Andreas Christensen and Denmark have booked their place at the next World Cup finals thanks to victory at home to Austria on Tuesday night.
Our defender helped to ensure the Austrians failed to muster a single shot on target in Copenhagen, with a 1-0 win making it eight wins out of eight for the Danes in their group.
Good saves by Austria goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann kept out Skov Olsen and Mikkel Damsgaard in the first half, with the winning goal coming early in the second. It was made by a wonderful run from Thomas Delaney with Joakim Maehle the scorer.
On the hour, Christensen was in the right place to make an important block on a well-struck volley from Marco Grull and his team saw out the win from that point on.
In the same group, Scotland in second place maintained a four-point gap to third-place Israel although Steve Clarke’s side left it very late to overcome Faroe Islands away.
Billy Gilmour started again and our young midfielder, on loan this season at Norwich, was bright in early attacks but Scotland were grateful for a great double save from Craig Gordon halfway through the first half.
In fact the Faroes had the better of the opening 45 minutes and although Scotland upped their game after the interval, the breakthrough would not come.
Gilmour shot just wide in the 64th minute after some sustained pressure and then his closer-range effort was saved. He went narrowly wide one more time before being involved in the move for the winner when it eventually came on 86 minutes. Rangers’ Nathan Patterson crossed, the home side struggled to deal with it, and the ball went in off QPR forward Lyndon Dykes.
Three Lions held
England took a little stumble on their path to likely qualification for Qatar. They drew 1-1 against Hungary to drop points for only the second time in the campaign.
Mount Mason started on the left of a midfield three, with Declan Rice and Phil Foden the other two, but it was a disjointed performance from the Three Lions who went behind at the midpoint of the opening half.
Luke Shaw conceded a penalty for a dangerous high boot and the spot-kick was dispatched by the Hungarians.
John Stones brought the sides level when he side-footed in at the far post after a Foden free-kick was deflected on at the front stick. Raheem Sterling had a far-post header from close range saved on the stroke of half time so the sides went in all-square at 1-1.
Stones could have had a second just past the hour when he headed a corner a few inches wide. That too was from a Foden delivery. The Hungary goalkeeper smothered when Sterling was played through later in the game, and with a strong defensive performance ahead of him, England rarely looked like finding a winner. Ben Chilwell was an unused sub.
Albania, second place in England’s group, went down 1-0 at home to Poland. They waited until the 58th minute to bring Armando Broja off the bench.
Senegal secured their place in the final stage of World Cup qualification in Africa with a 3-1 victory away against Namibia. Edouard Mendy featured in goal throughout for the Lions of Teranga, as he has done throughout the campaign. In today’s game in Johannesburg, former Bristol City striker Famara Diedhiou hit a hat-trick.
Senegal have won all four of their qualifiers in this second qualifying section and now cannot be overhauled at the top of Group H. They therefore advance to a two-legged play-off tie against another African group winner, with the winners earning a place at Qatar 2022.
Baba Rahman, currently on loan at Reading, was also in action for a Ghana side that won 1-0 against Zimbabwe in Harare to take them to the top of Group G. The only goal of the game came half an hour in courtesy of Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, with Baba playing the full 90 minutes. The Black Stars have two final qualifiers against Ethiopia and South Africa next month to secure a place in the play-offs.
There were Chelsea players in opposing squads as Finland met Austria in an Under-21 European Championship qualifier and it was the one who featured in the game, Thierno Ballo, who ended up on the losing side with Austria going down 3-1. Lucas Bergstrom remained an unused sub for the winners.
Ian Maatsen remained on the bench for Netherlands Under-21s’ 5-0 win over Wales. Former Chelsea Academy striker Daishawn Redan was among the goals.
Sam McClelland played in defence for Northern Ireland U21s who went down 3-0 away to their group leaders Spain.
Bryan Fiabema led the line for Norway Under-19s as they went down 1-0 to Georgia in qualification for next summer’s European Championship at that age group. The striker was unable to add to his four goals in qualifying but Norway still progress to the elite round as group runners-up
Harvey Vale played 77 minutes of an England Under-19s friendly but lost out 3-2 to Belgium in a game played in Spain. Spurs striker Dane Scarlett scored the goals for the England side who play Euro qualifiers in November.
Edwin Andersson played the final 14 minutes for Sweden Under-19s in a 2-2 draw with Republic of Ireland last week, before remaining an unused substitute in a 1-1 draw with the same opponents yesterday.