Digne Assists Mbappe And Iwobi Closes On Qatar

Lucas Digne made his 43rd appearance for the French national team, as Didier Deschamps’ defending champions wrapped up their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 success against Finland.

Everton defender Digne played as a left wing-back in Helsinki and supplied his side's second goal for striker Kylian Mbappe.

The stubborn Finns limited France to one goal either side of half-time when the teams met in the reverse fixture two months ago.

And manager Deschamps’ side had to wait until the 66th minute for their breakthrough on Tuesday, the goal scored by Karim Benzema 10 minutes after the Real Madrid centre-forward replaced Moussa Diaby.

Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe put the outcome beyond doubt with 14 minutes remaining when he collected a pass from Digne and swatted a finish into the bottom corner.

France finished with a six-point cushion over Ukraine at the top of qualification Group D.

Anthony Gordon, meanwhile, won his second England Under-21 cap four days after marking his debut with a twin-strike in Friday’s European Championship qualifying victory over Czech Republic.

Everton forward Gordon replaced Angel Gomes of Lille after 68 minutes of a friendly fixture in Georgia on Tuesday afternoon.

The hosts led 3-0 when the introduction of Gordon, along with Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey, sparked a late rally.

Sam Greenwood from Leeds United deflected in with nine minutes remaining for a debut goal.

But England had to wait until deep into stoppage time to move within touching distance of their opponents, Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace heading home from a corner, and Georgia held out for a notable victory.

Gordon’s Goodison Park teammate Alex Iwobi completed 90 minutes as Nigeria edged into the final round of African qualifying for the Qatar World Cup.

The Nigerians knew anything other than defeat against Cape Verde in Lagos would be sufficient for a spot in March’s play-offs.

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen gave Nigeria the perfect start with a goal inside 60 seconds.

But the visitors hit back through full-back Stopira five minutes later, leaving Iwobi and his teammates walking a qualification tightrope, with Cape Verde pursuing the victory that would have stolen top spot in Group C.

Nigeria survived the test of nerve and will contest a two-leg encounter four months from now, with a place at the global jamboree up for grabs.

Ryan Astley played 90 minutes and fellow Everton Under-23 player Rhys Hughes was introduced for the final eight minutes, as Wales Under-21s lost 1-0 at home to Switzerland in a European Championship qualifying match.

Felix Mambimbi, the striker from Young Boys, scored the only goal eight minutes after half-time in Newport.

Wales have four games remaining but are six points adrift of the second position they need to occupy for a shot at reaching the 2023 tournament.

Everton midfielder Luke Butterfield played the final 13 minutes of Scotland Under-19s' 1-1 European Championship qualifying draw in Croatia.

The home team were in front for the majority of the contest after Franjo Ivanovic looped in a shot on 29 minutes.

But the Scots, managed by Billy Stark, claimed a point when Rangers midfielder Alex Lowry struck in stoppage time.

Scotland finish third in their qualifying pool and must wait to discover if they claim the lone spot for the best third-placed team from 13 groups in the competition’s elite round next year.