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World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Portugal Stunned As Serbia, Spain Qualify

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hopes of enjoying in a record-equalling fifth World Cup grasp within the stability after Serbia shocked Portugal 2-1 in Lisbon to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Spain and Croatia did safe their locations in Qatar on Sunday because of 1-Zero wins over Sweden and Russia respectively. Ronaldo already holds the document of enjoying in 5 European Championships and appeared effectively on track for one more milestone as Portugal got here out of the blocks to open the scoring after simply two minutes by Renato Sanches.

However, Serbia bounced again to dominate the rest of the primary half and deservedly levelled when Dusan Tadic’s strike squeezed in off the put up after Dusan Vlahovic had hit the woodwork.

Ronaldo was saved quiet as one other probability to attain his 800th profession objective got here and went.

Instead it was Aleksandar Mitrovic who grabbed the very important objective as stoppage time approached.

Just over a 12 months in the past, Mitrovic was the villain for his nation as he was the one participant to fail to attain in a penalty shootout in opposition to Scotland that noticed Serbia miss out on Euro 2020.

However, the Fulham striker made amends in dramatic vogue when he steered in Tadic’s header on the again put up.

“It was an amazing game,” stated Mitrovic.

“We were the better team today in every aspect of the game,” he added.

Portugal should now navigate two difficult one-off playoff matches in March to keep up their document of qualifying for each main event for the reason that 1998 World Cup.

– ‘Huge weight off’ –

“We must apologise to the Portuguese but my team will be at the World Cup, that’s guaranteed,” stated defiant Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

“We will have to prepare well to beat our opponents in March and to get to Qatar. But I always trust my players,” he added.

Spain made positive they averted the playoffs as Alvaro Morata’s objective 4 minutes from time ended Sweden’s resistance in Seville.

The Swedes’ shock 2-Zero defeat to Kazakhstan on Thursday had handed Spain pole place in Group B, that means La Roja simply wanted a degree to qualify.

Luis Enrique’s males had been grateful for that reprieve as for a very long time a repeat of the stalemate between the perimeters once they met within the group levels of Euro 2020 was on the playing cards.

Morata was the autumn man that night time for lacking a bunch of probabilities, however made his mark off the bench with a relaxed end after Robin Olsen had turned Dani Olmo’s blistering shot onto the bar.

“To be honest, it is a huge weight off my shoulders,” stated Luis Enrique.

“I felt much more pressure in these games when people think it is easy to get a result than in the Euro or the Nations League,” he added.

Croatia additionally wanted a late winner as an personal objective from Fedor Kudryashov snatched qualification from Russia in a battle in boggy situations in Split.

Finalists on the final World Cup in 2018, Croatia appeared sure for the playoffs as they toiled on a waterlogged pitch in opposition to a resolute Russian defence.

But Kudryashov’s error noticed them snatch prime spot from the guests eight minutes from time.

“It was a difficult match from the beginning because of the rain. We never gave up, we were patient and I think we won deservedly. We are the best team in this group,” stated Croatia captain Luka Modric.

Promoted

Germany had lengthy since booked their place in Qatar, however rounded off their qualifying marketing campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of Armenia as Ilkay Gundogan scored twice.

North Macedonia secured the playoff place behind the four-time world champions with a 3-1 win over Iceland.

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