Ronaldo closes in on 100 goals, England qualify for Euro 2020 with 7-0 win

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring Portugal’s second goal against Lithuania. (REUTERS) 

England’s Harry Kane scored a first-half hat-trick as they booked a place in the finals of Euro 2020 with an easy 7-0 victory over Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on Thursday. England lead Group A on 18 points with one game remaining and can now look forward to next year’s tournament which will see the semi-finals and final played at Wembley.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring for England, playing their 1,000th international game, in the 11th minute before Kane nodded in the second eight minutes later and then made it 3-0 with another header in the 24th.

Montenegro, bottom of the group without a win, were too easily exposed at the back and Marcus Rashford made it 4-0 before Kane wrapped up his hat-trick in the 37th minute.

Mason Mount had a goal disallowed after the break but an own goal by Aleksandar Sofranac made it 6-0 and substitute Tammy Abraham grabbed his first England goal six minutes from time.

Portugal hit six

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored another hat-trick, moving closer to 100 international goals, as he led the European champions to a 6-0 drubbing over Lithuania in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday.

Ronaldo, whose hat-trick was the 55th of his career and his ninth for Portugal, has 98 goals and would become only the second player to score a century for his country after Iran’s Ali Daei.

Pizzi, Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva shared the other goals in the one-sided Group B match. The defending champions, however, were left waiting to confirm their place at next year’s finals after Serbia beat Luxemburg 3-2. Portugal are second with 14 points, one ahead of Serbia, and will qualify if they win in Luxemburg on Sunday. Leaders Ukraine have already qualified.

Mitrovic’s brace keeps Serbia in Euro 2020 contention

Serbia kept alive their hopes of reaching next year’s European Championship after a first-half brace from Aleksandar Mitrovic helped them scramble a 3-2 home win over Luxembourg in a Group B qualifier on Thursday. The result left Serbia third in the group on 13 points from seven games. They are one point behind holders Portugal who romped to a 6-0 home rout of Lithuania and six adrift of already qualified Ukraine.

In order to advance, the Serbians must beat Ukraine at home in their final game and hope Portugal fail to win in Luxembourg on Sunday. Should they fail, Serbia could still qualify via the Nations League playoffs in March.

Fulham striker Mitrovic headed Serbia into an 11th-minute lead and made it 2-0 with a spectacular shot into the top corner in the 43rd, with the home side missing several chances in a lively first half.

Nemanja Radonjic restored Serbia’s two-goal advantage with a piledriver from 20 metres after Gerson Rodrigues had pulled one back, but the home side endured a nervy finish as David Turpel headed Luxembourg’s second in the 75th minute.

Mitrovic missed a late chance to grab a hat-trick when he hit the post from close range.

France and Turkey qualify for Euro 2020

France and Turkey have qualified for the 2020 European Championship after Iceland drew 0-0 in Istanbul. Iceland needed to beat Group H leader Turkey on Thursday to stay in the running for a direct berth in next year’s tournament.

Hordur Magnusson came close for Iceland, eight minutes from time, but his effort from a corner was blocked on the line by Turkey defender Merih Demiral.

Turkey moved to 20 points, one more than France, which hosts Moldova later.

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