A late goal by Harry Kane ensured England a place in next year’s World Cup as they beat Slovenia 1-0 while defending champions Germany outplayed a weak Northern Ireland side 3-1 to book their berth at Russia as well. Argentina’s qualification hopes hang in the balance after a 0-0 draw with Peru.
England 1-0 Slovenia
It seems Harry Kane cannot stop scoring at the moment even in the unlikeliest of situations. England’s patchy display against Slovenia will surely give Gareth Southgate a lot to work on, as the Three Lions squad looked far from ready for the extravaganza next year.
Following a blunt first 45-minute that saw Marcus Rashford as the only adventurer in an England shirt, they did try to make things happen in the second-half. However, Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak hardly found it challenging barring some occasionally dangerous flank play from Rashford and Raheem Sterling.
With the final whistle within touching distance, and England banking on a Scotland victory over Slovakia for their qualification, Kane met a Kyle Walker cross to score as late as the 93 minute to script an unlikely and uninspiring victory for England.
Germany 3-1 Northern Ireland
Germany managed to secure their place at the World Cup finals, while maintaining a superb 83-year unbeaten record in away World Cup qualifiers as they outclassed a Northern Ireland side, who looked helpless against Joachim Löw‘s phenomenal team depth. Germany
Bayern Munich’s Sebastian Rudy couldn’t have met the lay-off by clubmate Joshua Kimmich’s any sweeter, as his 30-yard half volley bulleted past Ireland’s Michael McGovern to the top right corner. McGovern hadn’t conceded a goal in more than 10 hours prior to that and the manner of it summarized the game. It was followed by a thunderous strike by Sandro Wagner (21 minute) with his left-foot after Gareth McAuley gave him too much space.
Michael O’Neil’s game plan of containment had already fallen apart. The third goal came in the closing stages of the game when the magnificent Kimmich managed to squeeze in the ball from a tight angle. Ireland did pull back one through Josh Magennis’s stoppage‑time header but it remained a consolation for the hosts.
Argentina 0-0 Peru
The prospect of a World Cup without Lionel Messi looms large now as Argentina remain outside the qualifying places
Having 66% of the possession, Argentina managed a total of 22 shots throughout the game, of which six were on target. Peru largely stayed on the back foot, but successfully kept the likes of Messi and Di Maria at bay.
They now sit in the 6 place of the group, with the fifth-placed side going into a playoff against New Zealand in November. Argentina will next face Ecuador, although qualification isn't directly in their hands.
World Cup Qualification Europe
Malta 1-1 Lithuania
Montenegro 0-1 Denmark
Romania 3-1 Kazakhstan
San Marino 0-8 Norway
Scotland 1-0 Slovakia
World Cup Qualification South America
Bolivia 0-0 Brazil
Venezuela 0-0 Uruguay
Chile 2-1 Ecuador
Colombia 1-2 Paraguay
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