Cristiano Ronaldo the great
There is always an accusation that Cristiano Ronaldo scores heavily against weak teams, but that is what a great player should not do?
If an opposition is weak then the best player in the world should always take full advantage of it and it is not the fault of Cristiano Ronaldo if teams like Luxemburg, Gibraltar or Farao Islands are situated in Europe and feature in the UEFA World Cup qualifier Group. Rather than struggling, a great player always smashes them – CR7 does that and which should be praised.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Portugal cruised past Luxembourg 5-0 in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday to stay close to group leader Serbia.
Serbia kept a one-point cushion at the top of Group A by defeating last-place Azerbaijan 3-1 at home. It has 17 points, one more than Portugal, which has a game in hand.
Serbia’s last game is at Portugal in November. Portugal, which has won four in a row in qualifying, will play at Ireland before the decisive match against the Serbians.
Ronaldo took his record scoring tally to 115 international goals by converting two early penalty kicks and finding the net again near the end. Bruno Fernandes and Joao Palhinha also scored for Portugal.
Bernardo Silva was fouled to prompt the first penalty in the eighth minute, while Ronaldo himself was brought down inside the area before converting the second penalty in the 13th. He had to retake it, though, after André Silva entered the area too early.
Ronaldo also struck the post a few minutes later, and in the 18th Fernandes added to the lead after being set up by Bernardo Silva.
Palhinha scored the fourth in the 69th, moments after Ronaldo came close with a bicycle kick that was saved by Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris.
Ronaldo completed his hat trick in the 87th.
Denmark book a place in Qatar
Denmark became the second European team to qualify for next year’s World Cup by beating Austria 1-0 on Tuesday to maintain the team’s perfect record in its group.
Joakim Maehle’s 53rd-minute goal at Parken Stadium secured a seventh straight qualifying win for the Danes, who have yet to concede in Group F and have the only 100% record.
Germany was the first team to reach the 2022 tournament in Qatar via qualifying, sealing a first place in its group on Monday.
Denmark came into World Cup qualifying without star midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is recovering from collapsing during the European Championship after suffering cardiac arrest, but as one of the best teams on the continent having still reached the semifinals at Euro 2020.
With just the first-place finisher qualifying automatically, Denmark holds an unassailable seven-point lead over Scotland, which needed an 86th-minute goal by Lyndon Dykes to beat Faeroe Islands 1-0.
Israel is in third place, four points further back, after a 2-1 victory over Moldova.
Hungary hold back England
Crowd trouble marred World Cup qualifiers as Hungary fans clashed with police during a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley Stadium and Poland’s players walked off in Albania after bottles were hurled in another Group I match on Tuesday.
Karol Widerski had just scored for Poland in the 77th minute when he was struck by a bottle thrown from the stands. It led to the game being suspended for around 20 minutes.
The disorder in England happened around kickoff after home players taking a knee had been booed by the visiting fans.
“Shortly after the start of tonight’s match at Wembley, officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments made towards a steward,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, while the game was still going on.
“As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators. Order was quickly restored and there have been no further incidents at this stage.”
Police were seen wielding batons to hold back the visiting fans but the rest of the game passed off largely peacefully.
The Football Association (FA) have opened an investigation and will report the incident to FIFA.
“We are aware of an incident in the away section during tonight’s FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifier at Wembley Stadium,” said the FA in a statement, again still during the game.
“We will be investigating and will report the incident to FIFA.”
UEFA have previously ordered Hungary to play a game behind closed doors following racist abuse from supporters and homophobic flags during their Euro 2020.
Luke Shaw’s foul on Loic Nego led to Roland Sallai putting Hungary ahead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.
England recovered a point in the 37th minute when John Stones turned in a free-kick from Manchester City teammate Phil Foden.
England coach Gareth Southgate even took Captain Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling off with 15 minutes to go for Jordan Henderson and Tammy Abraham.
But England couldn’t produce a winner, dropping points in World Cup qualifier at home for the first time since a draw against Ukraine in September 2012.
England remains top of Group I with games against Albania and San Marino remaining next month in the pursuit of automatic qualification for a place at the World Cup in Qatar next year.
Courtesy: Associated Press