World Cup qualifiers: Spain’s victory over Greece secures Wales play-off berth

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A penalty of spain Pablo Sarabia clinched a 1-0 win in his away World Cup qualifier Greece, ensuring Wales are guaranteed to have at least one place for the play-offs.

Rob Page’s side started their qualifying campaign knowing they would almost certainly reach the play-offs after winning their Nations League group. Wales must finish second in the group to be seeded for the March play-offs.

The Red themselves need a point when they face Sweden this weekend to secure a spot for next year’s World Cup finals.

The Sarabia winner arrived in the 26th minute after Iñigo Martínez was tripped up from a corner kick. Sarabia’s low shot found the net to Odysseas Vlachodimos’ left.

Despite five missing players due to coronavirus isolation, Germany ease to a 9-0 win over 10 men Liechtenstein in qualification for the World Cup. After defender Niklas Süle tested positive for Covid on Tuesday, four of his German teammates were ordered to self-isolate as close contacts.

But already assured of qualifying for the World Cup, Germany’s simple task was made even easier when Liechtenstein defender Jens Hofer was sent off after just nine minutes.

Hofer accidentally kicked German midfielder Leon Goretzka in the face as they challenged a high ball and immediately recognized his mistake, holding Goretzka to cushion his fall. After being sent off for dangerous play, Hofer left the field arm in arm with the player he had committed.

Ilkay Gündoğan converted the penalty, starting a series of German goals. Leroy Sané and Thomas Müller finished with two goals each. Marco Reus and Ridle Baku also scored, as well as two own goals.

After from Sweden surprise loss 2-0 away GeorgiaSpain now leads Group B with 16 points, one ahead of the second-placed Swedes, which they host on Sunday in their last group match.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored twice in the second half to give Georgia their second victory of the qualifying campaign on a sour night for the Swedes. The visitors had most chances throughout the game, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexander Isak squandering the best before Kvaratskhelia gave the hosts the victory with goals in the 61st and 77th minutes.

Sweden must beat Spain in Sevilla to automatically qualify for Qatar 2022, when a draw would be enough for Spain to progress. The finalists will participate in the play-offs in March.

Russia scored five goals in the second half as they confuse the visitors Cyprus 6-0 in their Group H before a decisive clash with Croatia Sunday for an automatic berth in next year’s tournament in Qatar. The Russians lead the group with 22 points in nine games, two ahead of 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia, who remained in contention to overtake them with a 7-1 demolition of Malta.


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