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Europe, News, Under 21s

European U21 Championship: Muniain, Morata and Jese Put Spain In Full Swing Against Albania

Jese Rodriguez finished third in the Golden Boot Award at the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup.

Jese Rodriguez finished third in the Golden Boot Award at the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup.

Spain 4-0 Albania

The competition holders had no problem overcoming Albania on home soil.

Iker Muniain, captaining the side, scored twice while Alvaro Morata, top scorer at the European Championship in the summer and Jese Rodriguez, Morata’s Real Madrid teammate scored the other goals.

Hungary and Bosnia are Spain’s other Group 4 tests as they bid to retain their title.

Republic of Ireland 0-4 Germany

It was two wins in four days for Germany as two Kevin Volland goals in the space of two minutes secured them victory against Republic of Ireland.

Moritz Leitner grabbed Germany’s first on 12 minutes before Volland struck on the 22 and 24 minute marks. Although early in the game, Germany already looked in control and you wouldn’t doubt them to take all three points.

They weren’t as prolific as they could have been for the remainder of the game, opting to relax and take a back seat, but they had one more moment to celebrate when substitute Philipp Hoffman scored their fourth to put them top of their Group 6 qualifying table.

Yassine Benzia will be keen to make his mark on Lyon's first team this season

Yassine Benzia will be keen to make his mark on Lyon’s first team this season

Belarus 1-2 France

Belarus almost shocked France last night but a double from Paul-Georges Ntep De Madiba in the second-half gave Willy Sagnol his second victory in charge of the French Under 21 side.

Anton Saroka gave the hosts a dream start just two minutes into the tie and they managed to hold their lead until the 65th minute when Yassine Benzia was fouled and Ntep De Madiba equalised from the spot.

The same man put them in front ten minutes later with a stunning long range effort.

Belgium 1-0 Northern Ireland

It may have been a narrow victory, but Belgium made it three qualifying wins out of three as they toppled Northern Ireland last night.

A single goal from Michy Batshuayi took all three points from the Northern Irish, who had a man sent off in Liam Donnelly late on in the game.

Belgium coach Johan Walem said: “We knew that they would be a physically strong team and that it would not be easy.

“I am satisfied with the win. With nine points from a possible nine we have had a perfect start to our campaign. However, the road is long so we will not look too far forward.”

Luxembourg 0-1 Netherlands

Chelsea’s new signing Marco van Ginkel scored Holland’s only goal as they edged past Luxembourg.

It was a winning margin that will come as a shock to the neutral as it was only van Ginkel’s penalty that separated two sides that should be miles apart at any level of international football.

Luc Castaignos, Kyle Ebecilio and Tonny Trinidade de Vilhena all came close to extending the visitors’ lead but they still managed to take all three points.

Samuele Longo (left), playing his club football with Inter Milan, came close for the Italians against Cyprus.

Samuele Longo (left), playing his club football with Inter Milan, came close for the Italians against Cyprus.

Cyprus 0-2 Italy

After losing their opening qualifying encounter against Belgium on Friday, Italy got their first points on the board by beating a weak Cyprus side.

Second-half substitutes Francesco Fedato and Riccardo Improta scored goals to take the win back home but Samuele Longo came close to making it three as Cyprus never really came close to threatening the Italy goal.

Other results

Bosnia 0-2 Austria, Finland 1-1 England, Ukraine 0-2 Croatia, Slovakia 1-0 Georgia, Liechtenstein 0-6 Switzerland.

Playing today (inc earlier results)

Russia 3-1 Bulgaria, Slovenia v Denmark, Norway v Macedonia, Greece v Malta, Moldova v Wales, Turkey v Sweden, Iceland v Kazakhstan, Montenegro v Romania.

 

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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