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World Cup qualifying: Portugal tops Luxembourg; Norway, Wales snare Ws

World Cup qualifying

LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG - MARCH 30: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates his goal with Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves and teammates during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Luxembourg and Portugal at Josy Barthel stadium on March 30, 2021 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

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UEFA’s Group G looks like it’ll be an absolute riot, as four teams have emerged from three match days with two wins each.

Turkey blew a pair of two-goal leads to Latvia, who is decidedly not one of the four, to foil a bid to go perfect through three match days, while the Netherlands, Norway, and Montenegro joined Ay-Yıldızlılar in contention for first place and its automatic berth in Qatar.

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Elsewhere, Wales rescued its World Cup hopes in a match featuring two red cards and one goal versus the Czech Republic, while Belgium scored eight and Portugal came back to beat Luxembourg after an early scare.

There are 15 more UEFA World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday to finish off the international break, including England versus Poland and Austria against Denmark.

Turkey 3-3 Latvia

Having beaten Norway 3-0 away and the Netherlands 4-2 at home, Turkey might’ve though its 2-0 and 3-1 leads over winless Latvia would deliver a three-point lead on the table.

AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu assisted a second-minute goal from Kenan Karaman and scored in the 33rd minute before Burak Yilmaz scored a penalty after halftime to put Turkey up 3-1.

But Roberts Uldrikis and Davis Ilkaunieks struck in the final half-hour as Latvia stopped the death of its World Cup hopes by picking a point after losses to Montenegro and the Netherlands.

Montenegro 0-1 Norway

Mohamed Elyounoussi cued up Alexander Sorloth for a first-half goal and Norway rode a solid first half through a troubled second-half to improve to 2W-1L in Group G.

Norway’s six points are the same as Montenegro and the Netherlands but last of the trio, while Turkey has one more point than the Norwegians.

Wales 1-0 Czech Republic

Both sides finished with 10 men in Cardiff, where Wales avoided an 0-2 start to qualifying thanks to a Manchester United winger.

Daniel James scored off a Gareth Bale feed in the 81st minute, four minutes after teammate Connor Roberts was sent off, as Wales collected a win after falling to Belgium on the first match day of Group E.

Wales had been out-attempted 8-2 in the first half when the Czechs’ Patrik Schick was sent off in the 48th minute, but the hosts couldn’t find their opener until it was 10v10.

Luxembourg 1-3 Portugal

Portugal overcame a halftime deficit in Luxembourg to claim a comfortable 3-1 win on goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, and Joao Palhinha.

Luxembourg knocked off the Republic of Ireland in its first match and looked prime for an even bigger upset versus Ronaldo and Co.

Gerson Rodrigues of Dynamo Kiev had put the hosts up after 30 minutes, and Portugal’s worries were compounded by an injury to Joao Felix before the break.

Yet that introduced Wolves star Pedro Neto, who changed the game with a pair of assists. The assists all came from Premier League players, in fact, as Man City’s Joao Cancelo had the other.


Azerbaijan 1-2 Serbia
Belgium 8-0 Belarus
Gibraltar 0-7 Netherlands
Cyprus 1-0 Slovenia
Croatia 3-0 Malta
Slovakia 2-1 Russia

Follow @NicholasMendola