Netherlands beat Norway to qualify for World Cup – .

Netherlands beat Norway to qualify for World Cup – .

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) – The Netherlands qualified for next year’s World Cup on their second attempt on Tuesday, beating Norway 2-0 at an empty De Kuip stadium.
Turkey advanced to the playoffs by beating Montenegro 2-1 in Podgorica.

Steven Bergwijn finally broke the deadlock in a cautious game in the 84th minute, tackling a pass from Arnaut Danjuma and crushing a powerful shot past Orjan Nyland.

In stoppage time, the Tottenham winger leapt forward and passed for Memphis Depay to seal the victory with a shot from a tight angle.

Norway, who needed a win to have a chance to progress, showed little initiative throughout the game.

The Dutch were minutes away from qualifying on Saturday night, leading Montenegro 2-0 in the final 10 minutes of regulation before conceding two goals to prepare for Tuesday’s nerve-racking game.

This time it was the Dutch who scored twice late, leaving no time for Norway to come back.

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal watched the game from a sky box at the stadium after breaking a hip bone in a fall on Sunday, relaying messages to his assistants Henk Fraser and Danny Blind in the dugout.

Star striker Erling Haaland was also injured and without him Norway largely lacked attacking momentum and didn’t manage a single shot in the first half.

The Dutch pushed forward and Depay looked most likely to break the deadlock before the break but couldn’t find a way past Nyland.

The Netherlands dominated the game and Bergwijn’s goal and Depay’s extra-time goal were enough to send the three-time World Cup finalist to Qatar after failing to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

In Podgorica, Montenegro took the lead in the fourth minute thanks to Fatos Beciraj.

Kerm Akturkoglu equalized in the 22nd and Orkun Kokcu put Turkey ahead on the hour mark.

Wales secure top seed for World Cup qualifiers with Belgium draw

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) – Wales secured a top seed in the World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday by limiting Belgium to a 1-1 draw after rallying to a goal in less in their last qualifying match in Group E.

Wales were guaranteed a playoff spot in March ahead of kick-off thanks to their Nations League results and the draw guaranteed Rob Page’s players will secure a home draw in the semi – playoff final in March.

Undefeated in the group, Belgium secured first place and direct qualification last weekend with a 3-1 victory over Estonia.

The Czech Republic beat Estonia 2-0 on Tuesday in the other group game and finished third, one point behind Wales.

Kieffer Moore scored Wales’ equalizer in the first half after Kevin de Bruyne gave Belgium the lead.

The 12-team qualifiers will decide who will join the 10 winners of the tournament’s European qualifying groups. The qualifying draw will include the finalists from the 10 groups as well as two group winners from the UEFA Nations League.

De Bruyne was the captain of a private Belgian side with many regular starters with just five players from the squad that beat Estonia.

Without injured Gareth Bale, the hosts got off to a good start with high pressing. But their first moves failed to impress the Belgian defense as Arthur Theate, 21, on his international debut, and Dedryck Boyata effectively closed the spaces.

Belgium gradually came into the game and took the lead in the 12th minute when De Bruyne scored hard with a low shot from goalkeeper Danny Ward after defenders failed to clear an effort from Axel Witsel .

Technically superior to their rivals, Roberto Martinez’s players controlled the rest of the first half and threatened to counterattack as Wales gave the ball all too easily into midfield.

The hosts equalized against the run of play shortly after half an hour after Witsel and Theate failed to clear a Daniel James cross that fell on Moore, who concluded the move with an accurate shot for his eighth. Welsh goal.

Thorgan Hazard came close to reestablishing the Red Devils’ lead in the 41st minute on De Bruyne’s corner, but his loopy volley from the edge of the era hit the post.

The game was more balanced after the break as Wales pushed hard towards the end but couldn’t find an advantage.

Ukraine beat Bosnia and Herzegovina for World Cup qualifiers

PARIS (AP) – Second half goals from midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko and striker Artem Dovbyk helped Ukraine win 2-0 in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday and sent it off in the World Cup qualifiers in second place behind France, winner of the track group.

Ukraine finished with 12 points in Group D, six points behind the Blues and one ahead of Finland. Ukraine are aiming for their first World Cup appearance since reaching the quarter-finals in 2006 and a chance to redeem themselves after losing a close game to France in 2014.

Finland lost 2-0 on Tuesday at home to 2018 champion France, who clinched first place after beating Kazakhstan 8-0 on Saturday.

The Blues worked in the first half in the coldness of Helsinki, but the attack escalated when Real Madrid star Karim Benzema came on. He scored after combining with Kylian Mbappe, who added a brilliant second goal to continue his prolific form.

Already qualified for Qatar, the French started slowly at the Olympic stadium. Finland’s all-time top scorer Teemu Pukki pulled off a comfortably saved shot by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 30th and shone on another effort as he sought his 34th international goal.

A gritty half was summed up when French right-back Leo Dubois retired with a right thigh injury and was replaced by Benjamin Pavard.

In order to open up the tight-knit Finland team, France coach Didier Deschamps called on Benzema for the ineffective Moussa Diaby and he approached in the 57th.

Benzema’s quick movement and technical ability were too good as he traded passes with Mbappe _ who had scored four against the Kazakhs _ to score with a slightly deflected shot in the 66th.

It was Benzema’s 36th in 94 matches for the Blues and the ninth in 13 matches since his recall by Deschamps for the European Championship this summer.

His partnership with Mbappe continues to improve.

“Given the team we have (the World Cup) is in a corner of our minds,” Benzema said. “We have our goals and they include winning the World Cup. “

Mbappe scored superbly in the 76th.

Transforming a defender on the halfway line, he sprinted to the left and brilliantly looped the ball just inside the penalty area in the lower right corner for his 24th international goal.

The 10 group finalists will be joined in the playoffs by two teams that won a Nations League group last year. The finalists with the six best records will first play at home in the semi-finals.

FIFA will draw for the playoffs on November 26 in Zurich.

The three winners of the playoffs final on March 29 will complete the line-up of the 13 European teams present in Qatar.


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