equalised early in the second half for visiting Macedonia to leave the game in the balance.
In Group D, Gareth Bale had two goals and an assist as Wales kept up their fine form with a 4-0 home win over Moldova.
Bale sparked Wales into life in the 38th minute when his curling cross from the wing fell perfectly for Sam Vokes to head home.
And it was a two-goal advantage before the break when Moldova goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu punched away Joe Ledley's corner, but it fell right to Joe Allen to lash home through traffic.
Bale scored Wales' third goal in the second half, intercepting Ivan Jardan's preposterous back pass for one of the easier goals of his career.
And the Real Madrid star capped the scoring with a 95th-minute penalty after drawing a foul in the box -- giving him sole possession of the second-most goals in Wales history with 24.
Also in Group D, Daryl Murphy scored his first international goal to give Republic of Ireland a 2-2 draw at Serbia.
Jeff Hendrick had provided Ireland with the lead after just three minutes when his low shot from the top of the box took a big deflection off of Branislav Ivanovic, carrying it past keeper Predrag Rajkovic.
But Serbia were back level in the 62nd minute after Dusan Tadic did well to turn with the ball in the box and lay it off for Filip Kostic to score the equaliser.
And Tadic put Serbia ahead from the penalty spot after Kostic controversially went to ground under a challenge from Jonathan Walters.
But substitute Murphy found the equaliser with a header in the 80th minute to salvage a draw for Ireland.
Earlier in the day, Austria began their Group D campaign with a 2-1 win at Georgia.
Martin Hinteregger opened the scoring with a header from David Alaba's long free kick in the 16th minute, before Marc Janko doubled the lead with an unmarked header shortly before half-time.
Georgia improved after the break as Valeri Kazaishvili hit the post with a header, and that was all that separated the sides once Zhano Ananidze cut the deficit with a spectacular 30-yard strike in the 78th minute.
Group I is all even after all three games ended in 1-1 draws.
Kosovo managed a point against Finland in their first competitive game since joining FIFA.
Paulus Arajuuri provided the opening goal for the hosts in the 18th minute, taking a touch six yards from goal before firing home a hard shot.
Valon Berisha, who had 19 caps for Norway before changing allegiances, scored a famous equaliser from the spot after Bernard Berisha drew a penalty from a Thomas Lam foul.
Iceland followed up their fine Euro 2016 campaign with a stalemate in Ukraine that was played behind closed doors.
The islanders were ahead after six minutes when Birkir Bjarnason played in Alfred Finnbogason, whose first shot was saved but comically came off defender Olexandr Kucher and fell to Finnbogason again to score from a tight angle.
Andriy Yarmolenko equalised for Ukraine four minutes before half-time by putting in the rebound after Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson could only parry Yaroslav Rakitskiy's speculative long-range effort.
In the draw in Croatia, the hosts found the breakthrough in the 43rd minute after Ismail Koybasi fouled Luka Modric in the box and Ivan Rakitic converted the penalty.
But Turkey were level before the break when Hakan Calhanoglu's long free kick found the net after taking a big deflection in the wall.
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