World champion France disappointed their fans, the Netherlands made a big false start in Turkey. European champions Portugal celebrated a happy opening victory in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
Qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has started.
The Netherlands started with a loss in Turkey.
France couldn’t get past a draw against Ukraine.
Portugal did not know how to convince against Azerbaijan.
Belgium turned the game against Wales.
World champions France missed the hoped-for home win at the start of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup with an own goal. Didier Deschamps’ team had to be content with a 1-1 draw against Ukraine in the opening match of Group D in Paris. FC Barcelona’s striker Antoine Griezmann gave Les Bleus the lead in the empty Stade de France (19th minute); at the surprising equalizer Presnel Kimpembe falsified a shot into his own goal (57.).
The World Cup qualifiers for European champions Portugal started successfully with a 1-0 win against outsiders Azerbaijan – but the Portuguese did not know how to convince. An own goal by Maxim Medvedev (37th) decided the game in Turin in favor of the team around superstar Cristiano Ronaldo at the start of the A group.
On the other hand, runner-up world champions Croatia suffered a defeat at 0-1 in Slovenia. For the 2002 and 2010 World Cup participants in Ljubljana, Sandi Lovric (15th) met in the first game of Group H.
Netherlands loses in Turkey
The Dutch also made a false start. Bondscoach Frank de Boer’s Oranje team lost 4-2 to Turkey in Istanbul. The hosts’ match winner was Burak Yilmaz from Lille OSC with a three-pack (15th minute / 34th / foul penalty / 81st); the former Bundesliga professional Hakan Calhanoglu scored 3-0 immediately after the restart (46th).
The hopes of the guests themselves for a draw were not fulfilled even after the goals of the former Bremen Davy Klaassen (75th) and Luuk de Jong (76th). The game in Group G was the first in European qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
On the other hand, world number 1 knew how to turn the game around. Belgium fell 1-0 against Wales, but ultimately left the field with a 3-1 win.
Europe has only 13 places available for the 2022 World Cup. The 55 participants were drawn into ten groups of five or six. Only the ten group winners are directly qualified for Qatar.