2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – UEFA: Matchday One Roundup

With UEFA Qualifying for 2022 FIFA World Cup now underway, we round up all the action in each group from the opening matchday round.

Featuring 25 matches spread across 24 hours in the first of this month’s qualifying triple header spread across seven days, England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales are amongst several teams looking to begin qualifying on a high.

Luxembourg, Kosovo, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Belarus sat out this round of qualifying action due to Groups A-E featuring only five teams.

 

Group A 

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Aleksandr Mitrovic’s second half brace sent Serbia top in a 3-2 win over Republic of Ireland, after Alan Browne’s opener for the Irish in Belgrade was cancelled out by Dusan Vlahovic before James Collins netted a late 86th minute consolatory for the visitors.

Portugal sit second after Maksim Medvedev’s own goal gave the reigning European champions a narrow home win over Azerbaijan on neutral territory in Turin, Italy.

 

Group B

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Sweden top Group B after Viktor Claesson produced a 35th minute winner, as the Swedes surprisingly found themselves scraping past Georgia on home soil in Stockholm’s municipality of Solna.

Alvaro Morata’s 33rd minute opener was cancelled out by Anastasios Bakasetas’ 57th minute penalty in a 1-1 draw between Spain and Greece in Granada.

 

Group C

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Three goals in six minutes from Breel Embolo, Haris Seferovic and Steven Zuber saw Switzerland cruise to a 3-1 away victory and top spot in Bulgaria, as Kiril Despodov rescued a 46th minute consolatory goal for the hosts.

First half goals from Domenico Berardi and Ciro Immobile proved enough for Italy to cruise past Northern Ireland to put the Italians second by virtue of one less goal scored than the Swiss.

 

Group D

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Bosnia & Herzegovina top Group D after all four teams participating in this opening matchday drew their games.

Miralem Pjanic gave Bosnia a 55th minute lead but Teemu Pukki’s brace saw Finland come back to lead at home, only for Miroslav Stevanovic to snatch a 84th equaliser to put the visitors top in a 2-2 draw.

Ukraine and France sit third and fourth respectively following a 1-1 draw in Saint-Denis, as Antoine Griezmann’s 19th minute curler was cancelled out by a disastrous own goal from Presnel Kimpembe to give the Ukrainian visitors a point.

 

Group E

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Tomas Soucek produced a 16 minute hattrick as Czech Republic ran riot in a 6-2 away win in Estonia to top the group, with Patrik Schick, Antonin Barak and Jakub Jankto also scoring for the visitors, after Rauno Sappinen opened the scoring for Estonia with Henri Anier adding a late consolation for the hosts.

Belgium came from behind to defeat Wales as Kevin De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard and a second half penalty from Romelu Lukaku secured a 3-1 home win, having fallen behind to Harry Wilson’s early counter strike for the Welsh visitors.

 

Group F

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Goals from Martin Braithwaite and Jonas Wind proved enough for Denmark to win away in Israel and top Group F.

Austria sit second despite Sasa Kalajdzic’s brace as Scotland twice fought back through Grant Hanley and John McGinn to snatch a 2-2 draw at Hampden Park.

Meinhard Olsen’s late goal saw Faroe Islands clinch a 1-1 draw away in Moldova, who had claimed a ninth minute lead through Ion Nicolaescu.

 

Group G

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Norway currently lead Group G after running riot in a 3-0 away win in Gibraltar, as Alexander Sorloth, Kristian Thorstvedt and Jonas Svensson all found the net.

Burak Yilmaz netted a hattrick with Hakan Calhanoglu also scoring as Turkey edged a six goal thriller over the Netherlands to go second, with Davy Klaassen and Luuk De Jong nicking late consolatory goals for the Dutch.

A comeback brace from Stevan Jovetic saw Montenegro come from behind to defeat Latvia, who had gone ahead through Janis Ikaunieks’ 40th minute opener.

 

Group H

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Russia top Group H after comfortably defeating Malta 3-1 in Ta’ Qali with goals from Artyom Dzyuba, Mario Fernandes and a 90th minute strike from Aleksandr Sobolev after Joseph Mbong reduced Malta’s deficit in the 56th minute.

2018 runners-up, Croatia suffered a surprise defeat in Slovenia as the hosts snatched a 15th minute winner through Sandi Lovric.

Slovakia and Cyprus sit third and fourth after contesting a goalless draw in Nicosia.

 

Group I

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Ollie Watkins scored on his England debut as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions thrashed San Marino 5-0, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin netting a brace either side of goals from James Ward-Prowse and Raheem Sterling.

Ermir Lenjani fired Albania into second with a 41st minute winner as they snatched a narrow win away at Andorra.

Hungary blew a two goal lead at home as Poland fought back to snatch a 3-3 draw, with Robert Lewandowski netting a 82nd minute equaliser after Viktor Orban had put the hosts 3-2 up in a six goal thriller.

 

Group J

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Early goals from Leon Goretzka and Kai Havertz within the opening seven minutes sent Germany top of Group J, with Ilkay Gundogan adding a third to seal a dominant home win over Iceland.

Romania survived a late fightback from North Macedonia to go second after snatching a late 3-2 victory, as Ianis Hagi produced a 85th minute winner after the visitors struck twice in two minutes to equalise with seven minutes left.

Armenia sit third after Noah Frommelt’s 83rd minute own goal gave the visitors a narrow away win in Liechtenstein.

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