2022 World Cup

European qualifiers completed. Some teams can already book tickets for the World Cup, the other twelve applicants who took second places and took advantage of the loophole in the form of the League of Nations (Austria and the Czech Republic are still cunning) will have to go through the playoff sieve. But today we want to talk a little about something else – the bands that are destined to see Qatar only on TV. Among them were those who managed to win the audience’s sympathy – it’s even a pity that the guys are deprived of any opportunity to cling to a chance. We present to your attention five of our heroes.

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Norway

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In the Norwegian national team, a plot similar to the Romanian took place: the Scandinavians had an advantage, lost it under stupid circumstances and were left with a nose at the finish line. Paradoxically, the whole point is in Holland – the striker was injured in October, which deprived the team of a huge portion of potential. Despite the interesting ideas of the head coach Stole Solbakken, the whole project was built on one person – and then he was abruptly gone.

The Norwegians pursued the Netherlands, tried to break away from the Turks, but at the most crucial moment “slipped” on Latvia – how can you allow a 0:0 draw? The rivals took advantage of the situation and seized the initiative – the Dutch played at home and were considered obvious favorites, and the Janissaries, anticipating the joints, took the fight in Montenegro and issued a comeback 2:1.

Consequently, Solbakken limited himself to 18 points, the Turks got 21 (for luck), and the Netherlands – 23. It’s a pity, because the northerners have gathered a galaxy of young stars – besides Holland, there are Markus Holmgren-Pedersen, Patrick Berg, Martin Odegaard, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Kristian Thorstvedt.

Finland

Well, why so? Still, they wanted Ukraine to overcome the qualifying cycle. Our neighbor started his journey unimportantly (draws with Finland and Kazakhstan were recorded even under Shevchenko), but gradually he painted the picture with more rainbow colors. Whatever one may say, Olexandr Petrakov has withstood a barrage of criticism and now can shamelessly, but justly poke a finger at critics.

However, let’s face it – the Finns looked good and shameful. Head coach Marku Kanerva once again did a titanic job and fell into third place only on the qualifying flag. After 9 rounds, the “owls” have accumulated 12 points, ahead of Ukraine by 1 point, but to stand against the French is not an easy feat, to put it mildly. In addition, in parallel, the “yellow-blue” met with the unmotivated Bosnians, not without difficulties, but still prevailed.

Ireland

No need to laugh – Ireland tried very hard and she was very unlucky. The British grappled with the Serbs on their field and lost by one goal difference (2:3), unexpectedly lost to Luxembourg (0: 1) and were killed by a referee in Portugal (1:2). In an amicable way, Cristiano Ronaldo should have received a natural red card and a ban in several matches for kicks, but this is a five-time Golden Ball winner! So he scores a double and no one remembers the enormous damage caused to the “green army”.

It’s good that in the future, justice prevailed – in Dublin, Portugal met with resistance (the owners almost gnawed the lawn), was content with a draw (0:0), and in Lisbon received a savory slap in the face from Mitrovic and company. We hope that the “European Brazilians” will continue to fever at the junctures.