Roundup of matchday four in UEFA Qualifying for 2022 FIFA World Cup as teams resumed their bids to reach Qatar, having taken a break this summer for the delayed Euro 2020.
Highlights of the latest round of European Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup included a reunion between Sweden and Spain three months after their goalless clash at Euro 2020, whilst Italy and England looked to avoid upsets against Bulgaria and Hungary respectively.
Out of the remaining British Isles based teams, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland were also in action, whilst Wales were in friendly action in Finland.
Now here is a full roundup of the fourth round of UEFA Qualifying for the next FIFA World Cup, which is set to be held in November 2022 in Qatar.
Portugal came from behind through Cristiano Ronaldo’s late brace following a penalty save to overturn John Egan’s opener and defeat Republic of Ireland 2-1, which sees the Portugese stay top of Group A after Serbia weren’t in competitive action.
Luxembourg remain third as first-half goals from Michael Pinto and Gerson Rodrigues proved enough to defeat Azerbaijan 2-1 at home, despite Emin Mahmudov’s 67th minute effort for the visitors.
Serbia meanwhile ran riot in a 4-0 friendly win against Qatar in Hungary as goals from Luka Jovic, Dusan Vlahovic and Nikola Milenkovic eased the European side to victory, following a second minute own goal from Qatar’s Boualem Khoukhi.
Goals from Alexander Isak and Viktor Claesson saw Sweden fight back from behind at home to stun Spain 2-1 to go top of Group B, after La Roja took an early fourth minute lead through Carlos Soler in Solna.
Vedat Muriqi’s 18th minute strike proved enough for Kosovo to defeat Georgia away from home and climb to third, leaving their beaten hosts languishing bottom of the group.
Reigning Euro champions, Italy saw their resumption of World Cup Qualifying receive a surprise shock as Federico Chiesa’s opener was cancelled out by Atanas Iliev, with Bulgaria grinding out a shock 1-1 draw in Florence as the Italians remain top of this group.
Penalties from Conor Washington and Paddy McNair either side of strikes from Daniel Ballard and Shayne Lavery saw Northern Ireland romp to a 4-1 away win in Lithuania, which put Ian Baraclough’s men third in the group.
Second-placed Switzerland weren’t in action as they instead were in friendly action in a 2-1 win over Greece, with Steven Zuber and Ruben Vargas netting in their friendly victory.
Antoine Griezmann’s 40th minute strike cancelled out Edin Dzeko’s opener four minutes earlier as France stay top of Group D, having held Bosnia & Herzegovina to a 1-1 draw in Strasbourg.
Ruslan Valiullin netted a late brace either side of strikes for Roman Yaremchuk and Danylo Sikan, as Kazakhstan twice fought back at home to hold Ukraine to a 2-2 draw at Astana Arena, Nur-Sultan.
Finland meanwhile weren’t in Qualifying action due to just five teams in this group, as they instead held Wales to a goalless friendly draw.
Romelu Lukaku produced two goals as Hans Vanaken provided a goal and assist as Belgian delivered a ruthlessly dominant 5-2 away victory in Estonia, keeping Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils top.
Antonin Barak’s 34th minute goal saw Czech Republic stay second in the standings, following a narrow win over Belarus in Ostrava.
Quick-fire goals from Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle saw Denmark move five points clear at the top of Group F, as this summer’s Euro 2020 semi-finalists comfortably defeated Scotland 2-0 in Copenhagen.
Eran Zahavi snatched a hat-trick as Israel thrashed Faroe Islands 4-0 in Torshavn to go second ahead of Austria who leapfrogged Scotland into third, as Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic netted in a 2-0 away win in Moldova.
Comeback goals from Adam Marusic and Risto Radunovic saw Montenegro fight back to snatch a point in Istanbul, after early goals from rom Cengiz Under and Yusuf Yazici had group leaders – Turkey in front as both teams eventually settled for a 2-2 draw.
Davy Klaassen cancelled out Erling Haaland’s opener as second-placed Netherlands came from behind to hold Norway to a 1-1 draw away in Oslo.
Latvia remains second-bottom but moved four points clear of rock-bottom Gibraltar as a brace from Vladislavs Gutkovskis helped the 11 Wolves to a 3-1 home victory in Riga.
Croatia remain top of Group H despite finding themselves held to a goalless draw in Moscow by second-placed Russia, as both teams sit level on seven points apiece.
Slovakia remain third ahead of Slovenia as Petar Stojanovic cancelled out Robert Bozenik’s opener in a tightly-fought 1-1 draw in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Cain Attard’s brace and a goal from Joseph Mbong saw Malta thrash Cyprus 3-0 in Ta’ Qali to move off the bottom of this group.
England overcame a nervy first-half display to thrash Hungary 4-0 in Budapest to cement their position at the top of Group I, with Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice all getting on the scoresheet despite booing, object throwing and racist chanting from home fans.
Robert Lewandowski provided a goal and assist as Poland thrashed Albania 4-1 to go second and five points behind England, with both teams set to meet in Matchday Six next week.
Marc Vales Gonzalez netted a brace as Andorra comfortably defeated San Marino 2-0 in Estadi Nacional, Andorra la Vella, thus putting The Tricolours fifth in the group.
Armenia remain top of Group J after being held to a goalless draw in North Macedonia, although their deficit was reduced to a single point after strikes from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane lifted Germany to second in a 2-0 win in Liechtenstein.
Romania remain fourth but moved to within four points of automatic qualification spot after goals from Dennis Man and Nicolae Stanciu delivered a 2-0 victory over Iceland in Reykjavik.