In the early morning of November 17, Beijing time, the group stage of the 2022 Qatar World Cup European qualifiers all came to an end, and all 10 places for the European region to directly advance to the Qatar World Cup were created. Among the traditional strong teams, Germany, France, Spain, England, the Netherlands, and Belgium were successfully shortlisted, but Italy and Portugal were not so lucky. They needed to participate in the play-offs. This play-off is different from the past, with 12 teams competing for 3 qualifying places, and the difficulty of breaking through can be imagined. More importantly, in addition to the two finals of Italy and Portugal, there are teams with superstars such as Turkey, Sweden, Wales, Czech Republic and Poland in the play-offs. This play-offs can be regarded as the most devil in history. Play-offs.
Italy has been a bit lost in the last two key battles, and has no European new championship style. In the crucial battle with Switzerland, Jorginho missed a valuable penalty before the end. Jorginho’s kick knocked off Italy’s ticket to directly qualify for the World Cup. Coincidentally, in the first round matchup between the two sides, Jorginho also missed a penalty kick. Switzerland was Italy’s defeat in the European Cup this summer, and it was a 0-3 defeat. However, in the European Cup qualifiers, Switzerland finally overtook Italy to become the first in the group. The same is that Portugal is also more “point back”. In the life-and-death battle with Serbia, Portugal can go straight out of a draw, and it will end in a tie. In the 90th minute, Mitrovic header kills, Portugal can only face the cruel play-offs. After the game, Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not perform well in the game, was in a bad mood and sat on the court, extremely disappointed.
After the two teams of Italy and Portugal “reached” the play-offs, the 12 teams participated in the play-offs can be described as a strong lineup, including 10 world preliminaries second in the group, and two European League teams with better results. . The second group of the World Preliminary Group is Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Wales, Scotland, Turkey, Russia, Poland, and North Macedonia in group order. The UEFA Europa League teams with better results include Austria, which is the first in Group A of the UEFA Europa League B, and the Czech Republic, which is the first in Group B. In the play-offs, we can see giants like Italy and Portugal, as well as stars such as Bell, Ibrahimovic, Sigg and Lewandre.
This year’s play-off competition system is different from the past. It is a cruel game of “12 into 3”, like “Ghost Gate”. There are 12 teams, 6 seeded teams and 6 unseeded teams. The play-offs are set to win or lose, and the seeded team has the home court advantage. First, 6 seeded teams and 6 non-seeded teams staged a head-to-head match. The remaining 6 teams will go one-on-one, and the three winning teams will enter the World Cup. Seed teams include Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Wales. Non-seeded teams include Poland, Turkey, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Austria and the Czech Republic. Although Portugal and Italy are two strong seeded teams, the opponents they encountered in the first round are relatively weak, but there is no real weak team for non-seeded teams. In Europe where strong teams are like clouds, everything can happen.
Italy’s last World Cup qualifiers fell in the play-offs, when they lost to Sweden. The Portuguese team has participated in five consecutive World Cups, and Ronaldo has participated in four consecutive sessions. In the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Portugal and Sweden met in the play-offs. The two superstars of Ronaldo and Ronaldo staged a peak showdown. Ronaldo performed a hat-trick to beat Ibrahimovic’s brace twice. And this time the play-offs are even more cruel. You have to win two opponents in a row to qualify, and one game is set to win and lose, with greater chance. In any case, the “12 in 3” play-off is the most difficult in history, with the “elimination rate” reaching 75%. At the end of March next year, the play-offs will officially start. During these four months, it can be regarded as a kind of suffering for the teams participating in the European play-offs.Return to Sohu to see more
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