World Cup

World Cup qualifying roundup 16/11: Netherlands qualify, Wales earn home play-off

Krishan Davis
It was another historic night for Wales against Belgium
It was another historic night for Wales against Belgium / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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The 2022 World Cup's European qualifiers finally reached their conclusion on Tuesday night, as groups D, E and G were wrapped up.

The biggest surprise of the night came in Cardiff, where Wales were hosting the world's top-ranked international side in Belgium.

Elsewhere, the Netherlands needed to avoid defeat and hope results elsewhere didn't go against them as they faced Norway, and already-qualified France were in action against Finland.

Here's your roundup of the night's action...


Group D

FBL-WC-2022-EUR-QUALIFIERS-FIN-FRA
Benzema and Mbappe were the stars of the show / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

World Cup holders France completed their successful qualification campaign with a laboured 2-0 victory over Finland in Helsinki, ending the hosts' hopes of reaching next year's showpiece in the process.

Substitute Karim Benzema opened the scoring for a rotated French side with a deflected strike and, having provided the assist for the opener, Kylian Mbappé got a goal of his own 20 minutes from time with a fine finish.

Ukraine took Group D's play-off spot at Finland's expense, bunnyhopping them into second place with a 2-0 win of their own away to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Group E

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It was another famous night for Wales against Belgium / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

The shock of the night came in Cardiff where Wales held the world's highest-ranked side Belgium to an unlikely 1-1 draw and seal a home tie in the play-offs, while their visitors had of course qualified already.

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring early on with a typically accurate low finish from the edge of the box, but Kieffer Moore fired home an equaliser shortly after the half-hour mark after some awful Belgian defending.

The hosts held on despite having just 24% of possession, and the point was enough to make the Czech Republic's 2-0 victory over Estonia in Prague irrelevant.

Wales were already guaranteed a play-off place thanks to their Nations League exploits, but a home tie was secured despite them drawing thanks to Turkey failing to beat Montenegro by four goals or more in Group G...


Group G

FIFA World Cup Qualifier"The Netherlands v Norway"
There were mixed emotions in Rotterdam / ANP Sport/GettyImages

There should have been drama in Rotterdam too, but a lacklustre display from both the Netherlands and Norway behind closed doors meant this three-way shootout for automatic qualification didn't live up to the billing.

Two late goals from Steven Bergwijn and Memphis Depay won the game for the Dutch and ensured they finished top of Group G, while Turkey's 2-1 win in Montenegro means they leapfrog the defeated Norwegians to take the play-off spot.

Elsewhere, Gibraltar were beaten 3-1 at home to Latvia in what was inevitably a dead rubber.


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