Swiss Up­set Euro 2016 Win­ners

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Zurich: Switzer­land beat Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Por­tu­gal 2-0 in their open­ing World Cup 2018 Group B qual­i­fier yes­ter­day. Breel Em­bolo and Ahmed Mehmedi scored firsthalf goals for the hosts, who had Ar­se­nal mid­fielder Granit Xhaka sent off in stop­page time. Por­tu­gal were miss­ing Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, with the Real Madrid for­ward in­jured since July’s Euro 2016 fi­nal. FRANCE Beaten fi­nal­ists France got their own cam­paign off to a slow start with a 0-0 Group A draw in Be­larus. AUS­TRALIA For­mer Ever­ton mid­fielder Tim Cahill came off the bench to give Aus­tralia a 1-0 win over the United Arab Emi­rates in the third round of qual­i­fy­ing for the 2018 World Cup. The 36-year-old drilled home a cross from Bournemouth’s Brad Smith with his first touch after com­ing on. The Soc­ceroos made it two wins from two games to go top of Group B, ahead of Saudi Ara­bia, who beat Iraq 2-1 in a game that was played in Malaysia be­cause of se­cu­rity is­sues in Iraq, on goal dif­fer­ence. OTHER RE­SULTS Swe­den held the Nether­lands to a 1-1 draw with a Wes­ley Snei­jder goal can­celling out a chip from Mar­cus Berg, while Bul­garia beat Lux­em­bourg 4-3 thanks to an in­jury-time win­ner from for­mer Aston Villa winger Alek­san­dar Tonev. For­mer Ever­ton boss Roberto Martinez won his first com­pet­i­tive match as Bel­gium man­ager with a 3-0 vic­tory in Cyprus. Martinez’s side had been booed by some Bel­gian fans after a 2-0 de­feat by Spain in a friendly last week, but a dou­ble from Tof­fees striker Romelu Lukaku and a late third from Yan­nick Car­rasco gave them three points. De­spite the com­fort­able win they are third in their group after the first round of matches after for­mer Manch­ester City striker Edin Dzeko was among the scor­ers as Bos­nia-Herze­gov­ina ham­mered Es­to­nia 5-0 and Greece eased to a 4-1 win in Gi­bral­tar.

Photo: Zim­bio

Tim Cahill of Aus­tralia cel­e­brates his goal over UAE.

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