Friday, November 17, 2017

Welcome to Russia

Peru became the 32nd nation after hosts Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England, Spain, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, Portugal, France, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark and Australia to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The Peruvians who were held to a goalless draw in New Zealand scored twice on home soil against the lowly ranked Kiwis to seal the final place in Russia. After a goalless draw at home to the Irish Republic, the Danish dynamite destroyed their hosts 5-1 in Dublin with Christian Eriksen netting a hat-trick while Switzerland could only draw 0-0 at home to Northern Ireland, but qualified having converted a controversial penalty in Belfast days earlier. Australia defeated Honduras 3-1 in Sydney with a hat-trick from skipper Mile Jedinak after a goalless draw in the first leg. There were goalless draws for the visiting Swedes and Croats who qualified at the expense of Italy and Greece respectively having won their home fixtures.
Tunisia made it to the world Cup despite drawing blanks at home to Libya in their final match while Morocco overcame their Ivorian hosts to reach the finals.
Among friendly matches in November the most outstanding result was Nicaragua’s 3-0 home demise against the Dominican Republic.