FIFA World Cup European qualifiers: England held by Hungary in match marred by clashes between fans


The final European zone World Cup qualifiers took place on Tuesday with Hungary holding England to a draw at Wembley arguably the surprise result of the day. Portugal thumped Luxembourg while Sweden and Switzerland all registered wins. Denmark were also victorious and booked their place in Qatar next year. However, the disappointing scenes in the away end in London cast a shadow over the biggest fixture.

UEFA World Cup qualifiers: Tuesday’s scores

Kazakhstan 0, Finland 2
Ukraine 1, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Kosovo 1, Georgia 2
Lithuania 0, Switzerland 4
Sweden 2, Greece 0
Serbia 3, Azerbaijan 1
Faroe Islands 0, Scotland 1
Israel 2, Moldova 1
Albania 0, Poland 1
England 1, Hungary 1
Denmark 1, Austria 0
Bulgaria 2, Northern Ireland 1
San Marino 0, Andorra 3
Portugal 5, Luxembourg 0

Hungary hold firm

The Magyars took the lead through a Roland Sallai penalty before being pegged back by a John Stones equalizer and while the Three Lions were expected to push on from there and win relatively easily, the Hungarians held on for a point. Albania and Poland still have an advantage in the race to the World Cup, but this keeps Marco Rossi’s men in contention with two games left to play in Group I. England are almost certain to make it but still need to see off the Albanians to be sure.

Fan issues


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Sadly, England’s draw with Hungary made the headlines for the wrong reasons due to clashes between supporters in the away section and the minimal security staff present. Considering the ugly scenes which marred this summer’s Euro final and pending UEFA punishment, it was another black mark. There was also trouble during Albania’s 1-0 loss to Poland with the players withdrawn by referee Clement Turpin after Karol Swiderski scored the only goal of the game.

Relentless Ronaldo

Portugal thumping Luxembourg 5-0 was the most one-sided affair of the day, and it featured another Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick as the Manchester United man helped himself to a pair on penalties inside the opening 15 minutes before finishing the job three minutes from time. United teammate Bruno Fernandes and Joao Palhinha had added to the scoring before that in Group A. Serbia’s 3-1 win over Azerbaijan keeps them top of the pile with Dusan Vlahovic twice on target.  

Swedish storm

Blagult are on the verge of qualifying for Qatar after breaking Greece’s resistance with two second half goals in the space of 10 minutes. Emil Forsberg’s penalty was added to by Alexander Isak which leaves the Greeks six points adrift of the Swedes with two games left to play. Spain’s visit to Athens next time out in Group B promises to be a full-blooded affair with victory imperative to home hopes.

Danish delight

The Danes are the latest side to book their World Cup berth after Joakim Maehle’s goal secured a 1-0 home win over Austria in Group F. Incredibly, the Scandinavians have done it all without conceding a single goal with an average of better than three scored each outing. Elsewhere, Scotland’s narrow win over Faroe Islands keeps them on course for second place.  

Swiss stroll

Switzerland were also big winners on Tuesday with a 4-0 victory over Lithuania to send them level on points with Italy in Group C. Breel Embolo scored twice as Renato Steffen and Mario Gavranovic got in on the act for the Swiss.

Northern Irish nightmare

Having led 1-0 at half-time, Northern Ireland threw away three points in Bulgaria to a pair of Todor Nedelev which was not even enough to keep Bulgarian hopes alive with one game left and a six-point gap on Switzerland in Group C.

Finland close gap

Earlier in the day, Teemu Pukki scored twice as Finland closed the gap on Ukraine to a single point in Group D with a 2-0 win over Kazakhstan which means they can overtake the Ukrainians if they can beat Bosnia and Herzegovina next time out.





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