England on track for Euro 2016

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England got their UEFA 2016 qualifiers off to the perfect start in Group E, as new Arsenal £16m signing Danny Welbeck scored both goals to sink Switzerland 2-0 in Basel on Wednesday night.

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England triumph

The Three Lions didn't have it all their own way, with Joe Hart twice making smart saves to deny Swiss striker Haris Seferovic, as well as Gary Cahill getting back to clear the ball after substitute Josip Drmic had rounded the goalkeeper.

But after Switzerland lost concentration, England countered. Wayne Rooney ran at the back-peddling Swiss defence, played it to Raheem Sterling who swept the ball across the box and Welbeck met it to give England the lead.

And with the Swiss desperately trying to get back into the game, they were hit with a sucker punch in the dying minutes. Sterling found space on the halfway line, passed up the pitch towards substitute Rickie Lambert, and his Liverpool team mate held the ball up, before playing in Welbeck who confidently put the ball past keeper Yann Sommer.

Elsewhere, in England's group Estonia surprisingly beat ten-man Slovenia 1-0 in Tallinn. Dalibor Stefanovic picked up two yellow cards with 11 minutes to go, before Ats Purje scrambled the ball home to win the game five minutes from time, just a minute after coming on the Balkan side.

And minnows San Marino were seen off comfortably 2-0 by Lithuania, with Deivydas Matulevicius and Arvydas Novikovas on the scoresheet for the former Soviet Union country.

Spain success

Spain also got their qualifying campaign off to a great start as Vicente Del Bosque's new look side thrashed Macedonia 5-1 in Valencia, with five different players getting on the score sheet for La Roja.

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos opened the scoring from the spot with a Panenka-style penalty after Manchester City's David Silva was scythed down in the box, before Valencia starlet Paco Alcacer scored his first goal for his country, as the 21-year-old striker volleyed home from a great cross across goal by Atletico defender Juanfan.

Macedonia got back in the game from a penalty of their own, after Juanfran brought down Aleksandar Trajkovski by the byline, and Agim Ibraimi dispatched the penalty perfectly past keeper Iker Casillas.

But Spain's two goal lead was restored in first half stoppage time, with Barcelona lynchpin Sergio Busquets scoring his first ever for Spain, after his sweetly struck volley was deflected, leaving Macedonia keeper Tomislav Pačovski wrong footed as the ball went in the opposite corner.

It was then 4-1, as Barca left back Jordi Alba dragged the ball back for Silva, who shot across goal into the opposite corner, and the rout was sealed when Pedro chipped the ball into the net in injury time.

Russia rout

Former England manager Fabio Capello was on the winning side as Russia comfortably seen off minnows Liechenstein 4-0 in Khimki. The land-locked country was unfortunate twice with own goals, before a Dmitry Kombarov penalty and Artyom Dzyuba made the result a formality.

Austria and Sweden played out a controversial 1-1 draw in Vienna, as Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, fresh from becoming his country's record goalscorer, was accused of elbowing Bayern star David Alaba, who had given the Austrian's the lead from the penalty. Erkan Zengin equalised with a brilliant volley, his first for the national team.

Slovakia picked up a surprise win away at the formidable Ukraine, after Robert Mak scored the only goal of the game 18 minutes into the match in Kiev, with Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov denied a last minute equalizer for a foul given by referee Craig Thomson.

Montenegro won 2-0 against Moldova, with former Juventus and Roma star Mirko Vucinic scoring the pick of the goals, and Belarus scored late in the game to grab a 1-1 draw against Luxembourg.

Australia won 3-2 away at Saudi Arabia in a friendly, with Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Bailey Wright on the scoresheet for the Socceroos, Wright scoring his first ever goal for Australia on his debut.

Uruguay pulled off a narrow 1-0 against South Korea, Atletico defender Jose Gimenez scoring after 68 minutes, and New Zealand lost 3-1 away at Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

Uzbeki captain Odil Ahmedov scored twice, the centre midfielder having been linked with Arsenal a few years back. 

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