European giants Germany, Italy and England all got off to a winning start in World Cup qualifying, while Zlatan Ibrahimović marked his return to international soccer with an assist to help Sweden to victory on Thursday.
The 39-year-old Ibrahimović, who last played for Sweden at the 2016 European Championship, set up Viktor Johan Anton Claesson’s first-half goal in a 1-0 win over Georgia.
Germany coach Joachim Löw began his farewell tour with a 3-0 win against Iceland in Duisberg. Germany lined up before kickoff wearing T-shirts over their national-team jerseys bearing the message “HUMAN RIGHTS.”
It was an apparent statement about human rights abuses in Qatar, which is under scrutiny because of its discriminatory laws and conditions for the migrant workers who are helping to build infrastructure for the World Cup.