Friday, September 10, 2021

Focus on Qatar


The World Cup qualifiers continued after a summer break with newly crowned European champions, Italy, only managing a 1-1 draw at home to Bulgaria while 10 Frenchmen suffered the same ignominy at home to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Iceland fell 2-0 at home to Romania while England humiliated Hungary 4-0 in Budapest and Israel enjoyed the same result against the Faroe Islands with Eran Zahavi netting a hat-trick for the visitors who returned home to hammer Austria 5-2 with Zahavi adding another 2 goals to his international tally. The Austrians went on to lose 1-0 at home to Scotland while Armenia also had a bad week, losing 6-0 in Germany with an early double from Serge Gnabry putting the Germans on their way, before returning to Yerevan where they could only draw 1-1 with Liechtenstein. Cain Attard scored twice in Malta’s 3-0 home victory over 10-man Cyprus while Montenegro came from 2 down to draw 2-2 in Turkey and Kosovo upset their Georgian hosts 1-0 in Batumi. Sweden suffered a 2-1 defeat in Greece while Wales were held to a goalless draw by their Estonian guests.

In Asia, Oman stunned their Japanese hosts with a late goal in Suita while the United Arab Emirates fired blanks at home to Lebanon while in South America Ecuador enjoyed a 2-0 home win with 2 late goals against Paraguay. In the CONCACAF section Jamaica were shocked 3-0 by the visiting Panamanians while Honduras earned a 1-1 draw in Canada but returned home to get thumped 4-1 by the USA having taken a first-half lead.

In Africa Libya went a goal down but scored a last-minute winner at home to Gabon before upsetting Angola 1-0 on their travels while Tunisia were 2-0 winners in Zambia and Burkina Faso held Algeria to a 1-1 draw in Morocco. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman scored both goals for Sudan but Piqueti Silva’s double was among 4 for the visiting Guinea Bissau, who continued their rise in the football rankings while Malawi beat Mozambique 1-0 in South Africa.