September 7, 2019 / 6:53 PM / 11 days ago

Ukraine thump Lithuania to surge clear in Group B

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group B - Lithuania v Ukraine - LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania - September 7, 2019 Ukraine's Ruslan Malinovsky celebrates scoring their third goal with team mates REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Ukraine remained firmly on course to reach Euro 2020 after a 3-0 win at Lithuania on Saturday tightened their grip on qualifying Group B.

The result left the Ukrainians top of the group on 13 points from five games, nine ahead of second-placed Luxemburg who have played a game less.

Third-placed Serbia, who have four points from three games, were at home to European champions Portugal in fourth (two points from two games) later on Saturday. Lithuania are bottom with one point from four games.

Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko fired Ukraine ahead in the seventh minute after he picked up a pass from Brazilian-born midfielder Marlos and steered the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Marlos doubled the advantage in the 29th minute when he capitalised on a defensive blunder and beat Lithuania keeper Emilijus Zubas with a simple finish.

The visitors continued to press forward after the break and Ruslan Malinovskyi added the third on the hour before Lithuania missed several chances to score a late consolation.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis

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