After Germany became the first nation to book their tickets for Qatar 2022 yesterday, another European side boarded the plane as Denmark continued to dominate the World Cup qualifiers.
And while the Danes crowned their stellar World Cup qualifying campaign, Cristiano Ronaldo continued to score for fun as Portugal hammered Azerbaijan.
Let’s have a look at the two most exciting match-ups that took place on Tuesday.
Denmark IN, Austria OUT
Atalanta full-back Joakim Maehle slotted the ball home in the 55th minute to fire Denmark to a narrow 1-0 home victory over Austria and clinch the Dantes’ spot at next year’s showpiece.
Kasper Hjumland’s men have continued their spotless 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, maintaining their eye-catching 100% record in Group F.
The Euro 2020 semi-finalists have now won all eight World Cup qualifiers by an aggregate score of 27-0 and are the only UEFA nation to boast an impeccable win ratio.
What’s more, the Danes are the only team in the ongoing World Cup qualifying cycle yet to concede a single goal.
They have qualified for their second consecutive World Cup finals, a feat they only managed once beforehand, doing so in 1998 and 2002.
Meanwhile, after failing to produce a single shot on target in Copenhagen, Austria’s hopes of reaching the final tournament have suffered irreversible damage.
With just two World Cup qualifying fixtures left to play, Das Team sit seven points adrift of second-placed Israel, meaning their qualification prospects are officially gone.
Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be stopped but Portugal not off the hook yet
Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo stole the spotlight as Portugal ran riot against lowly Luxembourg at home, claiming an overwhelming 5-0 victory.
The 36-year-old forward was the architect of the Selecao’s spectacular triumph at the Estadio Algarve, bagging another stunning hat-trick to take his international tally to 115 goals.
After converting two spot-kicks inside the opening 15 minutes of play, the ex-Real Madrid talisman latched onto Ruben Neves’ inch-perfect delivery to score his third.
In addition to Ronaldo, another Man United star made the mark. Bernardo Silva played a fine through ball to Bruno Fernandes, who smashed it past the Luxembourg shot-stopper from point-blank range.
Bruno went on to provide a delightful assist to Joao Palhinha midway through the second half for Portugal’s fourth before handing his place to Valencia’s Gustavo Guedes.
Fernando Santos’ men have now won each of their last four World Cup qualifiers by an aggregate score of 13-2, though they trail Group A leaders Serbia by a point.
However, Portugal will have the opportunity to overtake the Serbs as they have a game in hand over Dragan Stojkovic’s side, who thrashed section minnows Azerbaijan 3-1 at home.
In-demand Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic netted a brace either side of half-time. Meanwhile, second-half substitute Dusan Tadic made no mistake from the spot to ensure an all-important three points for the Eagles.