Denmark with a brilliant record to Qatar… and Hungary complicating England’s...

          Sweden takes the lead from Spain... and Ronaldo's "hat-trick" against Luxembourg in the World Cup qualifiers            

The Danish team won with a brilliant record its passage to the World Cup finals in Qatar in 2022 after achieving its eighth consecutive victory in the European qualifiers at the expense of Austria 1-0, in the eighth round competitions, which complicated the task of the English with an unexpected tie against Hungary 1-1. On the one hand, Another, Serbia maintained the top spot in Group A against Portugal by defeating Azerbaijan 3-1, while Sweden took the lead in Group B from Spain after beating its guest Greece 2-0.

The Danish team became the second qualified for the World Cup Qatar 2022 after its German counterpart. Denmark owes this victory to Atalanta’s Joachim Mihle, who scored the game’s only goal in the 53rd minute. The Vikings scored the full mark with 24 points from eight victories in Group F. Denmark had previously defeated Austria by four in the third round. Coach Kasper Helmand’s men have maintained a great and stable level since reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup 2020 last July, when they lost in extra time against England. Since then, they have won all four of their qualifying matches. Denmark is the only team to win all eight of its qualifying matches with 27 goals and a clean sheet.

With the guarantee of qualification, Scotland’s efforts to maintain its second position, after strengthening it with a difficult victory over the Faroe Islands 1 – zero, remains. With this goal, scored by Lyndon Dykes in the 86th minute. Scotland raised its score to 17 points. And Israel was behind it in third place with 13 points, after it defeated Moldova 2 – 1. Thus, Austria, the fourth with 10 points, and Alvaro the fifth with four points, and the last Moldova with one point, are out of the competition.

The Hungarian team braked its counterpart and host England after they were imposed a 1-1 draw. The “Three Lions” maintained their lead in Group I with 20 points, but they held their mission to book a direct qualification ticket to the football tournament, as they were only 3 points ahead of Poland. The winner over its host Albania 1 – zero, which moved further from the competition cycle, as it is behind in third place with 15 points.

England, who have been drawn for the second time, did not benefit from their 12 consecutive World Cup qualifying home wins (before this match), as they had not tasted defeat at Wembley since their 1-0 defeat to Germany in 2000. Note that Hungary’s last victory dates back to 59 years ago, specifically to the 1962 World Cup. The numbers tilted in favor of England against Hungary with a series of 14 games in a row without a loss (before this match), during which they achieved 12 wins and two draws.

At the famous “Wembley” stadium in London, England coach Gareth Southgate made drastic changes to the squad, compared to the five-0 victory over Andorra in the previous round, keeping only John Stones and Phil Foden as key players, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford returned to stand between the three blocks. With a renewed offensive trio composed of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jack Grealish. Other than the course of the match, Hungary opened the scoring with a penalty kick after Luke Shaw’s foul on Luisi Nego, confirmed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology, which was successfully carried out by Freiburg striker Roland Salai. The hosts refused to return to the changing rooms late, and they equalized thanks to Jones’ header after a free kick by Foden that was transformed by the Hungarian defense. It is the defender’s third goal in the “Three Lions” team shirt. In the same group, Andorra defeated San Marino 3-0.

Sweden took the lead in Group B from Spain, after beating its host Greece 2-0. The Swedish team took the lead with its fifth victory against a loss with 15 points, two points ahead of its injured Spanish counterpart, after losing the European Nations League final against France 1-2 on Sunday, who did not play in this round. Greece, which lost to Sweden for the second time in the last eight matches between them in various competitions, froze at 9 points in third place from two wins, 3 draws and one defeat.

At the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden avenged its loss in the first leg against Greece 1-2 in the sixth stage, and opened the scoring thanks to the German Leipzig striker Emil Forsberg from a penalty kick in the 59th minute after a foul by Konstantinos Mavropanos on Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, to strengthen the latter. His team scored the second goal with a left-footed shot from close range to the lower right corner after a pass from Robin Olsen.

The referee sent off Greek defender Pantelis Khantidiakos in the 86th minute. In a marginal match in the same group, Georgia won its first victory in the qualifiers after dropping its host Kosovo 2-1.

The Serbian team continued its hold on to the top of Group A by defeating Azerbaijan 3-1. Despite the fact that Portugal swept its guest Luxembourg by five goals, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a “hat-trick”. Serbia and Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlavovic scored the hat-trick in the 30th minute with a penalty kick, 53 and Ajax’s Dutch winger Dusan Tadic from the penalty spot, while Amin Mahmudov scored the only Azerbaijani goal. Serbia took the lead in the last round, with a difficult victory over its host Luxembourg 1 – zero.

With its victory today over Azerbaijan, which suffered its sixth loss from seven matches with an orphan point in the bottom of the group, Serbia raised its score to 17 points from seven matches at the top. Thus, Portugal became second, with a point difference of 16, but with a game less, after a 5-0 victory over Luxembourg, including a hat-trick for national team star Ronaldo and a goal by Bruno Fernandes and Sporting player Joao Balenia. Despite the harsh loss, Luxembourg is third with six points, in front of Ireland fourth with five points.

In other matches, Switzerland won 4-0 over Lithuania, tied Italy, the leaders of Group C, with 14 points, while Northern Ireland lost 2-1 to Bulgaria. In Group D, France, which is not playing in the current round, benefited from Ukraine’s 1-1 draw with Bosnia. 1, while Finland beat Kazakhstan and revived their hopes of the competition.

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