Sports Football 27 Mar 2019 Racy game, race sham ...

Racy game, race shame

AFP
Published Mar 27, 2019, 2:43 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 2:43 am IST
England pump five past Montenegro amidst monkey chants.
England midfielder Ross Barkley (second from right) scores a goal during the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Podgorica City Stadium in Montenegro. England won 5-1.(Photo: AFP)
 England midfielder Ross Barkley (second from right) scores a goal during the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Podgorica City Stadium in Montenegro. England won 5-1.(Photo: AFP)

Paris: Mesmerising Kylian Mbappe led France’s rout of Iceland in Euro 2020 qualifiers Monday, but Cristiano Ronaldo hobbled off in Portugal’s disappointing draw with Serbia and racist abuse overshadowed five-star England in Montenegro.

Mbappe scored one and set up two more as the reigning world champions crushed Iceland 4-0 at the Stade de France to move top of Group ‘H’ in Euro 2020 qualifying.

 

The result gives France, 4-1 winners over Moldova in their Euro opener, six points from their first two matches and puts them ahead of Turkey, who also won 4-0, on goal difference.

Samuel Umititi, Olivier Giroud, Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann all scored as Iceland struggled to cope with a totally dominant France side.

Giroud’s 35th France goal moved him into third on the all-time list of French scorers, the Chelsea striker now trailing only Michel Platini (41) and Thierry Henry (51).

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In Group ‘A’, England were forced to come from behind in a 5-1 win over Montenegro. But another impressive victory for the Three Lions was overshadowed by allegations of racist abuse in Podgorica.

England players Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose reported hearing monkey chants.

England manager Gareth Southgate said he heard racist chants aimed at Danny Rose and promised to report the issue to UEFA. “I definitely heard abuse at Danny Rose when he got booked at the end of the game. There is no doubt in my mind it happened. We will make sure that is reported to UEFA because it’s not acceptable,” said Southgate.

UEFA announced the disciplinary case against Montenegro’s football association on Tuesday and said the case would be heard on May 16 by its disciplinary body.

English comeback

Marko Vesovic stunned England early on, but after drawing on their two previous visits to Podgorica, England showed why their current crop are among the favourites to be European champions next year.

Michael Keane’s header restored parity before Ross Barkley’s double either side of half-time put the visitors in command and Harry Kane and Sterling rounded off a comprehensive victory.

It was a different story in Lisbon as Fernando Santos’ reigning European champions Portugal, held to a 0-0 draw at home by Ukraine in their Group B opener, notched up a second draw, 1-1 at home to Serbia.

If the result wasn’t disappointing enough, captain Ronaldo hobbled off after 30 minutes.

Serbia’s Ajax playmaker Dusan Tadic opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Ronaldo was denied an equaliser two minutes later as his effort was very well saved Marko Dmitrovic.

The 156-time international then left the field after he pulled up chasing a ball on the left wing. He received quick treatment from members of the medical team before returning to action but was replaced minutes later. In his absence, Porto’s Danilo Pereira netted a 42nd-minute equaliser. 

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