Friday, October 15, 2021

Qatar opens its doors


Germany thumped North Macedonia 4-0 in Skopje with 2 goals from Kai Havertz to become the first nation to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and were followed by Denmark a day later. Slovenia, who enjoyed the same scoreline in Malta with a Josip Ilicic double, returned home to lose 2-1 to Russia three days later while Croatia were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Slovakia. Hungary lost 1-0 at home to Albania but picked up a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley while the Irish Republic were 3-0 winners in Azerbaijan with a brace from Callum Robinson, and 2 late goals from Fiodor Cernych gave Lithuania a shock 3-1 win over Bulgaria in Vilnius. Finland lost 2-1 at home to Ukraine and Smail Prevljak scored both goals for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Kazakhstan who suffered their second 2-0 home defeat three days later when Teemu Pukki netted twice for the Finns while Kosovo were shocked 2-1 by their visitors from Georgia. France won the European League of Nations with a 2-1 victory over Spain in Turin.

In South America Paraguay were pummelled 4-0 in Bolivia, who a few days earlier had overcome Peru 1-0 on the same ground despite being reduced to ten players while the Paraguayans themselves went down 2-0 in Chile with both teams ending the match with ten players. Venezuela were 2-1 winners at home to Ecuador.

In Africa Nigeria were stunned 1-0 by a last-minute Central African Republic goal in Lagos while Ibrahima Kone scored a hat-trick as Mali mauled Kenya 5-0 in Morocco and South Africa were 3-1 winners in Ethiopia. Tanzania lost 1-0 at home to Benin but reversed the result in the return match while Togo triumphed 2-1 in Congo and Egypt put 3 past their Libyan hosts without reply. Guinea Bissau were beaten 5-0 away to Morocco and 10-man Zambia lost 2-0 in Equatorial Guinea while Uganda won with a single goal in Rwanda. DR Congo lost to a first-minute goal in Madagascar and Angola were defeated 2-0 in Gabon.

In North America the USA lost 1-0 in Panama and Jamaica were 2-0 winners in Honduras.

In the Asian section, South Korea dew 1-1 in Iran.