UEFA World Cup qualifying: Ronaldo robbed of last-minute winner for Portugal; Turkey big winners over Norway
Turkey were the big winners in Saturday’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the UEFA zone with a 3-0 win over Norway in Spain.
Elsewhere, Serbia fought back from two goals down to draw with Portugal and the Netherlands got their campaign up and running with a minimalist victory at home to Latvia with making history on the whistle as one of the first women to officiate a World Cup qualifying match.
Here’s a look at the matchday 2 scores:
Saturday, March 27
Montenegro 4, Gibraltar 1Russia 2, Slovenia 1Belarus 4, Estonia 2Netherlands 2, Latvia 0Norway 0, Turkey 3Croatia 1, Cyprus 0Serbia 2, Portugal 2Ireland 0, Luxembourg 1Czech Republic 1, Belgium 1Slovakia 2, Malta 2
Senol Gunes’ Turkish side were victorious with Ozan Tufan scoring twice and Caglar Soyuncu the once in a game that also saw Kristian Thorstvedt sent off.
The Crescent Stars now lead Group G with Montenegro on six points after their 4-1 thrashing of Gibraltar.
Serbia and Portugal also share the lead in Group A after a four-goal thriller in Belgrade that saw Diogo Jota score twice in the first half only for Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic before Nikola Milenkovic saw red. Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a last-minute winner on a goal that appeared to have crossed the line. Unfortunately for Portugal, goal-line technology and VAR are not available at this stage of qualifying.
The Netherlands recovered from their opening loss to Turkey with a routine 2-0 win over Latvia in Amsterdam with Steven Berghuis and Luuk de Jong goals.
Republic of Ireland were on the receiving end of a shock 1-0 loss at home to Luxembourg with Gerson Rodrigues sealing a famous win at Aviva Stadium.
Belgium needed a Romelu Lukaku equalizer to salvage a point at home to the Czech Republic after Lukas Provod had opened the scoring 10 minutes earlier on 50 minutes.
An Artem Dzyuba double was enough for Russia to secure a 2-1 win over Slovenia with Josip Ilicic scoring for the visitors in a busy first half at Fisht Olympic Stadium.
Croatia bounced back from Slovenia’s opening win with a 1-0 victory over Cyprus through a Mario Pasalic first half strike.
Slovakia needed a second half show of strength to avoid a shock home loss to Malta with David Strelec and Milan Skriniar scoring within four minutes of each other.
Elsewhere, Belarus fell behind twice to Estonia before running out 4-2 winners with Vitali Lisakovich scoring twice for the hosts in Minsk.