Denmark, England cruise in World Cup qualifying wins
Denmark added to the most perfect campaign in World Cup qualifying and England also eased toward winning its group. Wins for Scotland, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine moved each closer to at least a place in the playoffs next year with the finals tournament in Qatar in sight.
Here's a look at the action from six of the 10 European qualifying groups in action Saturday.
The Danes' 4-0 win at Moldova was a seventh straight win with no goals conceded and a European-best 26 goals scored.
One day after he made the Ballon d'Or nomination list, defender and captain Simon Kjær's goal from the penalty spot was one of four in 21 first-half minutes in Chișinău.
Scotland beat visiting Israel 3-2 in a tense game with control of second place in the group — and a playoffs berth in March — at stake.
Scotland twice trailed, had a first-half penalty saved, leveled in the second half only after a lengthy video review overturned a goal previously disallowed, then missed a clear chance in the 89th.
Scotland next plays Tuesday at the Faeroe Islands which lost 2-0 Saturday to visitors Austria. Though Austria stayed in fourth place, it will likely advance to the 12-team playoffs getting one of the two places awarded to teams based on Nations League group standings last year.
Hungary was impressive at the European Championship in June though lost again at home, 1-0 to Albania, in an empty Puskas Stadium in Budapest. It was a punishment for racist behavior by fans when England visited last month.
Ireland won 3-0 at Azerbaijan, and in a five-nation group where the odd team out plays Qatar in a friendly, Portugal took its turn. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the first half of a 3-0 win.
The Real Sociedad striker collected a pass on the left wing, put the ball through the legs of a challenger, then shot into the top corner from 25 meters (yards).
Sweden trails one point behind group leader Spain — also currently in Nations League action — and can go top Tuesday when Greece visits. Greece scored twice from the 90th minute Saturday to win 2-0 at Georgia.
Spain hosts Sweden in the last round on Nov. 14.
Bosnia-Herzegovina stayed in contention with a first competitive win since November 2019, 2-0 at Kazakhstan.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)