Italian Goalkeeper, Buffon Hits 1000 Match Mark

Italian Goalkeeper, Buffon Hits 1000 Match Mark
Italian Goalkeeper, Buffon Hits 1000 Match Mark

Italian Goalkeeper, Buffon Hits 1000 Match Mark

Italy goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon played his 1000th professional match as the Azzurri beat Albania 2-0 to maintain top spot with Spain in the 2018 World Cup qualifier Friday.

Daniele De Rossi scored a first-half penalty to put his side ahead before a late second from Ciro Immobile secured the three points for the four-time World Champions whose goalkeeper, Buffon made a European record 168th cap.

Flares threatened the game in Palermo. Image: BBCSport

Giampiero Ventura’s men still remain behind Spain on goal difference at the top of Group G after La Rioja blitzed Israel 4-1.

Manchester City playmaker, David Silva opened the scoring for Spain before Vitolo doubled the lead in first-half injury time with a shot past Israel goalkeeper Ofir Marciano.

Chelsea’s Diego Costa headed home a Thiago Alcantara corner on 51 minutes to extend Spain’s lead, and though Lior Refaelov reduced the deficit for Israel, substitute Isco put the gloss on the tie two minutes from time.

Defeat saw Israel slip four points behind the two Group G heavyweights with five games left to play on the road to Russia 2018.

Silva starred for Spain, Image: ESPN

Elsewhere, Serbia moved top of Group D after coming from behind to win 3-1 in Georgia, Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Mijat Gacinovic scoring for the visitors who took maximum advantage of Wales’ draw with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman suffered a broken leg while Wales skipper Gareth Bale got booked for a high boot on John O’Shea meaning that will keep him out of the qualifier away to Serbia in June.

Croatia moved three points clear at the top of Group I with a 1-0 victory over Ukraine courtesy of Nikola Kalinic’s goal seven minutes from halftime, while Iceland continued their impressive form with a 2-1 win at Kosovo that moves them up to second.

Cenk Tosun scored a brace as Turkey beat Finland 2-0 to stay fourth, five points off group leaders Croatia.

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