The fifth round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Europe kicked off tonight (Saturday), with the focus of the French national team’s matches in Ukraine and the Netherlands at home against Montenegro, after both stumbled in the midweek round. Even before that, Serbia, Russia and Norway avoided surprises and scored three points.
Serbia – Luxembourg 1: 4
How much Alexander Mitrovic likes to play against Luxembourg. The massive Fulham striker scored a double in each of the games against her in the Euro 2020 qualifiers and tonight did so for the third time in a row, with goals in the 22nd and 35th minutes. 6 goals in 3 games against the same opponent – beauty of the ref. Mitro already with 5 goals in the qualifying campaign and Serbia climbed to the top of House A and signaled to Portugal that they plan a fight until the last minute. Oliver Tel shrank to 2: 1 in the 77th minute And gave hope to Luxembourg, but Maxim Shani’s own goal (82) closed the story and Nikola Milankovic signed (90 + 7).
Ireland – Azerbaijan 1: 1
Ireland’s failed campaign continued and the Greens avoided an embarrassing loss only thanks to a late equalizer from Shane Duffy. Amin Mahmoudov scored a beautiful goal with a kick from outside the box just before the break, but the Brighton brake equalized in the 87th minute and prevented more embarrassment. About six months after the 1-0 home loss to Luxembourg, Ireland will settle for that result and are with a first point.
Ukraine – France (21:45)
Andrei Shevchenko left Ukraine after a successful euro and was replaced by Oleksandr Petrako, after a decade as the country’s youth national team coach. His debut was unsuccessful when on Wednesday he parted ways with Kazakhstan 2-2 – a game in which Ukraine took the lead in extra time and absorbed immediately afterwards – and now he will have to try to beat the world champion, who also disappointed big in the middle of the week.
After winning just one game in the Euros and surprisingly relegated by Switzerland, France parted ways this week in a 1-1 home draw against Bosnia. Antoine Griezmann quickly erased an advantage set by Edin Dzeko, but Jules Conde was sent off in the second half and the tricolor failed to get back on the winning track. They still have a promising four-point advantage over Ukraine, so a win would bring them very close to securing a ticket to the World Cup, but Didier Deschamps and his players are aware that they have a high hurdle ahead of them. “We did things badly and did not expect to end in a draw,” the coach admitted after the draw on Tuesday. The one who will be absent from the French squad this time is Killian Ambape, who was injured against Bosnia and according to “Lakip” has already left the team and returned to treatments in Paris.
Finland – Kazakhstan 0: 1
To Finland: Joel Poinpallo (60)
Netherlands – Montenegro (21:45 in Sports 4)
Louis van Gaal’s renewed debut on the lines as coach of the Dutch national team, in his third term, opened with a 1-1 draw in Norway on Wednesday. Arling Holland scored first, Davey Klassen only managed to equalize and so the Turks kept the lead of the closest house – leading by 8 points followed by the Netherlands, Montenegro and Norway with seven points each.
Since Turkey will host Gibraltar and Norway in Latvia, games in which it is doubtful that the Orange believe the rivals will lose points, they have no choice but to beat Montenegro at the stadium in Eindhoven, which on Wednesday saved a point when it equalized 2: 2 in Turkey. Virgil Van Dyke is set to move up for the second game in a row in the squad after recovering from an injury for which he has been absent for close to a year and the attack is expected to be continued by Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay.
Latvia – Norway 2: 0
Norway did their part with points in Riga, in a game led by the Israeli David Foxman. Arling Holland scored with a penalty in the 20th minute and Muhammad Alionosi doubled in the 66th minute, in the first meeting between the two teams after 22 years.
Gibraltar – Turkey (21:45)
Slovakia – Croatia (21:45 in Sports 2)
On Wednesday, Russia and Croatia met and parted ways in a goalless draw, a result that maintained the status quo at the top of the house: seven points each. Slovakia and Slovenia, who met in parallel and finished 1-1, have not been able to take advantage of this to narrow gaps or complete a makeover at the top, but now they will have another chance.
Croatia will arrive in Slovakia without the injured Luca Modric, while Marseille stopper Doya Celta-Tsar is in great doubt for the game. According to reports in Croatia, Ivan Prisic or Andrei Kramaric could pay the price of capacity in the middle of the week and go down to the bench. Slovakia is set to open with Vladimir Weiss, Robert Mack and Aunt Andrei Duda trying to surprise the 2018 World Cup finalist.
Cyprus – Russia 2: 0
After the disappointing draw against Croatia in Lužnice, Valery Karpin’s side knew they should not lose points against Cyprus away and they neutralized the mine relatively easily. Alexander Yeruhin (6) and the talented Rifat Zmaltdinov (55) determined the result of the game.
Slovenia – Malta 0: 1
To Slovenia: Sandy Lubric (44)