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Tireless Mbappé leads France to 3-0 win over Luxembourg; Spain, Belgium, Denmark also win

METZ, France: Kylian Mbappe scored in his first game since joining Real Madrid in a dominant 3-0 win over Luxembourg on Wednesday to help France build momentum for the European Championship.

Mbappe, whose move to Madrid was finalized on Monday, was a constant threat to Luxembourg’s diligent defenders, but the France captain had to wait until the 85th minute to cap off his performance with a goal.

Bradley Barcola made his France debut as a substitute and promptly won the ball, ran to the penalty spot and drew more defenders before laying the ball off to Mbappé, who smashed home at the left post.

In Copenhagen, Christian Eriksen scored late to give the Danes a 2-1 win over Sweden.

Mikel Oyarzabal scored a hat trick after the break to help Spain beat Andorra 5-0.

Belgium beat Montenegro 2-0 with Kevin De Bruyne scoring on his 100th appearance for the Red Devils. But a flurry of half-time substitutions almost cost the team. Leandro Trossard sealed the victory only with a penalty in stoppage time.

Slovakia, Belgium’s opponent in Group E at the Euros, beat minnows San Marino 4-0.

FRANCE IMPRES

Although the star-studded French side found it difficult to break through Luxembourg’s defense at times, coach Didier Deschamps will be impressed with his side’s relentless pressing and off-the-ball play.

Sometimes it was just the final touch that was missing, but Deschamps has a chance to improve the team in the warm-up for the final tournament against Canada in Bordeaux on Sunday.

Antoine Griezmann is back after missing the March squad with an ankle injury. Randal Kolo Muani made a rare start when Ousmane Dembele was unavailable due to illness.

France tested and excited, but had to wait almost the entire first half for an introduction. Mbappe drew two defenders to the backline and passed to Kola Muani, who headed past Anthony Moris in the 43rd minute.

Marseille defender Jonathan Clauss finally made it 2-0 with a shot off the underside of the crossbar.

Les Bleus are in Group D with the Netherlands, Poland and Austria.

ERIKSEN’S SMILE

Christian Eriksen sealed Denmark’s 2-1 win over neighbors Sweden with a long-range strike at the same stadium where he collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

The 32-year-old Eriksen, who tormented the Swedish defense throughout, took the ball past a defender and then fired powerfully into the far post in the 86th. It was his 41st goal in 129 appearances for Denmark.

Morten Hjulmand arguably preserved the win by coming back with a timely challenge to keep out Emil Holm when the Swedish reserve looked set to score.

Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg scored in the second minute to get Denmark off to a great start, before Alexander Isak equalized seven minutes later.

Sweden did not qualify for Euro 2024, but Denmark is in Group C with England, Serbia and Slovenia.

The Danes’ last warm-up will be against Norway on Saturday.

Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick as Norway beat Kosovo 3-0. No country has qualified for Euro 2024.

CRUISING IN SPAIN

When Real Betis striker Ayoze Perez opened the scoring, it was only a question of how many goals Spain would score against Andorra.

Ayoze broke the deadlock after a corner in the 24th when he set up the ball with his first touch and scored from a difficult angle in the next.

Oyarzabal scored his hat-trick 20 minutes after the break and Barcelona’s Ferran Torres completed the rout in the 81st.

Spain were without Real Madrid, Champions League winners Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Joselu.

Spain is in Group B with Croatia, Italy and Albania. The team will face Northern Ireland on Saturday for the final warm-up.

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