Thursday 11 November 2021
Red for the Portuguese record player
Spain punished Ibrahimovic’s weakness
Portugal did not win their penultimate match in the World Cup qualifiers, but dominated the championship despite Pepe’s red card. The Swedes, led by Ibrahimovic, played an all-out or playoff, as did Russia and Croatia.
The Spanish national football team benefited from Sweden’s misstep and took a big step towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Iberians won 1-0 (1-0) in Greece thanks to a penalty converted from Pablo Sarabia (25th place). Since Sweden have already lost 2-0 (0-0) in Georgia in the comeback of star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Spain have climbed to the top of Group B. The decision on which country will qualify directly will be made on Sunday. For the Greeks, on the other hand, it was over after qualifying.
The 40-year-old Ibrahimovic, who wore the Swedish national jersey for the first time since March, returned to Blagault in the spring after five years, after which he missed the 2021 European Championship through injury. He first suffered a knee injury, then an irritation to his Achilles tendon prevented his 119th mission for his country.
Portugal also took the lead, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s side didn’t get past Ireland 0-0. When the points were shared, the 38-year-old Pepe became the oldest national player in Champions League history since 2016, and the warrior horse was knocked off the field in the 82nd minute after an elbow strike in yellow and red. At 38 years, 8 months and 16 days, he has surpassed the mark of former goalkeeper Vitor Damas by 13 days.
Croatia scores seven times
The decision will also be made in Group A only on Sunday, when Portugal host Serbia, this time without play, in Lisbon. Azerbaijan also had to finish the match at home against Luxembourg in the minority. Both the hosts and Luxembourg, who split 1:3 (0:0), no longer stand a chance of getting a ticket to the World Cup.
It’s still exciting in Group H, as there will also be a real final on Sunday around the Qatar Journey. Russia solved its mandatory task against Cyprus brilliantly 6-0 (1-0). With 22 points, Primus Russia faces vice world champion Croatia (20) in Split, who won 7-1 (4-0) in Malta. The decisive man for the Russians was the local St Petersburg champion Alexander Geruchin, who scored the first goal in the fourth minute and the last goal in the 87th minute.
Former world footballer Luka Modric and Hoffenheim player Andrej Kramaric succeeded with Croatia, and Slovakia played 2-2 (0-1) against Slovenia. Miha Blazic saw the visitors receive a yellow-red card in the 57th minute. Behind the German national team, Group J remains exciting. After winning 5-0 (2-0) in Armenia, North Macedonia overtook the Romanians, who had to settle for a 0-0 victory over Iceland.