Euro 2020: Sterling Hat-trick in England Rout, France Blitz Moldova

Raheem Sterling hit a hat-trick as England start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by hammering the Czech Republic 5-0.

The Manchester City attacker now has five goals in his last three international appearances to propel England to the top of Group A ahead of Monday’s trip to Montenegro, who drew 1-1 at Bulgaria.

Sterling opened the scoring in the 24th minute when he tapped home Jadon Sancho’s cross, and struck twice more in the second half to put the result beyond doubt after Harry Kane fired home his 21st England goal from the penalty spot.

World champions France also got off to a perfect start after an older head in Antoine Griezmann spurred the them to a comfortable 4-1 victory at Moldova.

Griezmann opened the scoring with his 27th France goal in the 24th minute of their Group H encounter before crossing for Raphael Varane to double the scores three minutes later.

Olivier Giroud equalled David Trezeguet as Les Bleus’ third highest scorer of all time with his 34th international goal nine minutes before the break and Kylian Mbappe completed the rout with three minutes left, before Vladimir Ambros claimed a late consolation for Moldova.

Griezmann would have had two more assists had Giroud and Paul Pogba been more clinical in front of goal, but France’s display was good for the three points and top spot in the group ahead of Iceland and Turkey, 2-0 winners against Albania and Andorra respectively.

Cristiano Ronaldo drew a blank on his return to international football after nine months away, as Ukraine battled to a goalless draw in Lisbon.

The draw was the first time Santos’ side have failed to score at home in 19 matches and leaves them second in the group behind Luxembourg, who beat Lithuania 2-1.

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