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Cheers for Poland, Tears for Scotland

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah converted a stoppage-time penalty to give Egypt a dramatic 2-1 win over Congo and a place at the World Cup in Russia
Cheers for Poland, Tears for ScotlandCheers for Poland, Tears for Scotland

In front of an ecstatic crowd in Warsaw on October 9, Poland sealed their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, where they will make their eighth appearance on football’s greatest stage.

Polish player Robert Lewandowski scored the winning goal for his team in their last match against Montenegro in Group E, which resulted in a 4-2 victory for them and sent the Poles to Russia 2018.

According to FIFA website, it was his 16th goal in the qualifiers. No player has ever scored that many in a European World Cup qualifying campaign.

Denmark, meanwhile, dropped two points at home to Romania, but made sure of a playoff slot nonetheless.

  Lost Hopes

It was a night of high drama in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where Scotland, that started the day with a realistic chance of making the playoffs, bid farewell to their World Cup hopes with a regrettable 2-2 draw with the host team in Group F.

The news of the stalemate was met with great delight in Slovakia that snatched second spot in the section.

Slovakia did what they needed to do at home to Malta, while keeping one eye on events in Slovenia. Slovakia beat Malta 3-0 and with the Scotland’s draw, they will go to the playoffs.

England wrapped up their campaign with another Harry Kane-inspired victory in a duel with Lithuania (1-0), and directly ascended to the World Cup.

  10 Games, 10 Wins

Everything in Group C had already been decided prior to Sunday’s matches, but that did not stop Germany from picking up yet another impressive win (5-1 against Azerbaijan) that kept their 100% record intact with 10 victories out of 10 matches.

The Czechs ended a disappointing campaign with a rout of San Marino (5-0), while Norway earned a tight 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland. However, it was Northern Island that was sent off to the playoffs and both Czech Republic and Norway had to say goodbye to the Russian World Cup.

  After 27 Years

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah converted a stoppage-time penalty to give Egypt a dramatic 2-1 win over Congo on Sunday and a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Victory gave Egypt an uncatchable four-point lead over Uganda in Group E, in Africa qualification games, with one round of fixtures remaining.

Egypt last qualified for the World Cup in 1990 with the record seven-time African champions suffering numerous heart-breaking failures since, Beinsports.com reported.

The desperation to qualify was so great ahead of the Congo match that Argentina-born Egypt coach Hector Cuper admitted he was taking medication for high blood pressure.

“I am taking hypertension medicine due to the stress I suffer from continuing criticism,” he told reporters without specifying who his critics were. “Life is full of stress, but the challenge of reaching the World Cup is the toughest stress I have faced.”

 

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