France end winless run as big guns hit target

Sarajevo: Two late goals from Karim Benzema and Florent Malouda gave France their first win in six competitive matches and kick-started their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign when they beat Bosnia 2-0.

Traditional powerhouses Italy, Germany, England and World Cup runners-up Netherlands all maintained their perfect starts with the goals flowing as they seek to seal their places in the finals in Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

Italy crushed Faroe Islands 5-0, Germany blasted Azerbaijan, managed by former West Germany`s World Cup winner Berti Vogts, 6-1, England won 3-1 in Switzerland and the Dutch saw off Finland 2-1 with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scoring both their goals.

Sweden also hit the goal trail with a 6-0 win over San Marino but Portugal, struggling without suspended coach Carlos Queiroz and the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, continued to stumble.

After drawing 4-4 with Cyprus in their opening qualifier on Friday, Portugal crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Norway in Oslo and they are now second-bottom of Group H ahead of traditional no-hopers Iceland who were beaten 1-0 by Denmark.

There was a thriller in Istanbul where Turkey and Belgium traded the lead before the Turks won 3-2 to maintain their perfect start in Group A.

There were few shocks on the second major night of European Championship qualifiers which brought to a close the first double-header of the campaign following Friday`s opening games.

But Russia were stunned in Moscow where Slovakia secured a 1-0 victory thanks to a first-half goal from Miroslav Stoch.

Liechtenstein also came within seconds of a rare competitive point against Scotland at Hampden Park where they took the lead through skipper Mario Frick early in the second half.

Scotland, facing one of the worst results in their long international history, salvaged their respect and all three points with a 97th minute winner from Stephen McManus who headed home a corner in the last few seconds of stoppage time.

Bureau Repor