World Cup

World Cup qualifying round-up 15/11: Switzerland oust Italy into play-offs, Scotland win

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Italy failed to get over the line against Northern Ireland
Italy failed to get over the line against Northern Ireland / Charles McQuillan/GettyImages
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We are a little bit closer to knowing the lineup for the 2022 World Cup as three more European qualifying groups came to a close on Monday night.

The most intrigue could be found in Group C where Italy and Switzerland entered the day level on points at the top of the table.

Elsewhere, England's progression was not quite yet confirmed, while Scotland were scrapping for every point in order to emerge as one of the seeded teams in this year's playoffs.

Here is how all three groups panned out over the course of the evening...


Group C

Manuel Locatelli
A frustrating evening for Italy / Charles McQuillan/GettyImages

Group C came to a dramatic conclusion with European champions Italy dropping into the play-offs after failing to beat Northern Ireland.

The Azzurri went into the final matchday level on points with Switzerland but had the advantage due to their superior goal difference. Despite this, it would be Switzerland who finished top of the group after they eased to a 4-0 victory over Bulgaria thanks to goals from Noah Okafor, Ruben Vargas, Cedric Itten and Remo Freuler.

Italy, meanwhile, stumbled to a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park. Roberto Mancini's side dominated the ball, finishing the game with 71% possession, but struggled to carve out many clear-cut opportunities; their best chance falling to Lorenzo Insigne just before the break.


Group F

Scotland capped off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a huge result, as Steve Clarke's charges recorded an impressive 2-0 victory over already-qualified Denmark.

The hosts were good value for their win at Hampden Park with John Souttar grabbing his first international goal to make it 1-0 just before the break. Scotland continued to impress in the second period and got a deserved second through Che Adams.

They now progress to the play-offs as one of the seeded teams, giving them a decent chance of progressing to next winter's tournament.

In the other games in Group F, Israel secured a narrow 3-2 victory over the Faroe Islands while Austria romped to a 4-1 win against Moldova.


Group I

England secured qualification for the World Cup in some style, blowing San Marino away 10-0 to clinch top spot in Group I.

Harry Kane grabbed four goals in the first half to move up to joint-third with Gary Lineker on the Three Lions' all-time scorers list and Emile Smith Rowe also celebrated his maiden start with a strike of his own.

Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka got themselves on the scoresheet too.

Elsewhere, Poland - who were already guaranteed second spot at the start of play - were edged out 2-1 by Hungary, while Albania limped to a 1-0 victory over Andorra.


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