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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sloppy Germany Gets by Albania

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Germany played like a three-time world champion for only 20 minutes, but that was enough to beat gritty Albania 2-1 in a European Championship qualifying match.


After an opening blitz, the Germans played a ragged match Sunday in a performance sure to increase the pressure on coach Berti Vogts, who has been taking heat since the team was beaten in the World Cup quarterfinals. In a recent poll, 70 percent of Germany's first-division players felt he was the wrong man to head the team.


Behind goals by Lothar Matthaeus and J--rgen Klinsmann, Germany ran its record to 3-0 in Group 7.


Altin Rraklli scored Albania's goal in the 58th minute off a pass from fellow forward Indrit Fortuzi.


The Germans, coming off a 3-0 win over Moldova on Wednesday that they hoped was the beginning of an upswing, struck first in the 8th minute. Andy Moeller threaded a pass to an unmarked Ulf Kirsten, forcing Strakosha to foul the striker to prevent the goal. Matthaeus then drilled the penalty.


Nine minutes later, Thomas Helmer set up Klinsmann on a left cross and the Tottenham forward outleaped the Albanian defenders. His header was his third goal in the qualifying round.


Portugal 8, Liechtenstein 0. Domingos Oliveira scored twice in the first 11 minutes to spark an 8-0 rout over Liechtenstein and move Portugal to the top of Group 6 in European Championship qualifying.


It was the fourth victory in as many games for Portugal, which until Sunday hadn't scored more than three goals in a qualifying game this year. Liechtenstein, which missed a penalty, fell to 0-0-5, having been outscored 21-1.


Domingos started the rout by stripping a Liechtenstein defender, dishing off to Joao Silva, then cutting to the net for the return pass and the score. Nine minutes later and it was Domingos again, unloading from 30 meters and finding the right corner over goalkeeper Martin Heeb.


Domingos set up a third a minute before half, sending a cross into Oceano Cruz, who knocked in a right-footer.


Portugal used pressure to score five more in the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Joao Pinto intercepted an upfield pass and blasted it from 40 meters to score in the 54th before Fernando Couto, Antonio Folha and Paulo Alves all added goals in three minutes to make the score 7-0 by the 63rd. Alves added a second in the 65th minute, skipping a 10-meter shot past Heeb.


Greece 1, Scotland 0. A controversial first-half penalty by defender Stratos Apostolakis gave Greece a 1-0 win over Scotland on Sunday to retain its unbeaten record in their European Championship qualifying group.


Scotland felt it should have been awarded a penalty in the 85th minute when Apostolakis felled John Spencer, but Dutch referee Joe Blankenstein ignored its pleas.


The Scots protested vigorously when Blankenstein pointed to the spot after Colin Hendry lunged into a tackle on Alexandris in the 19th minute.


Scotland manager Craig Brown said he was disappointed about the two penalty decisions.


"I have stronger feelings about the one we lost than the one we didn't get but I will keep them to myself," Brown said. (Reuters, AP)