The last fixtures of UEFA world cup 2022 qualifiers this week marked the rise of teams whose campaign had been under the threat at the beginning of the qualifiers. Netherlands, Scotland and Greece clinched important victory against their opposition in the midweek, Turkey, Austria and Sweden respectively, after failing to win on match day one.
De Oranje seems to really know how to do a sweet revenge against Turkey. Their first game of the qualifiers ended in a 2-4 defeat in Istanbul. Yet, now under Louis Van Gaal, they have transformed from the struggling Netherlands to the flying high one as they romped over Hakan Calhanoglu and Co 6-1. Davy Klaessen opened the scoring at the first minute, followed by Memphis Depay’s hattrick with Caglar Soyuncu’s expulsion meddling in. Then, Guus Til and Donyell Malen sealed their big win before Cengiz Under scored a consolation goal before the final whistle. Such victory lifted their position to the top of the table entailed by Norway with the same points.
Netherlands vs Turkey 6-1
Goals: Davy Klaessen (1), Memphis Depay (16, 38 pen, 54), Guus Til (80), Donyell Malen (90); Cengiz Under (91)
Netherlands: Justin Bijlow – Darley Blind, Denzel Dumfries (Devyn Rensch 71), Virgil Van Dijk, Stefan de Vrij – Frankie de Jong (Teun Koopmeirs 46), Gini Wijnaldum (Guus Til 61), Davy Klaessen (Ryan Graverbech 71) – Memphis Depay, Steven Berghuis, Steve Bergwijn (Donyel Malen 61)
Turkey: Ugurcan Cakir – Mert Muldur, Caglar Soyuncu, Merih Demiral, Ayhan – Cengiz Under, Kenan Karaman (Ozan Kabak 46), Okan Yokuslu (Yusuf Yazici 91), Orkun Cocku (Ozan Tufan 46) – Hakan Calhanoglu (Halil Dervisoglu 87), Burak Yilmaz (Mohammed Akturkoglu 65)
Meanwhile, Scotland and Greece which had been in difficulty to pick up three points before could be hopeful for a chance to qualify to Qatar next year after managing to snatch an important win in these midweek fixtures. The Tartan Army was able to steal a crucial three point through a penalty which was well taken by Lyndon Dykes to beat Austria 1-0 on the road. It was quite different result in the reverse fixture when they were held by David Alaba and Co in a 2-2 draw at their home turf. Meanwhile, Greece secured their first win in the qualifier after thumping Sweden 2-1 in Athens. Blagut which beat Spain last week had been knocking on the door but eventually conceded first through Antonios Bakasetas. Greece even doubled their lead from another counter attack scenario as Vangelis Pavlidis tapped in the ball into the back of the net before Jan Andersson’s side could score a lifeline. Robin Quaison took advantage of the rebound from Emile Forsberg’s long shot which was blocked by the goalie Vlachodimos but the ball landed in front of the Swedish striker. Here are some other notable results from these midweek games.
- Poland vs England 1-1
- Czech Rep vs Ukraine 1-1
- Belarus vs Belgium 0-1
- Wales vs Estonia 0-0
- Northern Ireland vs Switzerland 0-0
- Italy vs Lithuania 5-0
- Kosovo vs Spain 0-2
- Iceland vs Germany 0-4
- Denmark vs Israel 5-0
- Ireland vs Serbia 1-1
- France vs Finland 2-0
- Azerbaijan vs Portugal 0-3
- Croatia vs Slovenia 3-0
- Norway vs Gilbraltar 5-0