Roundup of the latest UEFA qualifying action from 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, as four of the five home nations fought to boost their qualification bids.
England’s away clash against Andorra was in jeopardy following a blaze on the TV gantry yesterday afternoon (8 October 2021), yet was able to successfully go ahead as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions looked to move closer towards automatic qualification.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales meanwhile found themselves in dramatic scraps to boost their hopes of a top two finish in Groups C, F and E respectively, whilst Republic of Ireland looked to avoid an embarrassing upset in Azerbaijan.
Now here is a full roundup of the latest action across all ten UEFA Qualifying groups.
Dusan Vlahovic’s 68th minute strike proved enough for Serbia to beat Luxembourg to go top of Group A.
Callum Robinson’s first-half brace plus a 90th minute header on debut from Chiedozie Ogbene saw fourth-placed Republic of Ireland thrash Azerbaijan 3-0 in Baku.
Goals from Emil Forsberg, Alexander Isak and Robin Quaison saw Sweden thrash Kosovo in Solna to stay second.
Injury-time goals from Anastasios Bakasetas and Dimitris Pelkas saw third-placed Greece squeeze past Georgia in a scrappy contest in Batumi.
Spain meanwhile were in Nations League semi-finals action as Ferran Torres’ brace proved enough to defeat reigning European champions, Italy 2-1 in Milan.
Switzerland moved to within three points of Group C leaders, Italy after defeating Northern Ireland 2-0 through injury time goals from Steven Zuber and Christian Fassnacht in respective halves, following a controversial red card for Ireland’s Jamal Lewis for alleged time wasting in the first half.
Fedor Cernych’s brace plus Justas Lasickas’ opener saw rock-bottom Lithuania thrash Bulgaria 3-1 in Vilnius to record their first win of the campaign.
Roman Yaremchuk’s 34th minute winner saw Ukraine stay second after scraping a tightly-fought 2-1 win against Finland, after Andriy Yarmolenko’s fourth minute opener was cancelled out by Teemu Pukki.
Smail Prevljak’s brace saw Bosnia & Herzegovina thrash Kazakhstan 2-0 in Nur-Sultan to move up to third.
Group D leaders, France meanwhile saw off Belgium in a five goal Nations League semi-final thriller to book a spot in the Final against Spain, as Theo Hernandez netted a 90th minute winner in a second-half comeback from two goals down.
Czech Republic remain second after holding third-placed Wales to a 2-2 draw in Prague, as Jakub Pesek’s rebound strike coupled with Danny Ward’s own goal saw they come from behind to lead, until Daniel James’ 69th minute strike rescued a draw.
Estonia meanwhile moved off the foot of the table with a 2-0 home win over Belarus through second-half goals from Erik Sorga and Sergei Zenjov.
Belgium meanwhile were in Nations League action where they let a two goal lead slip in a dramatic 3-2 defeat to France.
Denmark remain seven points clear at the top of Group F after thrashing Moldova 4-0 as Andreas Skov Olsen opened the scoring, before assisting in Christian Norgaard’s goal which put the Danes three goals up either side of goals from Simon Kjaer and Joakim Maehle.
Scotland twice came from behind through John McGinn and Lyndon Dykes to level against Israel before Scott McTominay squeezed in a last-gasp winner in a five goal thriller, which meant that Steve Clarke’s Tartan Army moved four points clear of Israel in second place.
Austria remain fourth after cruising to victory away to Faroe Islands with Konrad Laimer and Marcel Sabitzer both scoring either side of half-time.
Davy Klaassen’s 19th minute angled volley proved enough for Netherlands to defeat Latvia in Riga to stay top of Group G.
Norway stay second after Kristian Thorstvedt rescued the Norwegians a vital point in a 1-1 draw away to third-placed Turkey in Istanbul, having fallen behind to Kerem Akturkoglu’s sixth minute opener for the Turkish hosts.
Fatos Beciraj’s brace saw Montenegro comfortably dispatch Gibraltar in a 3-0 away win after Adam Masrusic netted a seventh minute opener.
Goals from Ivan Perisic, Josko Gvardiol and Marko Livaja saw Croatia thrash Cyprus away in Larnaca to stay top of Group H.
Milan Skriniar’s 24th minute own goal saw Russia edge out Slovakia in Kazan to stay second on goal difference from Croatia.
Slovenia’s Josip Ilicic netted a brace to send his country third in the group whilst Andraz Sporar and Benjamin Sesko also found the goal, in a 4-0 away victory over Malta.
England remain top of Group I and on course for automatic qualification after delivering a ruthless 5-0 away win over Andorra, as Jadon Sancho provided assists for Ben Chilwell and Tammy Abraham whilst Bukayo Saka, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish also found the net.
Albania stay second after Armando Broja struck a 79th minute winner to snatch victory in a fierce contest against Hungary away in Budapest.
Poland stay third as Karol Swiderski and Tomasz Kedziora netted either side of Cristian Brolli’s 20th minute own goal in a 5-0 mauling of San Marino, with Adam Buksa and Krzysztof Piatek adding late goals to wrap up victory.
Second-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller saw Germany come from behind to defeat Romania after Ianis Hagi’s ninth minute opener for the visitors in Hamburg.
Isak Johannesson’s 77th minute equaliser cancelled out Kamo Hovhannisyan’s 35th minute opener in Reykjavik, as Iceland fought back to snatch a 1-1 draw against Armenia.
North Macedonia consequently took advantage of Armenia’s slip-up to climb into second on goal difference with a 4-0 mauling of Liechtenstein, as Darko Velkovski, Ezgjan Alioski, Boban Nikolov and Darko Churlinov found themselves on the scoresheet.