There were wins for Italy and Spain, while Denmark drew away from home, as qualification for next summer’s European Championships stepped up a notch on Sunday.
It was a mixed night for the Chelsea contingent in the Italy ranks as Roberto Mancini’s men faced a top-two meeting with Finland in Group J. Both Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri started for the Azzurri, just as they had done in Armenia on Thursday evening, though it was a run-out that ended prematurely for the left-back as he limped off after just eight minutes with an injury.
The visitors took the lead through Lazio’s Ciro Immobile on the hour mark before Teemu Pukki, a revelation in the opening weeks of the Premier League with newly promoted Norwich City, levelled from the penalty spot with 18 minutes remaining.
Italy had left it late last time out and did so again in Tampere, with Jorginho converting from 12 yards with 79 minutes on the clock to hand them all three points. It leaves them six points clear of Finland with four qualifiers remaining.
Spain moved a step closer to securing qualification with a comfortable 4-0 win over Faroe Islands in Gijon. Kepa Arrizabalaga was instrumental three days previously with a string of saves to earn La Roja a crucial victory over Romania, though the 24-year-old was replaced by David de Gea between the sticks for this latest assignment.
Valencia forward Rodrigo got a pair of goals for the hosts early in each half, before Paco Alcacer rounded off the scoring with a brace in the final minutes of the game. The result maintains Spain’s 100 per cent winning record in Group F and takes them on to 18 points from six matches, seven clear of second-placed Sweden, who drew 1-1 at home to Norway.
Earlier in the evening, Andreas Christensen featured throughout and helped Denmark to a clean sheet in Tbilisi, though the Danes were unable to find a goal to secure three points away in Georgia.
Lech Poznan striker Christian Gytkjaer went closest late on, slamming a shot against the crossbar, as Denmark failed to replicate their efforts in the reverse fixture between the two sides back in June, which they won 5-1.
The result means the Republic of Ireland stay top of Group D at the midway point of qualification, with Denmark two points behind and Switzerland a further point back in third, albeit with a game in hand.
At the younger age groups, Valentino Livramento captained England Under-18s as they drew 1-1 with their counterparts from Brazil. Lewis Bate and Dynel Simeu were both unused substitutes.
Levi Colwill and Samuel Iling-Junior started for the young Lions at the Under-17 age group as Kevin Betsy’s side made it two wins from two this week at the Syrenka Cup. Austria were the latest opposition defeated, 4-2 the scoreline in Poland, as England booked a place in the mini-tournament final against the hosts on Tuesday. Xavier Simons was a second-half substitute but the teenager was sent off 15 minutes after his introduction having accumulated two quick yellow cards.
Juan Castillo played 90 minutes as Netherlands Under-20s suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Germany.