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Giroud and Kane extend national scoring records as France and England win Euro qualifiers

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PARIS, June 17 (AP): Strikers Olivier Giroud and Harry Kane extended their national team scoring records as France and England maintained perfect starts to European Championship qualifying with third straight wins on Friday.

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Switzerland also has a maximum nine points after a 2-1 success at Andorra.

Giroud took only three minutes to head home Kingsley Coman’s right-wing cross to make it 54 goals for Les Bleus in a 3-0 win at Gibraltar in Group B.

Kane’s penalty in a 4-0 romp at Malta made it 56 goals for his table-topping nation in Group C.

World Cup runner-up France, which opened its campaign with wins against Ireland and the Netherlands, has yet to concede a goal.

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Amid intense speculation regarding his Paris Saint-Germain future, Kylian Mbappé captained Les Bleus at the 30,000-capacity Estádio Algarve in Faro, Portugal.

Mbappé calmly slotted in a penalty in first-half injury time for his 39th France goal. He’s only two behind fellow great Michel Platini, who’s fourth on France’s all-time scoring list.

But coach Didier Deschamps was not satisfied, and demanded more from his team.

“We could have, we should have scored more. We hit the post, the goalkeeper made some saves,” he said. “We can always do better when we play with more speed.”

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Midfielder Giorgos Masouras scored the winner as second-placed Greece won at home to Ireland 2-1 in the other Group B match.

Greece travels to play France at Stade de France on Monday.

England took the lead at Ta’ Qali National Stadium through an early Malta own goal, before Liverpool right back Trent Alexander-Arnold — with a brilliant strike — and Kane netted in quick succession for coach Gareth Southgate’s team.

Callum Wilson’s late penalty completed the scoring.

In another game, Ukraine rallied from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at North Macedonia with forward Viktor Tsygankov grabbing a late winner for the visitors.

GROUP D

With Croatia playing in the Nations League final, Wales blew the chance to go top after losing at home to Armenia. 4-2

Instead, Turkey moved into first place with six points after a dramatic 3-2 win at Latvia.

Irfan Kahveci scored Turkey’s winner five minutes into stoppage time, and one minute after Latvia equalized.

Wales was level on four points with Croatia but behind on goal difference.

GROUP H

With four teams level on six points, Denmark moved top on goal difference after beating Northern Ireland 1-0 at home thanks to Jonas Wind’s goal early in the second half.

Kazakhstan was second after a 3-0 victory at San Marino.

Forwards Joel Pohjanpalo and Oliver Antman scored as Finland beat previous leader Slovenia 2-0 at home to move into third spot.

GR AAOUP I

The Swiss lead by two points from Romania, which drew at Kosovo 0-0.

Oscar Gloukh netted an injury-time winner as third-placed Israel won at last-placed Belarus 2-1.

 

 

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