Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Italy, Holland Roll to Easy Victories

LONDON -- Italy maintained its 100 percent record and replaced England at the top of World Cup qualifying group two when it defeated Moldova 3-0 in Trieste.


The Italians, who won 1-0 in England last month, were never troubled by the visitors and ran out easy winners with an outstanding individual goal from Paolo Maldini (24) and others from Gianfranco Zola (44) and Christian Vieri (49), who scored Italy's 1000th international goal on his debut.


The result gives the Italians 12 points from four matches -- 3 more than England, which was not on World Cup duty Saturday, but beat Mexico 2-0 in a friendly at Wembley instead.


The Netherlands also preserved their 100 percent record with a 4-0 win over San Marino in group seven in Amsterdam but it took the strong Dutch team 44 minutes to score the first goal when goalkeeper Federico Gasperoni let an innocuous Patrick Kluivert shot bobble through his legs.


The Dutch were again unable to find a rhythm in the second half, drawing whistles from the large crowd in the Amsterdam Arena, until captain Frank de Boer's 58th minute goal.


A late header from Pierre van Hooij-donk and a neat chip on the stroke of full time for De Boer's second lent some respectability to the scoreline.


The win gives the Dutch a maximum 12 points from their first four games ahead of second-placed Belgium which has nine.


Belgium beat Wales 2-1 in Cardiff, just about ending Wales' last lingering hopes of qualifying for its first World Cup finals since 1958.


Earlier Saturday, Romania crushed part-timer Liechtenstein 8-0 in a group eight match to record its biggest win since beating Finland 9-0 in a World Cup qualifier nearly 24 years ago.


Gheorghe Popescu, the Barcelona midfielder, led the rout with four goals, and Romania could easily have doubled its tally.


The result maintained Romania's 100 percent start in the group with four straight wins and moved it five points clear of Macedonia and Ireland which both have seven points and meet each other Wednesday.


Scotland also consolidated its position at the top of group four with a 2-0 win over Estonia in the first international at Kilmarnock for 87 years.


The capacity crowd of 18,000 created a carnival-like atmosphere, which inspired defender Tom Boyd to score his first international goal in his 43rd match for his country. An Estonian own goal in the second half ensured Scotland's win, which took it four points clear of Austria at the top. Scotland meets Austria in Glasgow on Wednesday.


The two matches in group nine produced only one goal with Ukraine beating Albania 1-0 in neutral Granada in Spain.


Only 250 fans paid to see the game which was switched from Tirana because of the unrest in the Balkan country. Ukraine won with a first-half goal from Sergei Rebrov.


Northern Ireland, which faces Ukraine on Wednesday, drew 0-0 with Portugal in Belfast, leaving the Portuguese on top of the group on goal difference from Ukraine and Irish hopes in the balance.


Croatia had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Denmark in a group one match after a strong wind diverted a Brian Laudrup cross into the top corner of the net with only eight minutes left.


The home team held the initiative for much of the game but failed to convert any of its chances.


But five minutes into the second half Croatia's top scorer, Davor Suker, did manage to tip the ball over Peter Schmeichel after a cross by Robert Jarni from the left.


Laudrup's late equalizer got caught up in the strong wind and took Croatian goalkeeper Drazen Ladic by surprise.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)