UEFA World Cup Qualifying Final Results
Which nations have booked their place for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year?
The final stage in the UEFA section of FIFA World Cup qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cup has finished. Teams have either automatically qualified, gone into the playoffs, or been eliminated altogether.
In Group G there were three nations who could potentially qualify on the last day. The Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey. Holland and Norway faced each other at De Kuip, whilst Turkey traveled to Montenegro knowing that matching the Norwegians result would see them through to at least a playoff spot.
The Dutch left it late. Real late. It was an 84th-minute strike from Tottenham Hotspur player Steven Bergwijn that got the party started in Feyenoord before he set up the joint-top goalscorer for the qualifying period Memphis Depay to seal automatic qualification to the World Cup.
Turkey briefly found itself in the third spot in Montenegro when they went down early against the home side. Two goals on either side of half-time ensured The Crescent Stars a place in the playoff draw.
In Group E the Welsh side knew a draw against already-qualified Belgium would be enough to hold the fast-finishing Czech Republic at bay. The Czechs meanwhile had to beat Estonia and hope Belgium defeat Wales to give them any hope of securing second place.
Things didn't start well for the Welsh when they went down to a 12th-minute goal from Belgian superstar Kevin De Bruyne. Kieffer Moore helped his countrymen breathe a little easier when he equalized twenty minutes later. It was a case of holding on to the result after that goal went in. They managed to do just that and secured a playoff spot ahead of the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic did their part when they accounted for Estonia 2-0 at home, but it wasn't enough and they fell an agonizing 1 point short of the Welsh. Not all was lost however as they secured an unseeded place in the playoffs via their performance in the UEFA Nations League.
Finally, in Group D it was all about who could finish second with World Champions France having sewn up the auto-qualification spot. Finland and Ukraine were the two nations in with a chance. Finland hosted the already qualified France whilst Ukraine traveled to face Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Finland was always going to struggle to get the result they needed against France. Unfortunately for Huuhkajat, that's exactly how things turned out. They went down 2-0 after two second-half goals for Les Bleus from Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.
It was a similar story in Bosnia as Ukraine scored twice in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory. Goals from Oleksandr Zinchenko and Artem Dovbyk saw Ukraine claim a qualifying spot at the expense of Finland.
WHO HAS AUTO-QUALIFIED AND WHO HAS TO NAVIGATE THE PLAYOFFS?
Auto-qualified as group winners:
Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland
Play-offs via Group runners-up:
Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales
Play-offs via UEFA Nations League rankings:
Austria, Czech Republic
HOW THE PLAYOFFS WORK
The playoffs consist of twelve teams made up of the ten group runners up joined by the two best group winners from the last version of the UEFA Nations League who haven't qualified already.
These twelve sides will be drawn into three separate mini knockout competitions. There will be six one-off semi-finals across the mini knockout comps. The home teams will be seeded for these one-off semis. That has been determined by the six best runners-up in the UEFA World Cup Qualifying group stages.
Once these semi-finals have been played there will be an additional draw to determine the home side for the three final matches. The result of these three matches will determine the final three European sides to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
The playoff draw will take place in Geneva on November 26th.
Want the full picture from the last matchday of qualifying? We got you:
The World Cup in Qatar is beginning to take shape and ThePyrrhic.com will have you covered the entire way from qualification to the final on December 18th, 2022.
Stuart Kavanagh is an emerging sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia, and Editor In Chief of ThePyrrhic.com. He is also the co-host of the After Extra Time podcast.
Always keen to discuss footballing matters, you can follow him on Twitter at stueyissickofit
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