05 December 2021

Two matches away from travelling to finals

We have reached the last phase of the European qualifiers for the World Cup next year where seven nights ago was the last ever draw for this continent.
For the (complicated) second round (which will be played eight months before the major competition) the ten group runners up were mixed with two best teams from another event (Nations league). These 12 have to pass two more hurdles at the play-off stage (called semi-finals and final), so that at the end three remains which will book their tickets. As there are nine games left to play from this confederation the last three pairs are unknown, while the first six duels are familiar, everything has to be completed on 24 and 29 March 2022 and the schedule is the following:

Games one and two (all together):

Scotland or Ukraine - Wales or Austria.

Russia or Poland - Sweden or Czech Republic.

Italy or North Macedonia - Portugal or Turkey.

On the same night the intercontinental draw was performed as well where four regions have find out their opponents. Last Monday it was revealed that instead of four (home and away) these duels will be only two, or in other words only 90 minutes are going to be played for each match scheduled to be played in neutral place - Qatar. Pairs looks like this:

1. Asian fourth round winner (third placed from groups A and B clashing each other) - South American fifth place team.

2. The fourth placed team of the North, Central America and Caribbean confederation - Victorious team from Oceania at the mini tournament that will start in March 2022.

Thus, failure would be out of the question for the final four teams that is going to round up these eliminations at 13 or 14 June 2022, which means that the final layout for the World Cup itself on 01 April 2022 is going to be done with 30 known names instead of 32.


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