Friendly fire awarded the Croatian national team the qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a precious and difficult 1-0 victory over its Russian counterpart on Saturday in the last tenth round of Group H matches in the European qualifying qualifiers.
The same group also saw Slovakia beat its host Malta 6-0, and Slovenia beat Cyprus 2-1.
In the Croatian capital, Zagreb, the intense Croatian attack collided with the solid and solid Russian defense, ending the first half in a goalless draw, despite the almost absolute control of the game by the Croatian team, which had 67% possession of the ball.
In the second half, amid the heavy rain that flooded the stadium, a negative tie remained in place despite the clear Croatian superiority until the 81st minute came to bear the qualifying goal through friendly fire, to book the Croatian team, the runners-up of the world title, in the finals for the sixth time. The goal was signed by Russian defender Fedor Kudryashov through The error in his team’s goal to be the first victory for the Croatian team in the history of its official matches with the Russian bear.
The Croatian team raised its score with this victory to 23 points, advancing to the top of the group, one point ahead of its Russian counterpart, who has the hope of qualifying through the European play-off.
In Takali, the Slovak team won the match completely in its first half, with three clean goals, scored by Albert Rusnak in the sixth and 16 minutes and Ondrej Duda in the eighth minute.
With the start of the second half, the situation worsened for Malta by sending off its players, Ryan Camdenzoli and Teddy Toma in the 47th and 51st minutes, respectively. The Slovak team took advantage of its numerical superiority and consolidated its victory with three other goals scored by Andrej Duda in the 69th and 80th minutes to complete the hat-trick and substitute Vernon De Marco in the 72nd minute after just two minutes of landing. The Slovak team raised its score to 14 points in third place, and Malta’s balance was frozen at five points, knowing that the two teams lost the opportunity to compete for qualification for the World Cup before the matches of this round.
In Ljubljana, the first half between Slovenia and Cyprus ended in a goalless draw, then the Slovenian team won the match in its favor with two goals scored by Miha Zeitz and Adam Sirin in the 48th and 85th minutes, compared to a goal scored by Andronikos Kakulis in the 89th minute. The Slovenian team raised its score to 14 points in fourth place with a goal difference only behind Slovakia The Cyprus national team is stuck in fifth place with five points, with a goal difference only against Malta.
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