FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers: England overwhelm Albania as Italy held to an unwanted against Switzerland

(Football news) England almost confirmed their place for next year's World Cup as they won 5-0 against Albania. Gareth Southgate’s side need just a point from their last match to confirm their automatic qualification spot for Qatar 2022. In the first half, England were in rampant form, Harry Maguire started the party with a header but then England just went strength to strength as Harry Kane completed a first half perfect hattrick, Jordan Herderson also got in on the action as England just completely killed the game in the first half. The second half failed to live upto expectation, the hosts continued to maintain control of the match as Albania did stifle some threats but the second remained goalless. With this result England moved to 23 points, three clear of Poland.

Southgate said “Form is always temporary, what pleased me most was his all-round performance. We know he’s going to score goals. I liked the way he was aggressive in his hold-up play and running in behind. His link play was on song. We had good movement around him, particularly from Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden. We’ll make a decision on the team on Monday. There are a few thousand England fans going to San Marino. We’ve still not qualified for the World Cup. We want to put a performance on.”

Italy could have secured their position in next year’s World Cup but couldn’t as they drew 1-1 against Switzerland. In the first half the visitors took the lead when a rocket of a strike from Silvan Widmer found the back of the net in the 10th minute, eventually the Euro 2020 champions found their way back as Givoanni Di Lorenzo made it 1-1 before the break. In the second half there were plenty of opportunities for both of the teams, Italy had the best chance in the 90th minute but Jorginho skied his penalty over the bar. With this result it all comes down to the final match as both the teams are level on 15 points but Italy are ahead on goal difference.

Roberto Mancini said after the match,  “We missed a penalty in the first leg and one in the return, these things happen. Jorginho felt like kicking it and it’s right that he did. He is one of the penalty takers in the teamIn the first half we suffered and struggled. Then we came out well but missed the winning goal against Northern Ireland. We started with an advantage, and that’s not a small one. If we play well and score the goals we didn’t score today. It was a difficult game and we were conditioned by the goal conceded, it’s a shame that we didn’t score in the second half.”

Already qualified Denmark continued their amazing run in the World Cup qualifiers as they won 3-1 against Faroe Island. Goals from Olsen, Larsen and Maehle were enough to maintain their perfect record in the qualification record but they also conceded their first goal this qualification campaign. Poland maintained their World Cup qualification dream as they secured second place in Group I as they won 4-1 against Andorra. Two goals from Robert Lewandowski, Jozwiak and Milik were enough to seal all three points for them. Scotland also confirmed second place in Group F with a 2-0 victory over Moldova as goals from Patterson and Adams was enough for them to move to 20 points from 9 matches.

Also read: FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers: Sweden get shocked, Germany hit cloud nine with a victory as Portugal held to an unlikely draw

The results of the other fixtures were:

  • Austria 4 (Arnautovic(pen), Schaub x2, Sabitzer) – 2 Israel (Bitton, Peretz)
  • Hungary 4 (Szoboszlai x2, Gazdag, Vecsei) – 0 San Marino
  • Northern Ireland 1 (Stakus)(og) – 0 Lithuania

Today's fixtures are:

  • Bosnia vs Finland
  • Norway vs Latvia
  • Belgium vs Estonia
  • France vs Kazakhstan
  • Montenegro vs Netherlands 


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