Portugal missed the victory in the away match against Serbia, winning two goals during the meeting. At the same time, the judge mistakenly missed Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the end. Belarus prevailed over Estonia, weakened by the outbreak of the coronavirus, although it was twice behind in the long run. Luxembourg sensationally took away three points from Ireland, and Malta took points from Slovakia. And the confrontation between the Netherlands and Latvia for the first time in the history of qualifications was judged by a woman – Stephanie Frappard. How the second round of the qualifying stage of the 2022 World Cup began – in the RT material.
Second consecutive failure of Slovakia
The most unexpected result of the game day was recorded in Group H, which included the Russian team. The next rival of Stanislav Cherchesov’s team – the national team of Slovakia – lost points at home in the confrontation with Malta – 2: 2. Although even the point scored by the hosts in Trnava should be considered an achievement, since in the first half Stefan Tarkovic’s charges did not work for him either.
The nominal favorites of the pair conceded twice already by the 20th minute and did not strike a single shot on target. Only the conversation with the coach during the break inspired the Slovaks. Upon returning to the field, they turned on completely different speeds, pressure and ball movement. This resulted in the precise blows of David Strelets and Milan Shkrinjar, but the guests did not finally break. They closed in defense and won a draw. Also, the Maltese interrupted their 13-match goalless streak in the away matches of the World Cup and European Championship qualifications, and twice distinguished themselves on the road for the first time since 2001, when they fought the Czech Republic (but still lost 2: 3).
The Slovaks, after two meetings of the qualifying stage, have only two points to their credit, because in the first round they could not beat another opponent Cyprus, inferior in the class, on the road – 0: 0.
Lost victory of the Czech Republic
The Czechs on Saturday also gave a reason to speak of themselves with respect. At home, the team of Yaroslav Shilgava stopped the Belgians themselves, who occupy first place in the FIFA rating. Moreover, the hosts managed to open an account in the 50th minute. The Thibaut Courtois gate was struck by Lukas Wire.
Everything could have ended in victory for the Czechs, had it not been in the ranks of the rival of the ligament Kevin De Bruyne – Romelu Lukaku. The first made the 20th assist in the current season, if we take into account the matches for the club and the national team, and the second distinguished himself in the tenth consecutive meeting of the World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.
Nevertheless, the Czechs went into the room under the stands with their heads held high. They not only took points away from a serious opponent, but also looked no worse in terms of the game. After all, they only hit the gate frame twice, but luck turned away from Michal Krmenchik and Jan Borzhil.
The wrath of the Portuguese in Serbia
At the end of the match with Serbia, the Portuguese national team was unhappy with both themselves and the refereeing. By themselves, since Cristiano Ronaldo and his partners did not keep the advantage of two goals – Diogo Jota’s double by the 36th minute promised them an easy walk. However, in the second half, the Balkans, through the efforts of Philip Kostić and Aleksandar Mitrovic, equalized the score. Moreover, the Fulham striker scored the 39th goal for the national team and became the top scorer in its history. Stepan Bobek has one goal less in the asset.
As for the refereeing, the Portuguese were extremely unhappy with the controversial episode at the end of the match. After hitting Ronaldo, the ball crossed the goal line, which was confirmed by slow-motion replays from different angles, and screenshots of still frames. However, referee Danny McKeley did not count the goal, and the VAR system in the qualifying for the 2022 World Cup does not work.
Cristiano’s anger was so strong that he threw the captain’s bandage on the lawn.
Lisakovich’s double in Belarus
An equally loud sensation almost happened at the Dynamo stadium, where the national team of Belarus hosted the Estonians. The team from the Baltic States literally on the eve of their visit to Minsk due to coronavirus lost 15 people and head coach Thomas Heberly. To replace him urgently had to the former coach of the national team Martin Reim. He had to seriously break his head to fill out the application. Therefore, the challenge was received by both footballers who had already completed their international careers and young players who were just waiting for such a chance.
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On the contrary, Belarusians prepared for this meeting purposefully. The neighbors held a short training camp, played a friendly match with Honduras, formed the basis of those who brilliantly conducted the opening round of the Major League. And they planned to squeeze the maximum out of the advantages of the home arena, on the stands of which more than three and a half thousand people came. However, the triumphant start almost turned into a real failure.
Twice the guests were leading in the score, surprising the opponent with a fairly high-quality game in defense and sensible counterattacks. And, perhaps, they would even take the glasses away from Minsk, but they did not have enough strength. Partly due to the difference in class and condition with the opponent, partly due to ambiguous judging decisions.
For example, after Henry Anier opened the scoring, Robert Hennessy awarded a controversial penalty and, just before the break, allowed Lokomotiv Moscow forward Vitaly Lisakovich to restore parity. When the teams exchanged goals in the second half, the referee showed two yellow cards to Karl Oigus in 14 minutes. Having received a numerical advantage, the hosts put the squeeze on the opponent thanks to, among other things, Lisakovich’s second accurate strike – 4: 2.
Frappard’s historic achievement
Several historical events took place in the match with the not very loud sign of the Netherlands – Latvia. After a failure in the opening round, the Orange team won a casual victory thanks to goals from Steven Bergöis and Luc de Jong – 2: 0.
However, the important thing here is not so much the result as the person of the chief arbiter. For the first time in history, a World Cup qualifier was served by a woman. By the age of 37, Stephanie Frappard had already worked at the highest level – for example, she judged the final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, as well as the Ligue 1 game between Amiens and Strasbourg.
And after the Frenchwoman was assigned a year and a half ago to meet for the UEFA Super Cup, it became clear that her presence on an ongoing basis at national team matches was only a matter of time. As a result, there were no complaints about Stephanie’s work at the end of the game.
In addition, de Jong’s goal was the 300th for the Dutch in World Cup qualifying. Thus, the orange ones are the first to overcome this bar in Europe. After scoring, Luke gave way to Ryan Babel, who has been playing for the national team for 16 years and 1 day. This is the longest gap in the history of the Netherlands national team after Mick Klavan.
Ireland’s humiliating defeat
For the first time since 1970, the Irish national team began qualifying for the World Cup with two defeats. And if the fiasco at the start is still forgivable – it’s not easy to compete with the Serbs on the road, then the players and the team’s coaching staff are unlikely to be able to justify a home defeat with a minimum score from Luxembourg.
After all, the duchy’s team has not won at a party since 2008 as part of the selection for the World Cup and Euro. Moreover, in qualifying for the World Cup and European Championship, the “dwarf” on the road before that won only three victories. That is why even the guests would be glad to see a draw. But the goal scored in the 85th minute by Gerson Rodrigues from Kiev “Dynamo” spoiled the debut of the 19-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazun and acquired the status of not only victorious, but also historical.
Source site russian.rt.com