Sports

The 2022 World Cup European Qualifiers started surprising so far

Big teams like Germany and the Netherlands find it harder to beat or even win games against “easier” teams 

By: Emmanuel Mendez

germany lose

Germany lose 2-1 to North Macedonia in their third game of qualifying. Credit: theathletic.com

The road to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has started in Europe with the first three match days out of ten have been played. There are ten groups in total and the first five groups are made up of five teams while the rest are made up of six teams. The team that places first place in their respective groups qualifies for the World Cup in 2022. The runners-up go to a second round in which they play against other second-place teams to determine the remaining three team spots for the World Cup.

           In Group A, Portugal and Serbia are the two teams in the group that are on top. Portugal`s Cristiano Ronaldo has been struggling to score so far as he only scored one goal. Meanwhile Diogo Jota, after injury, has been in good form for the Portuguese as he scored three goals so far. Serbia`s Aleksander Mitrovic has scored 5 goals so far and is the top goal scorer at the moment. Portugal defeated Azerbaijan 1-0 and defeated Luxembourg 3-1. Serbia defeated Ireland 3-2 and beat Azerbaijan 2-1. Serbia and Portugal drew against each other in a 2-2 game.

           Group B has Spain and Sweden doing good so far. Spain drew against Greece 1-1 in their first game but then won their next two games against Georgia, 2-1, and against Kosovo, 3-1. Sweden won both their games and a returning Zlatan Ibrahimović played both games. Sweden defeated Georgia 1-0 and beat Kosovo 3-0.

           In Group C, Italy and Switzerland are the teams who won all of their games so far in the group. Italy beat Northern Ireland 2-0, beat Bulgaria 2-0, and Lithuania 2-0. Switzerland beat Bulgaria 3-1 and beat Lithuania 1-0. Italy looks good to qualify at next year’s World Cup after missing out on the 2018 World Cup. Switzerland also looking strong to give Italy a tough battle for that first-place spot in the World Cup.

           Group D includes the current World Cup Champions, France. France played three games so far and won two and drew one. They drew against Ukraine 1-1 in their first game. France beat Kazakhstan 2-0 and beat Bosnia 1-0. The teams that also didn’t lose in this group so far are Ukraine and Finland. Both teams drew all their games.

           Group E includes Belgium, who won their first game against Wales in a 3-1 game. They then drew against Czech Republic 1-1. Their last game was a dominant 8-0 win against Belarus and have seven points in the group. The Czech Republic is in second right now with four points.

           Group F had Denmark dominating the group by winning all of their first three games. Denmark beat Israel 2-0 in their first game and then the next two games showed how dominant this Denmark team is. They defeated Moldova 8-0 and then defeated Austria 4-0. Denmark looks to be heavy favorites to win the group and qualify for the World Cup. Denmark also has the most goals scored by any team so far in the qualifiers with 14 goals. 

           Group G has Turkey who shocked many after their performances in these first three games. The Netherlands is also in the group and in the between Turkey and the Netherlands led many to believe that this group will be tight for these two teams. Turkey defeated Netherlands 4-2 thanks to a hattrick by Burak Yilmaz. Turkey beat Norway 3-0 but drew to Latvia 3-3. The Netherlands beat Latvia 2-0 and beat Gibraltar 7-0 after their defeat against Turkey.

           Group H has Croatia and Russia battling for the top spot as well as Slovakia. Croatia lost against Slovenia 1-0 but then beat Cyprus 1-0 and beat Malta 3-0. Russia beat Malta 3-1 and Slovenia 2-1 but lost to Slovakia 2-1. This group will be close and will be uncertain as to who will take first place in the group.

           Group, I have England winning all three of their games. England beat San Marino 5-0, Albania 2-0, and Poland 2-1. Hungary is in second place right now after drawing against Poland 3-3 and then getting two victories against San Marino 3-0 and Andorra 4-1. This could be a comfortable group for England to get out, but Hungary looks to challenge the English later on.

            The last Group, Group J, surprised many fans around the world.  This group includes the four-time World Champions, Germany. As of now, Armenia is in first and has won all three of their games. North Macedonia is in second place and Germany is in third. Armenia beat Liechtenstein 1-0, beat Iceland 2-0, and beat Romania 3-2. North Macedonia lost to Romania 3-2 but beat Liechtenstein 5-0 and Germany 2-1. Before the shock defeat, Germany defeated Iceland 3-0 and Romania 1-0. Things look tough in this group as teams like North Macedonia, Armenia, and Romania looks to challenge heavy favorites Germany for a spot at the World Cup.

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