Thomas Sinicki, Media365: Published on Wednesday September 13, 2023 at 9:44 am.
For Portugal it is almost done in the euro, but for Sweden and Ireland it is almost done. Find out the key lessons from day six of qualifying, which ran from Sunday to Tuesday.
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With Scotland and France exempted during this sixth day, the Portuguese are the only players to have won all their matches since the start of qualifying. And the latest wasn’t spectacular in the least, a 9-0 thrashing of Luxembourg on Monday evening!
The Squadra Azzurra, who have already missed the last two World Cups, were playing a six-point match against Ukraine. One defeat and hopes of direct qualification were all but gone. But the European champions won that match (2–1), allowing them to get back on level terms with their opponents.
After losing in Scotland in March, under the threat of Erling Haaland’s Norway, the Spaniards were not trembling at home against Cyprus, even offering themselves an offensive festival (6-0) . We could also cite Belgium’s 5-0 against Estonia, but the situation is much less stressful for our other neighbors.
After waiting until the last quarter hour to break away to the Faroe Islands last week, Robert Lewandowski’s Poles lost (2-1) in Albania and finished fourth. This is their third defeat in as many tours after Moldova and Czech Republic.
Unlike Poland, Sweden will not have an opportunity for the Nations League play-offs. After losing to Austria at home (1–3), they allowed Austria to move into second place by seven points. Unless a miracle happens, Sweden will not see the euro.
For our opponents in Group B, there is no Nations League achievement in sight either. Therefore, defeat against the Netherlands on Sunday evening (1-2) sounds the death knell for any hopes of qualification, leaving the Netherlands six points behind the Dutch and Greece (and twelve points behind France).