Menu
Home

More Sports

Italy match abandoned after crowd trouble

Italy's European Championship qualifier against Serbia in Genoa was abandoned after just seven minutes on Tuesday because of crowd trouble.

Montenegro became the first team to hold England scoreless at the new Wembley Stadium, achieving a 0-0 draw in London. Spain, the Netherlands and Germany maintained their perfect starts with victories.

The United States played a 0-0 draw against visiting Colombia, and Mexico got goals from Javier Hernandez and Giovani dos Santos in a 2-2 tie at home against Venezuela.

Serbia fans, who had clashed with police during the day, delayed the start of the Group C match by 45 minutes before throwing flares and fireworks onto the field once play finally began. Referee Craig Thomson of Scotland stopped the game, with the score at 0-0, but Italy is likely to be awarded the victory 3-0 by forfeit.

Serbia fans have grown disillusioned with their team, which started former American youth national team defender Neven Subotic, after its poor beginning in qualifying, which followed a first-round exit from the World Cup. Fans whistled and booed the Serbian national anthem, and Serbia goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic was nearly hit by one of the flares thrown onto the pitch field.

"The referee felt that the players' security couldn't be assured. Now it's up to UEFA and their disciplinary procedures," Italian soccer federation general secretary Antonello Valentini told RAI television.

Montenegro (3-0-1), which leads Group G with 10 points, accomplished what Brazil, Germany and the United States could not.

The Brave Falcons, who extended their unbeaten streak to five games, started D.C. United midfielder Branko Boskovic for the match at the $1.6 billion, 90,000-seat stadium, which opened in 2007. The Adriatic nation, with a population of about 670,000, has risen from 119th to 40th in FIFA's rankings since its independence from Serbia.

"We put in a great display," Montenegro coach Zlatko Kranjcar said through a translator. "We had a plan. We knew England's strength, and we know how to avoid a defeat. And we made the plan work perfectly."

England (2-0-1), which is ranked sixth, is three points back. The English are trying to win fans back following their 4-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup's second round.

"We really should be winning games like that," said Three Lions captain Rio Ferdinand, who returned from a knee injury that caused him to miss the World Cup.

World and European champion Spain squandered a two-goal lead at Scotland but Fernando Llorente's 79th-minute volley — three minutes after he entered the game — gained a 3-2 win in Group I.

David Villa converted a penalty kick in the 44th minute to set a Spanish record with his 45th goal, one more than Raul Gonzalez.

"He has had a great career up until now, and to be able to speak to him as a great striker like Raul is a great thing," Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said. "He was one of the keys to us winning the World Cup."

Andres Iniesta made it 2-0 in the 55th, but Scotland tied it on Steven Naismith's goal in the 58th and an own goal by Gerard Pique eight minutes later.

Germany won 3-0 at Kazakhstan 3-0 as Lukas Podolski set up Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez for goals in the second half, then scored himself as Germany improved to 4-0.

Klose's left-footed shot in the 48th minute was his 10th for Germany this year — all from June on — and 58th in 105 international appearances. He is second on Germany's career scoring list, 10 behind Gerd Mueller.

Gomez, who replaced Klose, his Bayern Munich teammate, beat goalkeeper Andrei Sidelnikov from 13 yards in the 76th.

Podolski scored in the 85th with a left-footed shot following a solo run through the defense. With his 42nd goal, he tied Michael Ballack for seventh on the German list.

"What the team has done this year is sensational," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "I can't always expect a gala, but we won the game and did the job."

World Cup runnerup the Netherlands routed visiting Sweden 4-1 for its fourth consecutive Group E victory. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Affellay scored two goals each.

Elsewhere, Group D leader France beat visiting Luxembourg 2-0 as Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff scored, and Cristiano Ronaldo's goal on a fourth-minute free kick started Portugal to a 3-1 victory at Iceland.

Former Real Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan scored in his third consecutive qualifier, helping Armenia beat Andorra 4-0 Tuesday. The 23-year-old had a green card and was potentially eligible to play for the United States. He has three goals in five games for Armenia.