SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP):Italy kept Spain from opening a significant advantage atop Group G by scoring two late goals and salvaging a 3-2 win at Macedonia yesterday in European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.Spain got off to a slow start at Albania but eased to a 2-0 victory behind second-half goals by Diego Costa and Manuel ‘Nolito’ Agudo.Italy needed an injury-time goal by Ciro Immobile to secure the hard-fought win that allowed it to join Spain atop the group with seven points.Albania stayed with six points along with Israel, which beat Liechtenstein 2-1.Only the group winners automatically qualify for the World Cup in Russia.Macedonia and Liechtenstein remain without a point after three matches.Spain dominated from the start as expected, but it struggled to create many significant scoring chances against Albania in steady rain at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder.The first goal came after a mistake by Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha, who mishit the ball while trying to clear it from the back and gave it to Vitolo. The striker passed to David Silva and he set up Costa’s easy goal from inside the area in the 55th minute.The second goal was a well-placed shot by Nolito, who found the far corner from a tight angle after evading a defender inside the area in the 63rd.COMPLICATED GAME”It could seem like an easy game, but we knew it was going to be complicated,” Nolito said. “We really needed these three points.”Albania entered the match with a two-point advantage over Spain and Italy, which drew 1-1 when they met in Turin on Thursday.Spain coach Julen Lopetegui tried a different tactical scheme, playing with three defenders at the back and an extra man in midfield.Italy seemed in control against Macedonia after Andrea Belotti scored in the 24th minute, but goals by Ilija Nestorovski in the 57th and Ferhan Hasani in the 59th, both times after Italian giveaways, left the visitors in danger of a shock defeat.Immobile equalised in the 75th and netted the important winner with a close-range header two minutes into second-half injury time, keeping Italy in a strong position.”It was a great response by the team as far as character is concerned,” Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura said.
Derry has it all wrapped up for an enchanting Christmas experience to rival any European destination thanks to Derry City Council’s stunning seasonal package of activities and events guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit. Historic winding streets, shops, bars, restaurants and high quality craft sector combine to create the perfect stop-off during the countdown to the most magical time of the year.So make sure to keep some key dates free soon in your diary for Christmas shopping and entertainment in the Walled City famed for its welcoming festive atmosphere. The 20th annual Guildhall Craft Fair taking place from November 14th-16th will provide a glittering start to Derry City Council’s Christmas programme, always a great weekend for visitors to select the perfect handcrafted gift for Christmas stocking fillers.Forty crafters from all over Ireland will be exhibiting high quality wares such as ceramics, textiles, jewellery and foodie treats in the historic setting of the beautifully restored Guildhall.The Christmas Lights will be illuminated on Thursday, November 20th at 7pm, when the big switch-on ceremony returns to its traditional venue in Guildhall Square. This year’s event will be spread across three zones in the city centre for maximum festive cheer.• Guildhall Square – Santa and his helpers turning on the lights • Peace Garden – transformed into a ‘Frozen Forest’• Waterloo Place – Elsa and the stars of Frozen will be on stageJust a short walk across the Peace Bridge and you will be transfixed by our brand new Christmas Village opening at Ebrington from Friday, November 28th until December 21st.This new festive offer for Derry will have Christmas markets in 25 wooden chalets selling a wide variety of delicious seasonal fayre and some cracker gift ideas, trading from 12 noon until 10pm.Who needs to travel further afield when you can make a trip to Music City 2014 for the full festive experience complete with Legenderry on Ice which will also be open at Ebrington from November 28th. Featuring an even bigger ice rink than last year which attracted thousands of happy skaters, as well as a festive funfair and bar.Sit back with a mulled wine or a delicious hot chocolate, and enjoy live music and entertainment from local bands and visiting acts ranging from choirs to jazz during the weekends leading up to Christmas – what better way to get you into the festive mood!There will even be pop-up Christmas Cinema, ‘The Festive Film Factory’ with daily showings of festive films in the Christmas Village at Ebrington Square!Younger members of the family will also be well catered for in the city centre with special themed activities destined to make them experience the Wonder of Christmas, based in the Craft Village on December 6th & 7th, 13th & 14th, 1pm-5pm each day. Costing just £1 per child, there will be storytelling, arts and crafts, puppet shows and much, much more to keep your little darlings entertained.Fashionistas can join the cool crowd at the city’s exciting inaugural Fashion Fest from November 20th-23rd, and enjoy extended late night Christmas shopping at both Foyleside and Richmond Centres which will remain open until 10pm from December 1st.With so many festive activities and events to enjoy in Derry, why not stay a while and soak up the atmosphere, with one night B&B accommodation available from just £32.50 per person sharing.For more details go to www.visitderry.comFor more information on Derry City Council’s fantastic Christmas programme please visit www.festivetime.comFurther press information can be obtained by contacting Derry City Council’s Marketing and Communications Section, Tel. 02871 376504.HAVE YOURSELF A ‘LEGENDERRY’ LITTLE CHRISTMAS was last modified: November 11th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:EntertainmentFeaturesnews