Spain ran Liechtenstein ragged as they began their 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign with a thumping 8-0 win in Leon.

Seven of their goals came in a devastating second-half display as Liechtenstein crumbled after frustrating their hosts early on.

Diego Costa, David Silva and Alvaro Morata all scored twice while Sergi Roberto and Vitolo also got on the scoresheet in the Group G opener.

Antonio Candreva of Italy scores from the penalty spot in Israel
Antonio Candreva of Italy scores from the penalty spot in Israel

It made for a perfect first competitive game for new coach Julen Lopetegui, who would actually have been concerned at his side’s lack of cutting edge at half-time with the score at 1-0.

That made them the early leaders of Group G but Italy also opened with a win despite being reduced to 10 men against Israel in Haifa.

Graziano Pelle got Giampiero Ventura’s men off to a fine start before Antonio Candreva added a second from the penalty spot.

Tal Ben Chaim pulled one back with a fine chip but Ciro Immobile sealed a 3-1 win late on despite the sending-off of Giorgio Chiellini.

Tal Ben Chaim scores a wonderful chip against Gianluigi Buffon
Tal Ben Chaim scores a wonderful chip against Gianluigi Buffon

The other match in the group was not completed as Albania’s clash with neighbours Macedonia in Shkoder was abandoned after 77 minutes due to torrential rain.

The score was 1-1 at the time after Ergjan Alioski replied to Armando Sadiku’s early effort.

Kosovo made a dramatic entrance to the World Cup scene as they came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw in their opening qualifier in Finland.

Valon Berisha of Kosovo celebrates their first-ever World Cup goal
Valon Berisha of Kosovo celebrates their first-ever World Cup goal

Former Norway international Valon Berisha – one of six players cleared to play just hours before kick-off by authorities – netted their equaliser from the penalty spot after 60 minutes.

Paulus Arajuuri had given Finland the lead in the Group I encounter but Kosovo, playing their first competitive international, were impressive and had hit the bar through Leart Paqarada before Berisha earned a point.

It was one of three 1-1 draws in the group, with the clashes between Croatia and Turkey in Zagreb and Ukraine and Iceland in Kiev also ending level.

Croatia, playing behind closed doors, were pegged back by Hakan Calhanoglu late in the first half, just moments after taking the lead through an Ivan Rakitic penalty. The hosts had earlier hit the woodwork twice.

A bunch of Albania fans seemed to find the brighter side of their nations game being abandoned
A bunch of Albania fans seemed to find the brighter side of their nations game being abandoned

KONTAK PERKASA FUTURES – Ukraine’s Yevhen Konoplyanka hit the post with an 83rd-minute penalty after team-mate Andriy Yarmolenko had cancelled out Alfred Finnbogason’s early opener for Iceland.

In Group D, goals from Martin Hinteregger and Marc Janko helped Austria to a 2-1 win over Georgia in Tbilisi. Valeri Kaziashvili hit the woodwork for Georgia, who pulled one back through Jano Ananidze but Austria held on.

Elsewhere in Group D, Ireland drew 2-2 at Serbia and Wales beat Moldova 4-0.

Source : skysports.com