World Cup qualifiers: England edge 10-man Slovakia, Denmark down Armenia

Sports Sunday 04/September/2016 22:48 PM
By: Times News Service
World Cup qualifiers: England edge 10-man Slovakia, Denmark down Armenia

Trnava: England's Adam Lallana scored his first international goal with the last kick of the game as they beat 10-man Slovakia 1-0 in their World Cup Group F qualifier on Sunday to get new manager Sam Allardyce's reign off to a winning start.
But for much of a lacklustre contest in Trnava it looked like England would be frustrated with a re-run of the goalless draw the teams shared in their last clash during the group stage at Euro 2016 in Saint-Etienne in June.
England struggled to shrug off familiar problems, controlling the game without looking like winning it even after Slovakia defender Martin Skrtel was dismissed for stamping on Harry Kane in the 57th minute.
His departure signalled a period of intense pressure from England, with Lallana hitting the post before he finally scrambled home the winner through the goalkeeper's legs as the referee checked his watch ready to blow the final whistle.
Eriksen scores, misses penalty
In Copenhagen, Christian Eriksen scored a first-half goal but missed a second-half penalty as wasteful Denmark began their qualifying campaign with 1-0 win over Armenia in European Group E on Sunday.
With the visitors missing captain and record goal-scorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan due to a thigh injury, Eriksen rifled home Viktor Fischer's backheeled pass in the 17th minute of coach Age Hareide's first competitive international in charge.
In driving rain, Fischer saw his powerful first-half shot from distance come cannoning back off the crossbar and Eriksen had a second-half penalty saved by Armenia goalkeeper Arsen Beglaryan as the Danes struggled to convert their dominance into goals.
Armenia, who have never qualified for the World Cup as an independent nation, managed just one shot on target and Denmark, who themselves missed out on Brazil on 2014, held out comfortably.
Former Norway coach Hareide was appointed last December to replace Morten Olsen after Denmark failed to qualify for Euro 2016.