LONDON: Kosovo’s first competitive home fixture ended in a 6-0 defeat by Croatia that leaves them bottom of their World Cup qualifying group.
A hat-trick from Mario Mandzukic, followed by further goals from Matej Mitrovic, Ivan Perisic and substitute Nikola Kalinic secured a one-sided victory for visitors Croatia, who with four points from two games top Group I.
Kosovo, who are sixth, have one point earned from their first ever competitive match: a 1-1 draw last month in Finland.
Ozan Tufan’s header in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, from Hakan Calhanoglu’s cross, reduced the hosts’ deficit. Calhanoglu then brought them level in the 81st minute from the penalty spot, after Taras Stepanenko’s foul on Cenk Tosun, leaving Turkey fourth with two points, the same total as third-placed Ukraine.
Iceland ended the evening in second, and like Croatia with four points, after a dramatic comeback in their 3-2 home defeat of Finland.
After Kari Arnason headed them level following another header from Teemu Pukki that had given Finland the lead, Robin Lod restored the visitors’ first-half advantage.
It was not until the 90th minute that a further header, from Alfred Finnbogason, brought Iceland level, and led to Ragnar Sigurdsson’s close-range, match-winning finish in the fifth minute of added time.
A 1-0 home defeat of Georgia took the Republic of Ireland level on points with Group D leaders Wales.
Seamus Coleman’s first ever international goal, in the 56th minute, gives fourth-placed Ireland a total of four points from two games, like Wales, second-placed Serbia, and Austria.
Hosts Austria held Wales to a 2-2 draw. After Joe Allen gave Wales a 22nd-minute lead, his Stoke team-mate Marko Arnautovic headed Austria level.
An own-goal from Kevin Wimmer gave Wales a half-time lead, before Arnautovic’s finish three minutes into the second half ensured a draw.
Serbia won 3-0 away to Moldova with two first-half goals from Filip Kostic and Branislav Ivanovic, which were both assisted by Dusan Tadic, who finished off an impressive performance with their third in the 59th minute.
Albania surprisingly lead Group G with maximum points from two fixtures after their 2-0 win at Liechtenstein, which was secured by Peter Jehle’s first-half own goal and Bekim Balaj’s 71st-minute header.
Italy and second-placed Spain remain the favourites, but they drew 1-1 in Turin when Daniele De Rossi’s 82nd-minute penalty cancelled out Vitolo’s 55th-minute finish, leaving the hosts third and each with a total of four points.
Israel are fourth after their first points came in a 2-1 win at Macedonia, whose goal difference means they remain ahead of sixth-placed Liechtenstein.
Tomer Hemed’s header gave the visitors the lead, before Tal Ben Haim doubled their advantage. Ilija Nestorovski responded in the 63rd minute for Macedonia, before winning the stoppage-time penalty that resulted in Eytan Tibi being sent off. The visitors’ goalkeeper Dudu saved well from Adis Jahovic’s spot-kick, securing all three points.