Switzerland and Belgium keep perfect start
Switzerland kept its 100 percent record in a World Cup qualifying group yesterday, though labored in beating the Faeroe Islands 2-0.
Goals in each half from recalled forward Eren Derdiyok and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner were enough on a rain-swept evening.
Switzerland has seemed to ease off since opening its program with impressive wins against its two closest rivals.
Still, the Swiss were seldom threatened and also struck the frame of the goal in each half against visitors who lost 6-0 at home to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal last month.
Derdiyok showed high-class technique to open the scoring in the 27th minute, taking a long lofted ball from Valon Behrami with a controlling first touch. He then struck a low left-foot shot past goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen.
It was the 11th goal of Derdiyok's 56-match international career which has only rarely fulfilled the 28-year-old forward's early promise.
Admir Mehmedi's shot struck a post in the 78th five minutes before Lichtsteiner sealed the three points. The veteran right-back advanced deep into the penalty area to meet left-back Ricardo Rodriguez's cross with a bouncing header.
Hungary captain Balazs Dzudzsak created first-half goals for 37-year-old Zoltan Gera and Adam Lang in Budapest against Andorra. Adam Gyursco and Adam Szalai added late goals.
Hungary has seven points from four matches, and next travels to play Portugal in March. Then, Switzerland will be favored to beat Latvia at home.
In the other match from this group European champions Portugal defeated Latvia 4-1 with a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arjen Robben marked his return to international duty after a year sidelined by injuries with a goal as the Netherlands beat Luxembourg 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier.
But the Bayern Munich winger's long-awaited return lasted only 45 minutes, with Robben appearing in discomfort late in the first half and not returning after the break. His replacement, Memphis Depay, seized his chance by scoring twice to ensure the Netherlands went second in Group A behind leader France.
Daley Blind set up Depay's first goal and said he was happy for his Manchester United teammate, who has struggled at Old Trafford.
"It's great for him," Blind said. "I know he is working really hard. He deserved it."
Robben opened the scoring with a trademark goal to give the Netherlands a 36th-minute lead, collecting a quick pass from Davy Klaassen, cutting in from the right and shooting low into the far corner with his left foot.
Robben's attacking threat was not enough to make up for the defensive frailties that have plagued the Netherlands in the last two years and Luxembourg leveled just before half time.
PSV wing back Joshua Brenet, starting his first international for the Netherlands, hauled down Daniel Da Mota as he cut in from the left and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.
Defender Maxime Chanot calmly stroked the ball to Maarten Stekelenburg's right as the 'keeper went to his left for Luxembourg's first goal against the Netherlands since 1963.
The second half started without Robben, who said he felt a small cramp just before the interval and the doctor told him he should not take any risks.
"It's a great shame," Robben said. "I wanted to play."
Depay, who has fallen out of favor with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, combined with Blind to restore the Netherlands' lead in the 58th, powerfully heading in his cross from the left. It was the fourth international goal for Depay.
He got his fifth by curling a free kick over the Luxembourg wall six minutes from fulltime.
In Group A's other match Sunday, Spartak Moscow's Ivelin Popov scored after 10 minutes as Bulgaria beat Belarus 1-0 in Sofia.
In group H Belgium maintained its 100 percent record with a massive 8-1 over Estonia, who had just conceeded seven goals in their previous three encounters of the group.
Meunier, Mertens and Eden Hazard gave belgium a threegoal lead by the interval, but there was no stopping the Belgians yesterday as they scored five more goals after the break.
Carrasco, a Klavan own goal, Dries Mertens second one, and a brace from Romelu Lukaku completed Estonia’s misery.
Greece and Bosnia drew 1-1 in another match.
Erin Derdiyok celebrates his goal for Switzerland yesterday