World Cup qualifying in Europe took a quirky turn when the goalposts were removed before a match between Switzerland and Lithuania because they were deemed the incorrect size.
It was one of the few things that didn’t go to script on Sunday.
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All of the continent’s heavyweight countries secured victories, though Spain left it late — the second minute of stoppage time, to be precise — to see off Georgia 2-1 after falling behind.
Like Spain, France started its qualification campaign with an unexpected draw at home but also got back on track in its second game, easing to a 2-0 win at Kazakhstan.
Italy stretched its unbeaten streak to 24 games with a 2-0 win in Bulgaria, and England also moved onto a maximum six points in group play with a 2-0 victory at Albania. Germany made it two straight wins to open qualifying, too, by beating Romania 1-0 away.
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Meanwhile, Denmark became the latest European team to use the World Cup qualifiers to direct attention to workers’ rights in 2022 host Qatar. Its players wore red T-shirts with the slogan “Football supports change” for the customary team photo before kicking off against Moldova, which Denmark went on to beat 8-0.
The Danish soccer federation said the shirts will be signed and auctioned to raise money for projects with Amnesty International that help migrant workers in Qatar.