After the break, the Ukrainians came out of nowhere and thanks a lot of luck to equalize (57th). A shot by Sergij Sidorschuk was directed into his own goal by France’s Presnel Kimpembe, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had no chance. The Ukrainians thus sold significantly better than in a test match last October, when they received a 7-1 rebuff. Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina drew 2-2 in the parallel game.
Defeats for Croatia and the Netherlands
The Croatians botched the start in Ljubljana, Lovric laid the foundation stone for the triumph in the 15th minute. It was the second team goal for the 22-year-old from FC Lugano. Then the home side brought the lead over time. The first Group H leader is Russia after a 3-1 win against Malta. There were no goals in Cyprus against Slovakia.
The Dutch suffered a bitter 2-4 defeat against Turkey in Istanbul. The 35-year-old Lille striker Burak Yilmaz was outstanding in the dress of the hosts with a triple pack (15th, 34th / penalty, 81st). In addition to the captain, Hakan Calhanoglu (46th) also entered the shooting list. The game-defining “Oranje” for a long time was only successful in the final quarter of an hour in the Group G top duel and came close to an equalizer, at least for a short time, thanks to hits from Davy Klaassen (75th) and Luuk de Jong (77th).
Yilmaz closed the sack with a remarkable shot from the outside of the foot. In stoppage time, Memphis Depay missed another penalty on the side of the Dutch, but failed because of Turkey goalie Ugurcan Cakir. “We weren’t paying enough attention and weren’t 100 percent focused. Turkey also made it difficult for us, ”summed up the Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum. The winners, on the other hand, celebrated a success in what, according to team boss Senol Günes, was the “first and most important game” on the way to Qatar.
Norway with an embassy to Qatar
The Norwegians celebrated a 3-0 mandatory win against Gibraltar with Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. They used the warm-up to send a silent message about the human rights situation at World Cup hosts Qatar, initially wearing white T-shirts with the words “Respect – On and off the pitch”. Later they wore similar shirts with the words “Human rights – On and off the pitch” for the national anthem. “It’s a little bit about what we talked about, that we want to focus on what has been discussed outside of the field,” said Norway team principal Stale Solbakken.
European champions Portugal only kept the upper hand 1-0 thanks to an own goal by Maksim Medvedev (36th) in Turin against Azerbaijan. In the second Group A game, Serbia beat Ireland 3-2. World Cup third Belgium also won a favorite, defeating Wales 3-1 in Pool E. The top of the table is the Czech Republic after a 6-2 win against Estonia in Lubin.