Lukaku and Vlahovic score in World Cup qualifiers

Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic were among players on target in tonight’s World Cup qualifiers.

Belgium saw two Serie A stars combine in their 3-1 victory over Wales, as Napoli record-holder Dries Mertens was brought down for the penalty, converted by Lukaku.

That was the Inter hitman’s 34th goal in his last 29 games for Belgium.

Kevin de Bruyne and Thorgen Hazard had already turned it around after a surprise Harry Wilson opener.

Vlahovic is on spectacular form for Fiorentina and carried that on to international level, where his angled drive gave Serbia the equaliser against the Republic of Ireland.

Substitute Aleksandr Mitrovic completed the turnaround for a 3-2 result, Dusan Tadic providing a hat-trick of assists.

Hellas Verona’s Antonin Barak and Sampdoria midfielder Jakub Jankto got on the scoresheet in the Czech Republic’s 6-2 victory away to Estonia.

Cristiano Ronaldo played the full match for Portugal against Azerbaijan, played on neutral turf at the Allianz Juventus Stadium in Turin due to COVID restrictions.

However, it took a Maksim Medvedev own goal to separate the teams in a surprisingly tight match.

The biggest surprise of the night was France held to a 1-1 home draw by Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine, with Atalanta man Ruslan Malinovskyi in the starting XI against Juve’s Adrien Rabiot.

Eden Dzeko’s Bosnia-Herzegovina scraped a 2-2 draw away to Finland.

Josip Ilicic and Jasmin Kurtic started as Slovenia beat Croatia 1-0, upsetting Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic.

In the earlier game, Turkey beat the Netherlands 4-2, including a scorcher from distance by Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu.


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