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Portugal and Poland grab World Cup finals spots

PARIS: Portugal beat North Macedonia 2-0 and Poland noticed off Sweden by the identical rating in play-off finals on Tuesday to guide their locations within the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Bruno Fernandes scored each objectives for Portugal to beat the Balkan nation that had knocked out European champions Italy in a shocking consequence final week.

Italy’s shock exit had North Macedonia dreaming of their first ever look at a World Cup finals however Portugal proved a step too far in Porto.

Fernandes set Portugal on their means on the Estadio do Dragao by ending off Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross within the first half after which put the victory past doubt within the second, connecting with a chic cross from Diogo Jota.

The victory means Portugal lengthen their run of qualifying for all six of the World Cups because the flip of the century whereas Manchester United ahead Ronaldo is heading in the right direction for his fifth, aged 37.

Ronaldo’s finest earlier consequence was reaching the semi-finals in 2006, when Portugal have been overwhelmed by Germany.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos mentioned: “I want to congratulate the gamers for his or her perspective and their high quality. We managed the match in a really clear means.

“Now, having already won the Euro and the Nations League we have a dream of bringing enormous joy to Portugal.”

Robert Lewandowski stroked house a second-half penalty as Poland booked their berth in entrance of a fervent house crowd in Chorzow.

After the Poland captain transformed a spot-kick, Piotr Zielinski accomplished the scoring with an outstanding second objective for the hosts.

Poland go into Friday’s draw for the group levels of the World Cup finals, from November 21 to December 18, after dominating the second half.

The Poles have been awarded the essential penalty simply after half-time when midfielder Sebastian Szymanski rolled the ball to substitute Grzegorz Krychowiak, who was fouled by Jesper Karlstrom.

The referee pointed straight to the spot and Lewandowski casually arced his run, waited for Robin Olsen to maneuver after which slotted the ball to the left of the Swedish goalkeeper.

It was his seventy fifth objective for Poland and arguably one among his most essential.

“It was really tough. I mean, this pressure!” Lewandowski mentioned. “Even although I’ve taken many penalties in my profession, this was one tough. I knew this second would have a lot significance.

“We suffered, but now we can celebrate. I am proud and happy.”

Zielinski put the consequence past doubt when he capitalised on a slip by Sweden defender Marcus Danielson and sprinted clear.

He slotted his shot previous Olsen with 18 minutes left to spark wild celebrations from the house crowd.

Only an outstanding save from Olsen denied Lewandowski a second objective when the Poland striker was allowed a uncommon late probability within the space by the Swedish defence.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic got here on for the ultimate 10 minutes, however the 40-year-old Sweden striker was unable to affect the course of the match and can miss out on a 3rd look at a World Cup finals.

Twelve European sides have now clinched a spot on the World Cup.

Gareth Bales’ Wales will participate within the different playoff closing however that’s on maintain till no less than June as a result of the battle in Ukraine led to the postponement of the Ukrainians’ semi-final away to Scotland.

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