By Izuchukwu Okosi: Spain on Friday confirmed their participation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Albania, while Group G rivals Italy will settle for a place in the play-offs, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Goals from Moreno Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago Alcantara in the first half were enough for the Spain to qualify from the group having gained 25 points after matchday-nine.
Italy were stunned as lowly rated Macedonia held them at home, at the Stadio Olimpico. It ended 1-1, which was only good enough to guaeantee a place in the playoffs. They now have 20 points with one round of games to go in the group qualifiers.
Giorgio Chiellini scored for the Azurri but Alexandar Trajkovski equalised for Macedonia, Goran Pandev providing the assist.
Also in Group G, Liechtenstein lost 1-0 at home to Israel.
Austria won 3-2 against Serbia in a closely fought match in Group D, while Wales pipped Georgia 1-0 away at the Boris Paichadze Arena. Tom Lawrence scored for the Welsh side with Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey the provider.
Republic of Ireland handed a 2-0 defeat to Moldova in the other Group D game of the night.
In Group I, Croatia and Finland finished their meeting on a 1-1 draw, Turkey lost 0-3 at home to Iceland and Ukraine travelled to Kosovo to secure a 2-0 win.