LONDON: European champions Spain suffered their first qualifying defeat in 37 games since 2006 in going down 2-1 to Slovakia in Euro 2016 qualifying Group C.
Vicente Del Bosque’s side headed into the game in Zilina riding an eight-year, 36-match unbeaten run in qualifying competition, but Miroslav Stoch’s dramatic 87th-minute winner ended all that.
Substitute Paco Alcacer looked to have claimed a draw for a frustrated Spanish side when he struck eight minutes from time, cancelling out a swerving early free-kick from Juraj Kucka which had deceived Iker Casillas.
But the hosts roused themselves for a strong finish and Stoch headed home a fine cross from substitute Michal Duris to win the game.
Also in Group C, Ukraine got their points tally moving by edging a tight battle with Belarus 2-0 and FYR Macedonia edged Luxembourg 3-2.
Belarus defender Aleksandr Martynovich’s own goal eight minutes from time put the visitors ahead in Borisov and Serhiy Sydorchuk wrapped up the win in stoppage time.
In Skopje, Besart Abdurahimi scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to hand Macedonia the points against Luxembourg.
Luxembourg opened their campaign by taking a point from their clash with Belarus and looked set to continue their recent good form when two quick goals from Stefano Bensi and David Turpel overturned Aleksandar Trajkovski’s opener.
But Adis Jahovic equalised from the penalty spot and then Abdurahimi’s late intervention broke Luxembourg hearts.
In Group E, Wayne Rooney edged one goal closer to Sir Bobby Charlton’s record as England coasted past San Marino with a simple if not spectacular 5-0 win at Wembley.
The 55,990 fans in attendance started to get anxious when England failed to open the scoring in the first 20 minutes, but Roy Hodgson’s team finally broke the deadlock through Phil Jagielka’s third international goal.
Rooney’s well-taken penalty before half-time moved the England captain onto 42 international goals – seven short of Charlton’s mark – with further strikes after the break from Danny Welbeck, substitute Andros Townsend and an Alessandro Della Valle own goal sealing the rout.
Milivoje Novakovic’s late penalty earned Slovenia an unlikely 1-0 win over Switzerland in Maribor, with the striker converting 10 minutes from time after Johan Djourou had brought down Kevin Kampl.
Saulius Mikoliunas scored the only goal of the game in Vilnius as Lithuania defeated Estonia 1-0, heading past goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko in the 76th minute.
The visitors finished the game with 10 men after Ken Kallaste was sent off in the 86th minute for a second bookable offence.
Ola Toivonen filled the Zlatan Ibrahimovic role to snatch a 1-1 draw for Sweden against Russia in their Group G clash in Stockholm.
Sweden were without their talisman Ibrahimovic at the Friends Arena but Toivanen deputised well and swept home an equaliser early in the second half to cancel out Aleksandr Kokorin’s opener.
It otherwise proved a frustrating night for Sweden, who have now drawn their opening two fixtures, with Sebastian Larsson having a penalty saved by Igor Akinfeev.
In the same pool, Austria claimed their first victory of the qualifying programme with a 2-1 triumph over Moldova in Chisinau, while Liechtenstein held firm to deny Montenegro and earn a goalless draw at the Rheinpark Stadion.
David Alaba’s penalty put the Austrians ahead and, although Alexandru Dedov equalised with another spot-kick, Marc Janko grabbed the winner – before being sent off in the closing stages for a foul on Moldova goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu.