Men's Team

Goals for Sterling and Mahrez in World Cup Qualifying

Raheem Sterling was on target as England made it four wins from four in World Cup qualifying with a 4-0 victory over Hungary.

The winger joined City teammates Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker and John Stones – making his 50th international appearance – in starting for Gareth Southgate’s side in the Ferenc Puskas arena, with a flurry of three goals in 14 second half minutes helping to down the hosts.

Elsewhere, Mahrez found the net in an emphatic win for Algeria over Djibouti, Ilkay Gundogan helped Germany beat Liechtenstein, while Aymeric Laporte and Ferran Torres tasted defeat for Spain.

Despite failing to carve out a clear-cut chance in a cagey first half, Gareth Southgate’s side looked their most threatening down the left wing with Grealish typically in the thick of the action.

Our no.10 combined well with Luke Shaw and Mason Mount for one of England’s few goalscoring opportunities, cutting the ball back into the path of captain Harry Kane, who blazed an effort over from the edge of the box.

Walker was next to feed Kane, carving open the Hungarian defence with a delightful through ball before the 50-minute mark, but the Tottenham man’s scuffed finish was well saved by Peter Gulacsi.

But the Three Lions weren’t to be denied again, as Grealish fed Mount down the left, before the Chelsea midfielder cut the ball back into the path of Sterling.

And our winger made no mistake, coolly sliding home the game’s first goal to open the floodgates in the Hungarian capital.

Sterling turned provider soon after, feeding Kane with a drilled ball into the box after the hour which the England skipper duly nodded home from close-range.

It was Harry Maguire’s turn to get in on the act next, powering home a header from Shaw’s corner which was too hot to handle with 20 minutes still to play.

And Grealish got the assist his performance deserved late on, cutting back into the path of Declan Rice who's first-time effort squirmed under Gulacsi to complete a resounding Group I victory.

There was also joy for Mahrez, who helped Algeria get the second stage of their World Cup Qualifying campaign off to a dream start with a dominant 8-0 victory over Djibouti.

The City winger added his nation's seventh goal in Blida, while former Leicester man Islam Slimani grabbed four to down the beleaguered visitors, who had been reduced to ten men inside 23 minutes.

It was the Desert Foxes’ 28th match without defeat since losing to Benin in October 2018.

Elsewhere, Gundogan played 73 minutes for Germany as Die Mannschaft edged out Liechtenstein 2-0 in St. Gallen.

Timo Werner’s clinical finish on the stroke of half-time was doubled by former City man Leroy Sane with 13 minutes to play, but the 2014 World Cup winners remain second in Group J by a single point courtesy of Armenia's goalless draw at North Macedonia.

Nonetheless, the win ensured that the new era under former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick began with an important three points.

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However, it was a disappointing night for Laporte and Torres, who both started as Spain were leapfrogged by Sweden in Group B following a 2-1 defeat in Stockholm, while Rodrigo was handed a late cameo off the bench.

Carlos Soler's debut strike got La Roja off to a dream start inside five minutes, but Aleksandr Isak levelled for the hosts just 12 seconds after play had resumed.

Viktor Claesson then added a second for the Swedes in the 57th minute and, despite the best efforts of Laporte, Torres, Rodrigo and co., Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 semi-finalists couldn’t find a route back into the game.

The result also ensured that Spain's incredible 66-game unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying, stretching back to 1993, has been brought to an end.

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