Slovakia continue to set the pace with away win over Belarus

Diego Costa scores his first goal for Spain in facile win over Luxembourg

Slovakia’s Marek Hamsik  celebrates his second goal  during the Euro 2016 Group C qualifier against Belarus in Minsk. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Inpho.

Slovakia’s Marek Hamsik celebrates his second goal during the Euro 2016 Group C qualifier against Belarus in Minsk. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Inpho.

 

Slovakia remain the surprise leaders of European Championship Qualifying Group C following their 3-1 win over Belarus.

While Spain and Ukraine each recorded their second win, they were left sharing second after Jan Kozak’s side retained their 100 per cent record.

Captain Marek Hamsik’s opener was cancelled out by Timofey Kalachev but late goals from Hamsik, again, and Stanislav Sestak secured victory.

Diego Costa finally opened his Spain scoring account — in his seventh appearance after switching his national allegiance from Brazil, and after missing a hat-full of chances — in a 4-0 win over Luxembourg.

David Silva and Paco Alcacer had already given La Rioja a decisive advantage and Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat’s goal rounded off a comfortable win.

Serhiy Sydorchuk’s first-half goal gave Ukraine a narrow 1-0 victory over Macedonia.

Group E

Slovenia won 2-0 in Lithuania to move alongside their opponents in second place on six points, three behind England. Milivoje Novakovic scored both goals in the space of five first-half minutes.

Austria moved clear at the top of the Group G standings as they edged out Montenegro 1-0 at home. Rubin Okotie’s first-half strike was all that separated the teams on the night in Vienna, but it was enough to send Austria two points clear with Russia being held by Moldova in Moscow.

Artem Dzjuba put Russia ahead from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute but Alexandru Epureanu levelled with a header inside the next two minutes.

Sweden joined Russia on five points with their first win, 2-0 over Liechtenstein with a deflected goal from Erkan Zengin in the first half and a farcical Jimmy Durmaz strike early in the second.

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