Serbia clinched an computerized berth within the 2022 World Cup finals after a Ninetieth-minute header by half-time substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic gave them a comeback 2-1 win over Portugal of their Group A qualifier on Sunday.
The end result lifted Serbia into prime spot on 20 factors, three greater than second-placed Portugal, who solely wanted a draw to complete prime on purpose distinction and qualify however will now head into the March play-offs.
Mitrovic beat residence goalkeeper Rui Patricio with a downward header on the far publish to spark wild celebrations on Serbia’s bench after visiting captain Dusan Tadic had cancelled out an early Renato Sanches opener for Portugal.
Group B – Spain qualify after late Sweden win
Spain certified for subsequent years’ World Cup finals in Qatar by beating guests Sweden 1-0 because of a purpose by substitute Alvaro Morata late within the second half on Sunday.
Spain, who received the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, completed prime of Group B with 19 factors, 4 forward of the second-placed Swedes who might nonetheless qualify by way of the play-offs in March.
Group D – Croatia edge Russia to prime spot
Croatia clinched an computerized berth in subsequent yr’s World Cup finals in dramatic vogue as a late Fedor Kudryashov personal purpose gave them a 1-0 residence win over Russia of their crunch Group D qualifier.
Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runners-up, jumped above Russia to prime the standings on 23 factors from 10 video games, yet another than the second-placed Russians, who will head into the March play-offs.
Croatia dominated a match performed in driving rain however a string of excellent saves by visiting goalkeeper Matvei Safonov and a waterlogged pitch stored them at bay earlier than Kudryashov’s clumsy Eightieth-minute contact delighted the house followers.
With waves of Croatian assaults shedding momentum on a troublesome pitch, left-back Borna Sosa floated in a hopeful cross from the left and Kudryashov bundled the ball into his personal web after it bounced awkwardly in entrance of him.
Russia missed their solely likelihood to salvage the sport from their first fluent transfer in stoppage time, Vyacheslav Karavaev firing over the bar from 18 metres.
Third-place Slovakia eased to a 6-0 win over Malta. Slovenia beat Cyprus 2-1.
Group J – North Macedonia take second, Germany beat Armenia
North Macedonia sealed a World Cup Qualifying play-off spot with a 3-1 residence win over Iceland that secured them the runners-up spot in Group J, with midfielder Eljif Elmas scoring twice within the second half.
Ezgjan Alioski was instrumental as he scored the house facet’s seventh-minute opener in Skopje and had a hand within the second after Jon Thorsteinsson had levelled for Iceland.
Within the sixty fifth minute, Elmas bundled the ball in from a goal-mouth scramble after Iceland goalkeeper Elias Rafn Olafsson parried Alioski’s deflected shot and the visiting defence did not clear the ball.
Elmas despatched the vocal residence crowd into raptures 5 minutes earlier than the top, rifling in a left-footed shot off the publish after Iceland had Isak Johannesson despatched off for a second yellow card within the 79th minute.
The North Macedonians completed their qualifying marketing campaign on 18 factors from 10 video games, one forward of third-placed Romania who floor out a 2-0 win in Lichtenstein.
Ahead Dennis Man put Romania 1-0 up within the eighth minute, however the guests had been unable to increase their lead as captain Nicolae Stanciu missed a number of probabilities and despatched a first-half penalty large with goalkeeper Benjamin Buechel overwhelmed.
Regardless of denying Romania on numerous events following the break, Buechel was unable to cease Nicusor Bancu’s screamer from lengthy vary within the 87th minute that wrapped up the win for the guests on an in any other case irritating day.
Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan scored twice of their 4-1 victory over Armenia to complete prime of Group J with their seventh straight win below coach Hansi Flick.
Already-qualified Germany, lacking a dozen gamers by way of damage, suspension and COVID-19 quarantine and having made six adjustments to the staff that beat Liechtenstein 9-0 on Thursday, bought off to a robust begin and Kai Havertz hit the publish within the fifth minute. He did higher 10 minutes later, handing over a Thomas Mueller cutback with a deft contact.
The Germans had a number of good probabilities to attain once more however needed to wait till first-half stoppage time when Gundogan scored with a penalty.
The Manchester Metropolis midfielder scored his thirteenth worldwide purpose 5 minutes after the restart when Armenia ‘keeper Stanislav Buchnev let the German’s weak shot slip by way of his fingers.
The hosts briefly pulled a purpose again with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 59th-minute penalty however Germany restored their three-goal benefit 5 minutes later when Jonas Hofmann pounced on a defensive to cost into the field and slot in.