Two of the stars of European football, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski, will go to Qatar after Portugal and Poland obtained the World Cup ticket after beating North Macedonia and Sweden, respectively, by the same result (2-0).
In this way, Cristiano Ronaldo will have, at 37 years of age, the opportunity to join the select group of footballers who have participated in five World Cup finals.
The former Real Madrid player did not score for the fourth consecutive game with Portugal, but the Seleçao did not miss CR7 ‘s goals , as his place as scorer was taken by his Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes, author of the two Portuguese goals (32 and 65).
North Macedonia, which gave the big surprise by eliminating Italy in Palermo on Thursday, did not have the opportunity this time to leave another European champion out of the World Cup.
In Porto, the Portuguese took the lead shortly after half an hour of play through Bruno Fernandes, a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo (32). The Manchester United attacking midfielder doubled the lead in the 66th minute.
“Ibra” stays at home
After that second goal, the Portuguese managed their advantage without stress, without giving the Balkans an option, and even allowing themselves to give playing time to strikers Rafael Leao and Joao Felix.
But that freshness in attack failed to earn a third goal against a brave but technically limited Macedonia.
The 2016 European champion will participate in her eighth consecutive World Cup, and in her twelfth “big” international tournament in a row, adding World Cups and European Championships.
At the same time in Chorzow, Poland sealed their ticket after beating Sweden 2-0, meaning Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who only played the last quarter of an hour as he was out of form following injury, will not be in Qatar.
Robert Lewandowski put the Poles ahead from a penalty (1-0, min. 49) after a foul by Jesper Karlstrom on Grzegorz Krychowiak in the area, and Piotr Zielinski took advantage of an error by the Swedish defense to sentence the match (2-0, min 72).
With this victory, Poland manages to qualify for the second consecutive World Cup, after having missed the 2010 and 2014 editions, and recovers from its bad step in Eurocopa-2020, falling in the group stage with only one point out of a possible nine, then draw 1-1 against Spain.
Sweden, which in the last World Cup signed a great performance and managed to reach the quarterfinals, defeated by England (2-0), will not be in Qatar.
Poland had not had to play the play-off match against Russia on Thursday, after FIFA excluded the Russian team for the invasion of Ukraine.
For this same reason, the 13th European team that will play the World Cup is still unknown, since the match between Scotland and Ukraine was postponed to June and the winner will have to play with Gareth Bale’s Wales.
Portugal and Poland thus join Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland and the Netherlands as participating European teams in Qatar-2022.