Matchday two of UEFA qualifying round for World Cup 2022 last weekend did not stop providing some surprising results. If the opening fixtures in the midweek brought disappointment for some favourites including the defending Champions France and the 2010 champions, Spain, the weekend games turned bleak for Belgium and Portugal. The leader of FIFA rankings and the last UEFA Nations League champions were held in a draw by their contenders. De Rode Deuvels could only muster a 1-1 draw in Prague. They even conceded first by Lukas Provod and had to wait for Romelu Lukaku’s action in the six yard box to find the equaliser. Meanwhile, Selecao de Quinas were also held in 2-2 draw on the road when facing off Serbia. The host made a superb comeback on the second half through Alexander Mitrovic and Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic denying Diogo Jota’s brace at the first half.
Serbia vs Portugal 2-2
Goals: Alexander Mitrovic (46), Filip Kostic (60); Diogo Jota (11), (36)
Serbia: Dmitrovic – Pavlovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Mitrovic – Darko Lazovic (Nemanja Maksimovic 46), Milan Guldej, Sergej Milenkovic-Savic, Filip Kostic (Mihailo Ristic 72) – Dusan Tadic (Filip Djuricic 82) – Dusan Vlahovic (Nemanja Radonjic 46), Alexander Mitrovic (Luka Jovic 88)
Portugal: Anthony Lopes– Cedric Soares, Rubin Dias, Jose Fonte, Joao Cancelo (Nuno Mendes 72) – Danilo Oliviera, Sergio Olivera (Renato Sanches 73), Bruno Fernandes (Joao Palhinha 91) – Diogo Jota (Joao Felix 85), Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva.
When the favourite Belgium and Portugal were struggling in their away fixtures, Turkey’s positive trend endured. Senol Gunes’ man trashed Norway, one of the strong contenders 3-0 in La Rosaleda stadium last weekend. Their confidence was high after their famous victory against the hapless Dutch. This time, Ozan Tufan was the man of the match by scoring a brace plus Caglar Soyuncu’s header in between. In the other matches, the other favourites such as England, Italy and Germany carried on sealing three points as they defeated Albania, Bulgaria and Romania on the road whereas Spain and France returned to their winning ways after thumping Georgia 2-1 and Kazakhstan 2-0 respectively.
Norway vs Turkey 0-3
Goals: Ozan Tufan (4), (59), Caglar Soyuncu (28)
Norway: Rune Jarstein – Birger Meling, Stian Rode Gregersen, Ajer, Julian Ryerson (Jonas Svensson 68) – Frederik Mistjo (Kristian Thorstvedt 67), Mohammed Elyanoussi (Joshua King 67), Martin Odegaard, Berg – Alexander Sorloth, Erling Haaland (Morten Thorsby 83)
Turkey: Cakir – Mert Muldur, Ayhan, Caglar Soyuncu, Meras – Ozan Tufan (Ozan Kabak 86), Okay Yokuslu, Hakan Calhanoglu (Taylan Antalyali 69), Kenan Karaman (Enes Unal 72) – Burak Yilmaz (Halil Akbunar 86), Yusuf Yazici (Caner Erkin 69)