Germans bounce back as Turks lose

 

Germany recovered from Saturday's shock defeat in Turkey to win 3-1 in Moldova in Group Three and give new coach Erich Ribbeck his first win since taking over as coach.

Defending European champions Germany, smarting from Saturday's defeat in Turkey, had to come from behind to take the points in Moldova.

The hosts took the lead when Alexandru Guzun tapped in from close-range after just six minutes, with the German defence in disarray. But veteran striker Ulf Kirsten turned things around with a powerful header for the equaliser in the 19th minute and an acrobatic volley after 36 minutes.

His strike partner Oliver Bierhoff then hooked home a volley two minutes later.

Turkey, however, undid all Saturday's good work in Bursa by losing 3-1 to Finland, who had in turn lost to to Northern Ireland last weekend. Mixu Paatalainen of Hibernian hit the first on five minutes and Rangers' Jonatan Johansson added a second six minutes after the break. Ogun Temizanoglu pulled one back but Jari Litmanen of Ajax put the result beyond doubt in the final seconds.

In Group Four, World champions France were made to look ordinary by Andorra as they scraped to a 2-0 win.

They needed second-half goals from Vincent Candela and Youri Djorkaeff to see them home against a country that has just 32 professionals to choose from.

Candela pounced on a fine pass by captain Didier Deschamps to beat Andorran goalkeeper Koldo Alvarez in the 53rd minute and Djorkaeff shot home after Alvarez failed to hold Tony Vairelles' freekick in the 60th minute.

In the same group, Russia, defeated by France last Saturday, were handed a humiliating 1-0 defeat by Iceland, the result of an own goal by Yuri Nikiforov in the 89th minute.

Group leaders Ukraine beat Armenia 2-0 in Kiev.

Two goals from Liverpool midfielder Patrik Berger helped the Czech Republic to a comfortable 4-1 win over Estonia in Teplice. The Czechs maintained their 100 per cent record in group nine.

Lazio striker Pavel Nedved set the Czechs on their way in the eighth minute and Berger then struck twice in the 21st and 41st minutes. A Janek Meet own-goal seconds before the break enabled the Czechs to take their foot off the pedal in the second half and the visitors pulled one back in the final minute through Argo Arbeiter.

In Group Two, Norway narrowly averted disaster by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home with Albania.

Kjetil Rekdal scored in the 80th minute from the penalty spot and Manchester United's Henning Berg levelled three minutes from the end after the Albanians had taken command with goals from Alban Bushaj and Igli Tare.

Also in Group Two, Greece beat Georgia 3-0 in front of a 15,000 crowd in Athens with goals from Nicos Machlas, Nikolaos Liberopoulos and Marinos Ouzounidis, all coming in the first half.

In the final game in that group, Slovenia beat Latvia 10.

In Group Six, Spain came from a goal behind to beat Israel 2-1, the Spanish goals coming from Fernando Hierro and Joseba Etxeberria after Alon Hazon had given the home side the lead. In San Marino, Austria cruised to an easy 4-1 victory.