Spain, Italy and Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales began their World Cup campaigns with victories while newcomers Kosovo earned their first point and scored their first goal in international competition in European qualifiers on Monday.

Italy had defender Giorgio Chiellini sent off as they were made to fight for a 3-1 win over Israel in Haifa, while Group G rivals Spain ran out 8-0 winners over Liechtenstein in Leon with two goals each for Diego Costa, David Silva and Alvaro Morata.

Gareth Bale meanwhile scored twice as Wales trounced Moldova 4-0 in Cardiff in a Group D game.

In Group I, Kosovo's Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Valon Berisha, who with several team-mates was only cleared to play by world governing body FIFA hours before kick-off, equalized from the penalty spot against Finland in an historic first goal and point for the debutants.

Sweden-born Berisha, capped 19 times for Norway, netted from the spot on the hour in Turku after Paulus Arajuuri opened the scoring for the home side in the 18th minute.

FIFA had earlier cleared Berisha and several other Kosovo players to play although they had won caps for other countries.

In the same group, Euro 2016 surprise side Iceland, attempting to reach a first World Cup finals, went ahead against Ukraine in Kiev through Alfred Finnbogason, but Andriy Yarmolenko levelled before the break. The home side squandered an opportunity to win the game when Yevhen Konoplyanka fired wide from the penalty spot.

Croatia and Turkey finished 1-1 in the group in Zagreb after Ivan Rakitic's penalty for the home side shortly before half-time was cancelled out in first-half stoppage time by Hakan Calhanoglu.

Sam Vokes, Joe Allen and two-goal Bale, including a stoppage-time penalty, were on target as Wales enjoyed a 4-0 win over Moldova in Cardiff.

Wales manager Chris Coleman told Sky Sports: "It was going to be tough and we had to be patient and disciplined and we were."

Group rivals Austria began with a 2-1 victory over Georgia in Tbilisi. Martin Hinteregger and Marc Janko put Marcel Koller's side ahead at the break before Jano Ananidze pulled one back 12 minutes from time.

Serbia and Ireland meanwhile shared the spoils in the group in a 2-2 draw in Belgrade.

Jeff Hendrick gave the Irish a third-minute lead when his shot from the edge of the area went in off Branislav Ivanovic.

Serbia hit back after the interval through Filip Kostic and a Dusan Tadic penalty, but Daryl Murphy levelled to give Ireland a point.

Spain went into overdrive in the second-half against Liechtenstein after Chelsea striker Costa gave the former European and world champions a half-time lead when he headed in Koke's free-kick.

Sergi Roberto scored his first international goal after the break, and Silva, Vitolo, Costa again, substitute Alvaro Morato twice and Silva for his second in stoppage time helped themselves as the floodgates opened.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, who made his debut in a competitive match with the national side, said: "The boys were hungry to score goals and entertain the fans tonight, and they have certainly done that."

Italy took a two-goal lead against Israel though Graziano Pelle and an Antonio Candreva penalty, but the home side were back in the game before half-time thanks to a delightful chip over keeper Gianluigi Buffon by Tal Ben-Haim.

Chiellini was dismissed nine minutes after the break after a second booking, and the Azzurri lived dangerously before substitute Ciro Immobile made sure of the points with a third seven minutes from time.

Italy boss Giampiero Ventura said: "We played and suffered as a team and I think we won as a team.

"In a month, against Spain (on October 6) I hope we feel better physically. We will have played four more (domestic league) games and we will be better off."

The Group G match between Albania and Macedonia was abandoned at 1-1 in the 79th minute after a storm.

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.