Troy Parrott proved the last-gasp hero as Ireland stole a 2-1 friendly victory over Hungary, who suffered a blow less than two weeks before their Euro 2024 campaign starts.

Adam Idah opened the scoring in the first half at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, only for Adam Lang to level for the visitors four minutes later.

Yet Marco Rossi's team, who face Switzerland in their Euros opener on June 15, fell to late defeat as Parrott delivered a 92nd-minute winner for the home side.

That late strike ended Hungary’s 14-match unbeaten run (W9 D5) since losing 2-0 to Italy in a Nations League match back in September 2022.

Rossi may not be too concerned as that run was their longest undefeated streak since an 18-match streak between September 1954 and November 1955.

Hungary will also take comfort from the dominance of Dominik Szoboszlai, who created six chances in this match, the most of any player on the pitch and the same amount as all of his team-mates combined.

Switzerland, who join Hungary, Scotland and hosts Germany at the upcoming European Championship, were victorious on Tuesday after a 4-0 success against lowly Estonia.

Steven Zuber, Xherdan Shaqiri, Zeki Amdouni and Nico Elvedi were all on target at Swissporarena in Lucerne as Murat Yakin's men eased to a convincing warm-up win.

Switzerland continue their preparations for the Euros with their next friendly against Austria, who battled to a 2-1 victory over Serbia in Vienna.

Christoph Baumgartner scored one and assisted another for Patrick Wimmer before Strahinja Pavlovic pulled one back for Dragan Stojkovic's side.

Serbia open their Euro 2024 campaign against England on June 16 before meeting Slovenia, who were triumphant earlier in a day littered by international action.

Armenia's Varazdat Haroyan levelled after Jan Mlakar's early opener for Slovenia before veteran Josip Ilicic snatched a 2-1 victory for England's group opponents.

In the least entertaining game of the midweek action, Romania and Bulgaria shared a goalless draw in Bucharest.

Neco Williams believes Armenia can do Wales a favour against Croatia and help them qualify for Euro 2024.

Wales’ automatic qualification hopes were taken out of their own hands on Saturday by a wounding 1-1 away draw to Armenia and Croatia’s 2-0 victory in Latvia.

Croatia will secure the second spot behind already-qualified Turkey by beating Armenia in their final qualifier on Tuesday.

But were Armenia to draw or win in Zagreb, that would leave the door open for Wales who would then take second place by beating Turkey at the Cardiff City Stadium on the same evening.

“Armenia are a top team,” wing-back Williams said of opponents who have damaged Wales’ qualification more than any other by taking four points from them.

“They have got some very good players and, hopefully, they can do a job on Croatia like they did against us.

“We still have a chance because you never know what’s going to happen.

“It’s not in our hands and we have got to wait for the other results. There’s a lot of luck in football, and hopefully it will be on our side.”

Wales lost 4-2 to Armenia at home in June and they were shaken again within five minutes of the Yerevan return.

Lucas Zelarayan, who had scored twice in Cardiff, punished some sloppy Welsh defending and Armenia appeared in control until the final seconds of the first half.

But Wales were gifted a lifeline when Nair Tiknizyan headed Connor Roberts’ long throw in to his own net.

Williams said: “It was a tough game, end to end, and a lot of running.

“Both teams were going for the win and probably at times it looked scrappy.

“As soon as the lads came in after the game you could feel that, frustration. No-one talked and it felt like a loss.

“But we take a point from it and all we can do now is focus on our last game against Turkey.

“If we get the three points there you never know what’s going to happen.”

The odds are that Wales will end up in the play-offs in March, the same route they negotiated to reach the 2022 World Cup by overcoming Austria and Ukraine.

Finland, Iceland, Poland and Ukraine are all potential opponents this time, although the fixtures will not be determined until after the final qualifiers across Europe.

“It could be something for us,” said Williams. “We did it for the World Cup and, if it does happen, we’ve still got a chance.

“If we don’t qualify through the group, do it that way.”

Daniel James admitted the early Zelarayan goal before a hostile Republican Stadium crowd had thrown Wales out of their stride.

James said: “They scored early and you know it’s going to be difficult because it’s a tough place to come.

“We dug deep and got back in the game, but we couldn’t get that second goal.

“We’ve just got to pick our heads up and get ready for the next game against a very good Turkey team.”

Central defender Chris Mepham will miss the Turkey game through suspension after picking up his third yellow card of the campaign in Yerevan.

Rob Page accepts that Wales’ Euro 2024 destiny might lie in the play-offs following their damaging draw with Armenia.

Wales needed a Nair Tiknizyan own goal on the stroke of half-time to give them a 1-1 draw in Yerevan, when Armenia were the most dangerous side for large parts of a low-quality contest.

Croatia are now favourites to take the second automatic qualifying spot behind Turkey, who travel to Cardiff for Wales’ last group fixture on Tuesday safe in the knowledge they will be playing in the finals in Germany next summer.

Having dropped points to remove automatic qualification from their own hands, manager Page said: “There’s a disappointed group in there, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and finish on a high on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately it’s now out of our control. With a win, we’d all have been buzzing and looking forward to the game on Tuesday, and a win would have seen us qualify.

“It’s not materialised as we’d like, but that’s life and we have to get on with it.

“It’s about building momentum and, if it’s a play-off in March, it’s a play-off in March.

“If results go for us, we’ve still got an opportunity to qualify (automatically).

“We can only control what we can do, get the players in the right frame of mind, mentally and physically ready for Tuesday.”

Wales were beaten 4-2 by Armenia – ranked 95 in the world and 67 places below them – at the Cardiff City Stadium in June, and Page’s side were shaken again within five minutes of the Yerevan return.

Lucas Zelarayan, who scored twice in Cardiff, worked space on the edge of the area after Wales failed to clear a corner and slotted the ball into the corner of Danny Ward’s net.

Page said: “We got off to the worst possible start, we knew they were going to come out the traps fast. I’m disappointed with that.

“I thought we grew in the first half and scored at the perfect time.

“But the break came at a bad time for us because I thought we were growing in momentum.

“We got into some OK positions. Whether it was the final pass or the final ball, that final detail wasn’t quite right for whatever reason.

“We threw everything at it and both teams were going for the win.

“You could see by the changes we made. We took a wing back-off and put a winger on to try and get as many forward players on the pitch as we could.”

Wales had beaten World Cup semi-finalists Croatia last month to put them in control of the race for a top-two place.

But on a poor pitch that neither team were able to master, Wales did not remotely come close hitting the heights of that performance.

Reflecting on the contrasting two displays, Page said: “It’s not to say there were a lot of players who had off-days, but you do have that in transitions, you have inconsistencies.

“I’m not going to fault the players for their effort. Their effort, to a man, was commendable. They gave everything, like they always do.

“The pitch was heavy, like nothing we’ve seen back home, but it was the same for both sides.

“We’ll get them recovered, have a recovery session on Sunday and go through with the medical team who we’ve got available for Tuesday.

“We need to finish the campaign on a high. It’s important to have some momentum if there is a play-off in March.”

Wales newcomer Niall Huggins is ready to step onto the international stage after expressing fears that a mystery injury which left him with weak bones would end his career.

Huggins joined up with the senior Wales squad for the first time this week ahead of decisive Euro 2024 qualifiers against Armenia and Turkey after what the Sunderland defender called a “horrendous” period.

The 22-year-old made just a couple of league starts in his first two seasons at Sunderland after joining from Leeds in August 2021, with the full-back becoming increasingly concerned over his football future.

“The last two years have been horrendous, awful to be honest,” said York-born Huggins, whose father was born in Bangor.

“When I first joined Sunderland, I suffered an initial stress fracture in my back and that put me out for four or five months.

“I had the same sort of issue but in different places when I was doing my rehab and it was something we struggled to get to the bottom of.

“There was never a reason for why it was happening. All the tests we did, nothing ever seemed to stand out.

“It was just that the bones were weak, which made it tough.”

Asked if he felt his career was at risk at the time, Huggins said: “Yes, 100 per cent. It got to the point where every time I was doing the rehab, the first few steps back on the grass, it was always there in the back of my mind.

“I would think: ‘Is this going to happen again?’ And you do start to worry. The years are going by on the contract and you are worrying about it.

“When I did finally start to get fit, it helped so much mentally. But it is still hard to look back on.”

Huggins said the issue was eventually resolved by “having an injection every morning for three months”, strengthening his bones and allowing him to return to training.

But the physical demand of matches took a toll on his body, with muscular issues and a knee problem ruling him out until Sunderland’s Championship play-off games in May.

It has not been until this season that Huggins has been able to show the potential that persuaded Marcelo Bielsa to hand him a Premier League debut for Leeds at Arsenal in February 2021.

“It literally feels like I’m starting my professional career,” said Huggins, who has started 11 Sunderland games this term and scored his first senior goal – a Championship goal-of-the-month contender – against Watford in October.

“This is the first year where I can really show what I can do and what level I can play at. To have the call-up to the senior team shows that even more.

“It wasn’t even at the back of my mind, but it felt amazing.

“To represent a country feels unbelievable. It means as much to the lads who were born outside Wales as those born in the country and who have lived there for a long time.

“It just shows the culture that the set-up creates for the players. You can see how amazing the fans are and how much it means to the country to make it to the Euros.

“The previous results show how much the lads want to play for the badge, including the lads born in England – and me being one of them. I’m just excited to one day hopefully put on the shirt and play for the country.”

Aaron Ramsey will miss Wales’ November Euro 2024 qualifiers, according to his Cardiff manager Erol Bulut.

Ramsey had already been ruled out of October’s qualifier against Croatia with a knee injury sustained in training last month.

But Wales boss Rob Page, announcing his squad for that fixture on Wednesday, said he was hopeful Ramsey would recover in time to play in the final two group games against Armenia and Turkey in November.

However, Bulut has said Ramsey faces at least two months on the sidelines, and that timescale will be increased should the 32-year-old require surgery.

“Aaron, we were talking about how many weeks he would be out, we were waiting also,” Bulut said at his pre-match press conference for Cardiff’s home game against Watford on Saturday.

“Hopefully without surgery, he will be out at least eight to 10 weeks.

“If he does get surgery, it will be up to 12 weeks. If something happens in these weeks, it will add 12 weeks.

“You could see, when he was on the field, he was great. He linked the game. We will miss him.”

Former Arsenal and Juventus midfielder Ramsey rejoined hometown club Cardiff in July and had been in fine form for club and country.

He scored from the penalty spot in the two games before his injury, for Wales in their Euro qualifying victory over Latvia and against derby rivals Swansea in a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship win.

Tottenham defender Ben Davies, the Wales vice-captain, will lead the Dragons in Ramsey’s absence.

Wales realistically need to draw against World Cup semi-finalists Croatia and win both games of their November double-header to secure automatic qualification for next summer’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany and avoid the play-offs.

David Brooks accepts that “people will be starting to doubt us” following Wales’ humiliating 4-2 Euro 2024 qualifying defeat against Armenia.

Wales would have gone top of Pool D had they beaten a team 71 places below them in the world rankings.

And life will not get any easier in terms of the battle for automatic qualification as Wales face an appointment with group leaders Turkey in Samsun on Monday.

“If we win that, we go back into a position of power,” Brooks said. “We all know that, and that is what we are going to be trying to do.

“We all know what we want to achieve – we want to get to the major tournaments. We have two days to kind of get over it and get back to work.

“I think people will be starting to doubt us, but we have got to go and try and put in a performance to prove all those people wrong.

“We all want to get to a major tournament, so nothing has changed.”

Wales’ first European Championship qualifying defeat at home since 2011 dropped them to third in the group as Turkey won 3-2 in Latvia.

Lucas Zelarayan and Grant-Leon Ranos both scored twice as Armenia secured one of the greatest victories in their football history.

And Welsh misery was completed by the dismissal of Kieffer Moore, who was adjudged to have committed foul play by Bulgarian referee Georgi Kabakov after tangling with goalkeeper Ognjen Chancharevich. He will miss the Turkey clash.

Brooks added: “Four goals at home isn’t good enough, I think we all know that, and we will be getting together and trying to figure out how to put that right in two days’ time.

“Bigger teams than us have done that to us, and we’ve caused upset results. It happens near enough every week in the Premier League, and we all knew that going into the game. They took their chances well.

“I’ve spoken to Kieffer. I don’t think he thinks he’s done a lot. They were kind of making a meal out of everything.

“Kieffer is a big part of what we want to do, so he is going to be a big miss for Turkey.”

Brooks’ return to the international arena was a highlight of an often chaotic night at Cardiff City Stadium.

He was diagnosed with stage-two Hodgkin lymphoma while on international duty in October 2021, and Brooks received a standing ovation when he went on as a second-half substitute.

“It was special,” he said. “It has been a long two years to finally put that Wales shirt back on.

“To get the reception that I did, especially when I came on – I could hear every single one of them (fans) – and I just want to say thank you.”

Rob Page suggested Wales’ Euro 2024 qualifying defeat to Armenia was a necessary “slap” as he surveyed the wreckage of one of the most humiliating losses in the nation’s football history.

Armenia ran out shock 4-2 winners in Cardiff, despite being ranked 97th in the world and 71 places lower than Wales.

Page’s side – who took four points from their March games away to Croatia and at home to Latvia – would have topped Group D with victory in Cardiff.

Instead a first European Championship qualifying defeat at home since 2011 dropped them to third in the group as Turkey won 3-2 in Latvia. Wales’ next qualifier is away to Turkey in Samsun on Monday.

“They fell well short of the standards they have set before,” said Page. “I didn’t see that coming. It has really shocked me.

“Everything happens for a reason, perhaps it’s the slap we need, a little bit of a reality check.

“Everybody is starry-eyed and getting carried away. Yes, we had a great start in March but there are no bad teams now anymore.

“Look at what Turkey had to do in the 96th minute against Latvia.”

Daniel James’ sixth international goal fired Wales into an early lead, but Armenia exploited some dreadful home defending to lead by the half-hour mark through Lucas Zelarayan and Grant-Leon Ranos.

Armenia extended their lead through Ranos before Harry Wilson reduced the deficit with 18 minutes to play.

Ranos hit the post before Zelarayan’s second killed off Wales and home misery was completed 12 minutes from time when Kieffer Moore was sent off for a kick on goalkeeper Ognjen Chancharevich.

Page confirmed that Wales would not appeal Moore’s red card and the Bournemouth striker will now miss the Turkey game.

“I felt such in a positive place before the game, full of confidence and I didn’t see that coming,” Page said.

“That’s really shocked me as much as anyone else.

“The fundamentals of what we stand for, what we represent, the hard work…we were too expansive and that’s not what we’re all about.

“We’re hard-working and we pride ourselves in doing the not-so-pretty side of it.

“They taught us a lesson in that, how to do the not-so-pretty side of the game.”

Victory was especially sweet for Armenia manager Oleksandr Petrakov, who was in charge of Ukraine for their World Cup play-off final defeat in Cardiff exactly 12 months ago.

Petrakov said: “We have a game in Latvia in three days so if we go on celebrating, this victory will not mean anything.

“It’s more or less the same Wales team apart from Gareth Bale so I can not under-estimate the valuation of my team.

“My only objective as Armenia coach is to is to qualify for a major tournament.”

Wales’ hopes of Euro 2024 qualification were seriously damaged by a humiliating 4-2 defeat to Armenia in Cardiff.

Lucas Zelarayan and Grant-Leon Ranos both scored twice as Armenia – ranked 97 in the world and 71 places lower than Wales – secured one of the greatest victories in their football history.

Daniel James had given Wales an early opener and Harry Wilson cut the deficit to 3-2 after Armenia had seized control, aided by some truly desperate home defending.

But Armenia responded in style and Welsh misery was completed by the dismissal of Kieffer Moore, who was adjudged to have committed foul play by Bulgarian referee Georgi Kabadov after tangling with goalkeeper Ognjen Chancharevich.

Moore will miss Monday’s trip to Turkey that now takes on extra significance for Wales after this setback.

It was a sweet success for Armenia coach Olesksandr Petrakov, 12 months on after his Ukraine side were beaten in a World Cup play-off final in Cardiff.

Wales had not lost in 12 home European Championship qualifiers – the last defeat being against England in March 2011 – but Armenia joined the likes of Belarus, Cyprus, Macedonia and Moldova in inflicting embarrassing defeats on them down the years.

Vice-captain Ben Davies and Brennan Johnson were welcomed back after missing the two qualifiers in March when Wales had picked up four points.

David Brooks was among the substitutes after rejoining the squad for the first time since being diagnosed with stage-two Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021.

Wales applied early pressure with Connor Roberts’ long throws posing problems and Moore going close from one of them.

Moore had just headed wide when Johnson’s delicious 10th-minute cross set James up for a simple sixth Wales goal.

If the hosts thought that early breakthrough would deflate Armenia then they were in for a rude awakening.

Captain Eduard Spertsyan headed inches wide and Danny Ward had to stretch every sinew to hold Nair Tiknizyan’s cross at the second attempt.

But Ward had no chance when the rampaging Tiknizyan again centred from the left for Zelarayan to send a sweet volley past him.

It got worse for Wales as Joe Rodon lost possession in his own half and Spertsyan’s perfect ball arced over Chris Mepham for the unmarked Ranos to head home.

Tigran Barseghyan almost embarrassed Wales further, but – in a half when it appeared that a goal would arrive from every attack – the Armenia goal suddenly came under siege.

Moore sidefooted the ball traight at Chancharevich after Wilson had sprung the offside trap and Rodon’s header drifted the wrong side of a post from a Welsh perspective.

James drove wide after the restart, but Wales became increasingly stifled and frustrated by Armenia’s time-wasting tactics before Ranos supplied another unpleasant surprise with a wonderful finish.

Wales were back in it 18 minutes from time when Moore headed down at the far post and Wilson stabbed home from close range.

But Armenia responded again for Ranos to thump a post and be denied a hat-trick.

Wales failed to make the most of their good fortune as substitute Joe Morrell lost possession to Ugochukwu Iwu and Zelarayan smashed home his second.

Brooks came on for a late cameo to provide Wales with some cheer.

But Moore’s red card – that appeared harsh on first glance – confirmed Armenia’s first win in 10 games on a crazy night at Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales return to Euro 2024 qualifying action against Armenia in Cardiff on Friday.

Rob Page’s side began the campaign in March with a 1-1 draw in Croatia and a 1-0 home victory over Latvia.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the main talking points surrounding the Group D clash as Wales aim to build on that promising start.

Brooks is back

David Brooks would provide one of the most heart-warming stories of the season by returning to the international arena at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Brooks was diagnosed with stage-two Hodgkin lymphoma while on international duty in October 2021 and has rejoined the Wales squad for the first time since announcing he was cancer-free in May last year.

The 25-year-old attacker returned to action for Bournemouth in March and made his first start last month. Brooks has won 21 caps for Wales and played at Euro 2020 before his illness was diagnosed.

Same again, please

Duplicating March’s return of four points will do Wales just fine.

Taking a point from World Cup semi-finalists Croatia courtesy of Nathan Broadhead’s stoppage-time strike was a bonus that few – if anyone – predicted.

Beating Armenia and getting some reward against Turkey in Samsun on Monday would represent a huge step for Welsh ambitions of clinching a top-two spot and reaching the finals in Germany next summer.

Johnson boost

Wales’ March games were overshadowed by the absence of Brennan Johnson.

Boss Rob Page suggested Johnson’s club Nottingham Forest had not done enough to get the forward fit for international duty, a claim which Reds boss Steve Cooper subsequently denied.

Whatever the truth of that, Johnson had an impressive maiden top-flight campaign at the City Ground and his return to the Wales squad is a huge boost.

Managing post-season break

It will be nearly three weeks since the Premier League finished when Wales walk out to take on Armenia.

The regular EFL season ended even earlier on May 8 and several members of Page’s squad have not played since.

Page organised a Cardiff camp for his non top-flight players last month before taking the entire squad to Portugal to prepare for Armenia and Turkey, but it remains to be seen how match-fit they are heading into the two qualifiers.

Painful memories

Armenia and Wales have only met twice, in 2002 World Cup qualifying.

Both games were drawn, with John Hartson scoring twice in a 2-2 draw at Yerevan’s Republican Stadium in March 2001 after Armenia had been reduced to 10 men.

The return game the following September was Wales’ 500th match. But Wales failed to mark the occasion with a win as their World Cup qualification hopes disappeared with a goalless draw at the Millennium Stadium.

Female football supporters from Wales’ South Asian communities will watch the national team play for the first time on Friday through a new initiative designed to create a more diverse fan base.

The sold-out signs are set to go up for Wales’ Euro 2024 qualifier with Armenia at the Cardiff City Stadium with Rob Page’s side hoping to take another step towards next summer’s finals in Germany.

Among the 33,000-plus capacity crowd will be women benefiting from a partnership between Her Game Too Cymru, Amar Cymru – the group launched in 2020 to give the South Asian community a voice in the national team – and the Football Association of Wales.

Thirty tickets were made available to women from South Asian communities to attend the game. With the offer oversubscribed, fans that missed out have been invited to a Cardiff restaurant on Monday to watch Wales’ Euro qualifier in Turkey.

Roopa Vyas is a director of Her Game Too, the campaign group run by fans to raise awareness of sexism in sport, and has followed the Wales national team at home and abroad.

“We want to show the Red Wall is the friendliest fan base around,” said Caerphilly-born Vyas, who has a Ugandan father and an Indian mother.

“I have gone to games off my own back but I know the barriers that exist and it not easy for people from Muslim, Hindu, Bengali, Somali and other communities to do that.

“Amar Cymru is a progressive group that want to get female fans to games and they came to me as they knew I went to games and could shine a light on it.

“Hopefully we can go back to the FAW after the game and show them it was successful.”

Shazia Zahoor, born in Cardiff of Pakistani heritage, once played for Dinas Powys Ladies alongside current Wales captain Sophie Ingle and will be among fans experiencing her first international action on Friday.

“I’ve been a football fanatic since I was 13 and wanted to play but the culture did not encourage it,” said Zahoor, who will be joined at the Wales game by her sons Ibrahim, 11, and Zakariya, five.

“Even now I would feel uncomfortable talking to my father about playing football.

“I’m thrilled to be going to a Wales game and taking my two boys. It will be lovely to see other Asian women there because it really is breaking down barriers.”

The FAW want to create a more diverse fan base and has had mascots with South Asian heritage at home games and discussed establishing prayer rooms for fans at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Members of Amar Cymru – which translates to ‘My Wales’ and resonates with the South Indian, Bangladeshi and Punjabi communities – attended a Wales match for the first time in September 2021.

Jalal Goni, the organisation’s founder, says the landscape of Welsh football has changed even in that short time.

“When Amar Cymru started in lockdown it was pre-dominantly made up of males, but Wales being at the World Cup changed things,” said Goni.

“Females were saying how we can watch it and we had an event for the USA game at the World Cup that included arts and crafts and other things for the family as well as the football.

“The World Cup opened up the stadium experience for females. We know the older generation in our communities would not support females going to a male dominated event but we are breaking that stigma down.”

Goni, who will be part of a 10-strong Amar Cymru delegation in Turkey as the group attends a stand-alone Wales away fixture for the first time, added: “There is a lot riding on it.

“Female fans will be dressed differently in head scarves and cultural dresses and we hope there will be no negative comments.

“It is a massive step but the FAW have done a tremendous job in reshaping Welsh football, certainly since Euro 2016.

“Attending Wales games has become more of a family experience and we feel we are ready for this.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is clear to dedicate himself to Jose Mourinho's Roma project after retiring from international football.

After winning 95 caps for Armenia, who have never qualified for a World Cup or European Championship, the former Manchester United and Arsenal midfielder will end his career in club football.

Mkhitaryan was captain of his country and a record goalscorer for the national team after netting 32 times.

He announced his retirement from the team on social media, writing a message that he titled, "Farewell my beloved national team".

The 33-year-old wrote: "I wanted to win every step of my career, no matter how difficult that would be. It was an honour to play for my nation for the past 15 years and even more so of an honour to captain it for the last six years.

"After 95 international caps, hard work, passion and unprecedented ups and downs along the journey representing my country on the field, I have taken the decision to retire from my international career with the Armenian national team.

"I came to this decision after my last game against Germany in November. I think it is the right time. I've given everything I can possibly give to my national team. For the coming years, I will therefore be fully focused on my club career.

"My soccer nest was woven in Armenia, my homeland, and I will forever be grateful to every single person who supported me, who coached me, who I played with and who contributed to my growth as a footballer and as a person."

Mkhitaryan is approaching the end of a one-year extension to his Roma contract and has performed well for head coach Mourinho.

He has started 24 Serie A games this season, with just two Roma players (Rui Patricio and Tammy Abraham) making Mourinho's starting XI more often. He has contributed five assists and three goals, with only Jordan Veretout and Lorenzo Pellegrini creating more than the 37 chances Mkhitaryan has teed up.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reported on Thursday that a deal to keep Mkhitaryan at the capital club is increasingly likely to be agreed at the end of the season.

It said there had been interest from Russian clubs Krasnodar and Spartak Moscow but that the possibility of either move has diminished amid the conflict involving Russia and Ukraine, with Mkhitaryan said to be happy about the prospect of an extended Serie A stay.

Germany head coach Hansi Flick was pleased with his team’s 4-1 win in Armenia as they brought a successful World Cup qualification campaign to an end on Sunday.

Goals from Kai Havertz, Jonas Hofmann and a brace from Ilkay Gundogan saw the Germans home in Yerevan. The victory means that Flick has won all of his first seven games in charge of Die Mannschaft, scoring 31 times and conceding just twice.

It is also their joint-longest winning run this century (also seven in 2017). The last time Germany had a longer winning run was across 1979 and 1980, when they managed 12 in a row.

They finish their World Cup qualifying campaign top of Group J having won nine of their ten games, a comfortable nine points ahead of North Macedonia in second.

"We won 4-1 and achieved our aim of ending the group on 27 points," Flick said after the game. "It wasn't all brilliant, but the way we try to play football is great. You can see that the team always wants to attack and create chances.

"We defend high up the pitch and then allow them a few opportunities on the break, though that's just normal. We know what we need to improve on; we've got time for that.

"I'm satisfied with the team. We've won seven games together now, so I can only congratulate them. It's great as the coach to see the team enjoying themselves so much."

Thomas Muller was also pleased with the win, emphasising the importance of getting off to a good start in a "new era" for the national side.

"I think that was a good performance from us overall," the Bayern Munich attacker said. "It wasn't a goal-fest like against Liechtenstein, but we got the job done well. The first goal was important for us and was really well-made. We were concentrated and committed. It's a good way to finish off the campaign.

"A new era began in September for the first time since 2006. You can see that we've played well over the last three months and we want to continue doing so. It doesn't matter who is on the pitch, everyone will give their all and do their job.

"We may not have played any big teams, but we have performed really well at times. We can go into next year with a positive mindset now. We're happy."

Ilkay Gundogan struck twice as Germany rounded off a dominant World Cup qualifying campaign with a 4-1 win in Armenia on Sunday. 

Kai Havertz and Jonas Hofmann were also on target for Die Mannschaft at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, with the hosts replying through a consolation penalty from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Head coach Hansi Flick made six changes from the team that thrashed Liechtenstein 9-0 on Thursday, but Germany looked strong again, easing past the side bossed by Joaquin Caparros.

The win was a ninth from 10 qualifying matches for Germany and means they finish nine points clear of second-placed North Macedonia in Group J.

Germany took the lead after 15 minutes when Hofmann played a quick one-two with Thomas Muller before crossing from the right for Havertz to steer home.

The visitors had a penalty in first-half stoppage time when a VAR review led to the verdict that Florian Neuhaus had been fouled by Taron Voskanyan in the box, and Gundogan converted with ease.

The Manchester City midfielder had his second goal five minutes into the second half when his shot from the edge of the penalty area inexplicably slipped through the grasp of Stanislav Buchnev.

Armenia captain Mkhitaryan pulled a goal back from the spot after Neuhaus fouled David Terteryan in the box just before the hour, but a mistake from Mkhitaryan allowed Hofmann to intercept and race through to restore Germany's three-goal cushion in the 64th minute.


Hansi Flick was delighted to see Germany show their "enormous quality" as they hammered Armenia 6-0, though Serge Gnabry felt the victory could have been more emphatic.

Germany moved to the top of World Cup qualifying Group J in style in Flick's first home game in charge on Sunday.

Gnabry scored twice in the first 15 minutes before goals from Marco Reus and Timo Werner put the game beyond all doubt by half-time.

Jonas Hofmann and debutant Karim Adeyemi rounded off a rout that thrilled head coach Flick, who was quick to urge his side to stay focused ahead of Wednesday's clash with Iceland.

"I liked this game but on Wednesday we still have a game in Iceland, so the team can be happy with their performance but we have to stay focused," Flick told RTL.

"We have seen that this team has an enormous quality, but what is important is to deliver when it counts."

Flick has won his first two games in charge of Germany, registering a plus-eight goal difference – the best start amongst all Germany coaches after their opening two fixtures.

In UEFA qualification for the 2022 World Cup, only Belgium (10) have scored more first-half goals than Germany (eight), with Gnabry's quick brace leaving Armenia with a mountain they never looked like climbing.

"Compared to the game in Liechtenstein we were more efficient, but we still missed a few chances, we could have scored more goals," said Gnabry. 

"Against Liechtenstein, we had taken three points, but today we are taking the extra euphoria to go to Iceland. 

"Obviously, having led quickly worked in our favour. My two goals are a good feeling when you score and you can help the team."

Germany marked Hansi Flick's first home game in charge in style as they thumped Armenia 6-0 in World Cup qualifying to go top of Group J.

Having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to North Macedonia in the last round of qualifiers back in March, Germany had found themselves looking up at their less illustrious opponents in the group.

Armenia were unbeaten with 10 points from four games ahead of Sunday's clash in Stuttgart, but Germany, coming off a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein on Thursday, changed that situation in emphatic fashion, Serge Gnabry the undoubted star of the show.

Gnabry scored twice in the opening 15 minutes and Marco Reus and Timo Werner put the result beyond doubt before half-time, with Jonas Hofmann's long-range effort and Karim Adeyemi's goal on his senior debut rounding off a rout.

The players took to the centre circle for a pre-match tribute to Gerd Muller following the Germany legend's death last month, and 'Der Bomber' would surely have been delighted by the attacking football displayed by Flick's side.

A well-worked move on the right concluded with Gnabry lashing home at the near post after latching on to Leon Goretzka's superb pass to open the scoring, and he netted his second from almost the same spot.

Reus' ball in was missed by Werner but Gnabry beat the outstretched leg of David Yurchenko and that trio were too the fore again to make it 3-0 after Leroy Sane's wicked long-range effort clattered the crossbar.

Gnabry lofted a wonderful ball from the right wing towards Werner, whose clever flick was met with a confident first-time finish from Reus.

Goretzka's header across goal teed up Werner for a tap-in for 4-0 in the final minute of normal time in the first half, with more pain for the visitors coming seven minutes after the restart when Hofmann powered home a fifth from outside the box.

Hofmann was only denied his second through a goal-line clearance and Werner was correctly thwarted by the offside flag late on, before Adeyemi capped off another superb attack to make it a debut to remember for him on a night Armenia will quickly want to forget.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.