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Germany, Italy & Sweden win; defective goal delays Switzerland game

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Serge GnabrySince World Cup 2018, Serge Gnabry has been involved in 18 goals in 17 appearances for Germany – eight more than any other current Germany player

Serge Gnabry's 16th-minute strike earned Germany victory in Romania as Joachim Low's side secured their second successive win in World Cup qualifying Group J.

The Bayern Munich attacker swept home a square ball from Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz, who shone in Bucharest.

Gnabry also had a shot saved superbly by Florin Nita, who then stayed alert to deny Chelsea's Timo Werner.

Manuel Neuer bravely blocked an effort from Nicolae Stanciu late in the game.

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The win in Bucharest means Germany sit at the top of the group on six points, above Armenia on goal difference. Next up for Low's side is a match at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday.

Italy lead Group C on goal difference from Switzerland following a 2-0 win in Bulgaria, as Roberto Mancini's men extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches.

Torino captain Andrea Belotti, who started up front alongside Juventus forward Federico Chiesa, scored from the spot just before half-time after he was fouled in the area by Daniel Dimov.

Manuel Locatelli curled in the second in the 82nd minute to all but ensure victory.

Replacement goals at St Gallen's stadiumGoal rush: officials bring out replacement goals after finding one set on the pitch did not meet the right standards

Switzerland defeated Lithuania 1-0, but kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes because one of the goals was too big at St Gallen's Kybunpark Stadium.

Reports suggested the goalposts were too high on one side when inspected before the game by match officials. A police officer helped staff remove the goal, which was eventually replaced by a spare set.

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The drama did not affect Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored what was to prove the winner after only two minutes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced an excellent backheel flick to set up Sweden's opener in their 3-0 win in Kosovo.

The 39-year-old, who returned to international football last week, provided the assist for Ludwig Augustinsson's opener in the 12th minute.

Alexander Isak and former Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson, from the spot, scored the other goals for Janne Andersson's side.

The Swedes lead Group B on six points – two clear of 2010 champions Spain, who earlier beat Georgia 2-1.

Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-ups

Romania

Formation 4-2-3-1

1Nita4Popescu6Chiriches3Tosca22Malino Paulino7Stanciu18Marin14Hagi19Tanase21Mihaila13Keseru1Nita4PopescuBooked at 16mins6Chiriches3Tosca22Malino PaulinoSubstituted forAndonie Burcaat 45'minutes7Stanciu18Marin14HagiSubstituted forMaximat 83'minutes19TanaseSubstituted forCicaldauat 83'minutes21MihailaSubstituted forManat 66'minutes13KeseruSubstituted forPuscasat 66'minutes

Substitutes

2Mogos5Nedelcearu8Cicaldau9Puscas10Maxim11Bancu12Lazar15Andonie Burca16Radu17Bicfalvi20Man23Cretu

Germany

Formation 4-3-3

1Neuer13Klostermann4Ginter16Rüdiger23Can18Goretzka6Kimmich21Gündogan10Havertz20Gnabry19Sané1Neuer13Klostermann4Ginter16Rüdiger23Can18Goretzka6KimmichBooked at 90mins21Gündogan10HavertzSubstituted forWernerat 77'minutes20GnabrySubstituted forNeuhausat 90+2'minutes19SanéSubstituted forYounesat 90+4'minutes

Substitutes

2Max5Tah8Musiala9Werner11Younes12Leno14Neuhaus17Wirtz22ter StegenReferee:Clément Turpin

Match Stats

Home TeamRomaniaAway TeamGermanyPossessionHome34%Away66%ShotsHome9Away18Shots on TargetHome2Away9CornersHome3Away6FoulsHome10Away11

Live Text

    Post update

    Match ends, Romania 0, Germany 1.

    Source

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