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Diego Costa scores winning goal for Spain; Serbia, Nigeria win, too

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Diego Costa now has three goals in his last three games for the Spanish national team.  Granted, two of those came against Liechtenstein, but when you had just one goal in the ten previous matches, you'll take them all the same.

After going scoreless in the hard-fought 1-1 draw against Italy a few days ago, Costa opened the scoring early in the second half against Albania on Sunday.  It was all Spain would need, though Nolito made sure of the three points a few minutes later.

Costa's goal, laid on a platter by the unselfish David Silva, was started by a poor clearance from the otherwise excellent Etrit Berisha, who's conceded just one goal in four starts for Atalanta, including a clean sheet against Napoli last weekend.

Costa went the full 90 for just the third time in his Spain career.  He probably wasn't going to in this one either, but Sergio Ramos picked an injury with about ten minutes to go and Lopetegui had to use his final sub on him.  Injuries picked up on international duty are just the worst.  Fortunately, it would appear that so far, all Chelsea players have made it through unscathed.

That includes everyone's favorite right back Branislav Ivanovic, who captained Serbia to a second win in the space of a few days, this one against Austria, who continue to not live up to expectations.  Dusan Tadic was the star man for Serbia once again, setting up two and scoring one himself.

Ivanovic actually played as the right-most center back in a three-man backline, alongside Stefan Mitrovic and Matija Nastasic, both of whom were responsible for giving a goal away.  But Ivanovic was solid and Serbia collected another crucial three points in what will be a very closely contested qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup.

Earlier in the day, another Chelsea player captained his side to a one-goal victory.  Mikel John Obi, playing once again in a more advanced midfield role, collected a secondary assist on Iheanacho's goal, which gave Nigeria a 2-0 lead in the first half.  Zambia came back strong in the second half, but needed an error from Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo to grab their only goal of the game.  Nigeria's 2-1 win was their fourth in a row in all competitions.