Zurich (Switzerland) (AFP) – The absence of a key team in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been confirmed, with Italy and Portugal holding the last two champions after qualifying for the European play-off final. Editions of the European Cup, on the same track, i.e. their qualifications are not taken into account.
As a result of Friday’s draw in Zurich, Italy and Portugal finished third on Northern Macedonia and Turkey respectively, meaning they will meet in the final of this route if they pass the latter two. Which of them will make it to the finals.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos, despite being a major obstacle in the Italian national team’s final path, seemed optimistic about going to the final, saying, “First we need to focus on beating Turkey. This is an important match that will allow us to reach the final and win. ”
The European play-offs are divided into three tracks, with the semi-finals set for March 24 and the three finals set for March 29.
Portugal will play in the semi-finals and final at home, which has given Santos the confidence to support the public and avoid the movement. This is important. Religion does not work. They are a team that causes a lot of problems … but I have full confidence that we will qualify for the World Cup. ”
Italy and Portugal finished second, followed by Switzerland and Serbia, respectively, after failing to register for the qualifying round.
“This is a very difficult draw for us,” said Italy coach Roberto Mancini. North Macedonia is the best team and if we beat them we will have to play abroad (third track final).
Ten teams have booked their live cards to the Old Continent, and three cards are to be decided by sub, with 12 teams participating, including two teams from the European League, the Czech Republic and Austria.
Unlike the old system, there will be no direct clash between two domestic and foreign tournaments, but 12 teams will be divided into three tracks determined by lottery, with four teams competing in each of the fifties. -Finals and finals, and the winner qualifies for the World Cup (three tracks = three qualifying teams from each track).
Along with Sweden, Scotland, Russia and Wales, Italy and Portugal are in first place, followed by Turkey, Poland, northern Macedonia, Ukraine, Austria and the Czech Republic. In the semifinals of the first track, Scotland will meet Austria, Ukraine and Wales, on the second track Russia will meet Poland, Sweden the Czech Republic, Italy third Macedonia and Portugal Turkey on the third track. .
The semi-finals are played over the first tier teams, which naturally gives preference to Italy and Portugal, so both teams are more likely to meet in the final of this route. Reaching the final, Italy is in danger of losing the final for the second time since 1998 and Portugal for the first time. The Italian team missed the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The continental play-off match against Sweden failed, and for the first time in 60 years there was a worldwide divorce, especially after 1958. According to Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese comrades, the Serbs stunned them in their castle. To score 2-1 in the final round in killer time, it turned the qualifying card straight in favor of the guests. Celisao of Europe was good enough to get to the final. Sweden’s Sladon Ibrahimovic or Poland’s Robert Lewandowski will miss the final, and after the lottery puts them in second place, it will not be the only third track to knock down a great team or big star.
Ibra and Leva should first focus on the Russian and Czech tests before thinking about their potential clash in the final match of this track. On the first track, the Ukrainian team hopes to get out of the play-off complex four times its campaign in 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014, first by defeating Scotland on its soil, then Austria or its host Wales, which has the advantage of the semi-finals and its final match. The international playoffs scheduled for June 13 and 14 were also drawn on Friday. The Fifth Asian Qualifiers will meet the Fifth South American Qualifiers and the Fourth North, Central American and Caribbean Qualifiers (CONCACAF) Oceania Champions.
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