Fornals assists and Antonio debuts as five West Ham United players feature in World Cup qualifiers

Pablo Fornals in action for Spain against Georgia


Pablo Fornals marked his return to Spain action with an assist and Michail Antonio made his Jamaica debut on a busy Sunday evening for West Ham United’s internationals.

Making his first appearance for his country since November 2018, Fornals celebrated his third cap for Spain by setting up Pablo Sarabia to score Spain’s fourth in a 4-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group B win over Georgia in Badajoz.

The Hammers midfielder had been on the pitch for less than three minutes when he played his part in a devastating counter-attack by squaring the ball for Sporting Lisbon star Sarabia to score.

Earlier, Manchester City’s Ferran Torres, who was later replaced by Fornals, had been among the scorers as Spain netted three first-half goals to sweep their opponents aside.

Victory took Spain top of Group B, albeit Sweden have two games in hand on them, ahead of Wednesday’s away tie with Kosovo in Pristina.

Elsewhere in Europe, Tomáš Souček captained the Czech Republic, Vladimír Coufal started and Alex Král appeared as a second-half substitute in a 3-0 Group E defeat in Belgium.

The Czechs produced a spirited performance in Brussels, but were beaten by goals from Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku, Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard and AC Milan’s Alexis Saelemakers at the Koning Boudewijnstadion.

Sunday’s reverse leaves Souček and company second in Group E, six points behind the Belgians and just a point ahead of Wales, who came from behind to win 3-2 in Georgia thanks to Gareth Bale’s hat-trick.

The Czechs have a break from qualifying until October now, but they will host Andriy Yarmolenko’s Ukraine in a friendly in Plzeň on Wednesday.


Michail Antonio made his Jamaica debut against Panama on Sunday


Last but not least, Antonio made his Jamaica debut in a CONCACAF qualifier in Kingston on Sunday evening.

Wearing the No17 shirt, the West Ham forward started alongside the likes of former Hammer Ravel Morrison, Brentford’s Ethan Pinnock and Rangers’ Kemar Roofe.

However, Panama proved too strong, winning 3-0 at the National Stadium to leave Jamaica bottom of the eight-nation table after two rounds of matches.

The Reggae Boyz will hope to register a first win when they travel to Costa Rica on Wednesday, but Antonio will not be available for that fixture due to COVID regulations.


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