GOAL! Group B in Asia has got off to an incredible start: after Oman won in Japan earlier today, Vietnam have only gone and taken the lead in Saudi Arabia. Nguyen Quang Hai opened the scoring after three minutes. Still more than an hour for Vietnam to hang on for an outstanding result …
Liechtenstein: Büchel; Wolfinger, Malin, Kaufmann, Hofer, Göppel; N Frick, Frommelt, Hasler; Sele, Y Frick
So to Europe. Something’s got to give in Group B, where second-place Sweden – who’ve won both their qualifiers so far – host leader Spain. Elsewhere, Euro champs Italy will be aiming to extend their perfect start – and their epic unbeaten run – by downing Bulgaria. Northern Ireland will hoping to get up and running in the same group by claiming their first win of the campaign against the bottom-dwellers of Lithuania, who’ve yet to manage a point.
Group J sees a face-off between the top two teams, as North Macedonia take on Armenia, who’ve won three out of three so far. And in Group I, there’s no doubt that the most intriguing match is the featherweight clash between Andorra against San Marino.
Georgia 0-1 Kosovo
Sweden v Spain
Italy v Bulgaria
Lithuania v Northern Ireland
Czech Republic v Belarus
Estonia v Belgium
Andorra v San Marino
Hungary v England
Poland v Albania
Iceland v Romania
Liechtenstein v Germany
North Macedonia v Armenia
It’s another big day of World Cup qualifying action in Europe … but before we get into that, let’s have a gander at some interesting results from elsewhere in the world today. For starters, get a load of this:
Japan 0-1 Oman
That’s a sensational result for Oman, who secured their first ever win over Japan thanks to an 88th-minute winner by substitute Issam Al Sabhi. And it was no fluke, as Oman were the better side throughout the game, leaving Japan with plenty of work to do if they are to reach a seventh consecutive World Cup. “It wasn’t good at all,” admitted the Japan captain, Maya Yoshida. Their next match promises to be a belter: against China next Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, Australia and Vietnam are also in the same group with top two teams after a six-team round-robin earning automatic qualifications for the World Cup in Qatar.
Meanwhile, today’s biggest exploits from the early kickoffs in Africa belonged to the mighty squirrels of Benin, who won in Madagascar thanks to another goal by Steve Mounié. Meanwhile, DR Congo were held at home by Tanzania.