Saturday, December 4, 2021
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Croatia 1-0 Russia: Late own goal gives 2018 finalists automatic qualification

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Croatia have earned a place in the 2022 Qatar World Cup after defeating Russia in the World Cup qualifiers. The finalists of the 2018 edition of the tournament won 1-0 against the visitors to seal the deal. 

Russia goalkeeper Matvei Safonov was quite impressive throughout the game. But, Fedor Kudryashov’s 81st minute own goal ended their hopes of making it into the World Cup automatically. The Russians needed a draw to automatically qualify for the tournament. And they played the game with all men behind the ball. 

Croatia dominated most of the game, and were denied multiple times by Safonov during the game. However, despite his good performances, he could do nothing when they conceded an own goal. The visitors also lacked clear-cut chances to score against the home team. 

Finishing second in the group with 22 points, Russia will have to earn a place in the World Cup by playing in the qualifiers in March. Marcelo Brozovic had two long-range attempts at goal, while one flew over the bar, the other demanded a flying save from Safonov. 

Russia had a chance to salvage a point and progress automatically into the World Cup late in the game but Vyacheslav Karavaev was unable to put it away from twenty yards out. 

Croatia, on the other hand, joins seven other teams that have already qualified for next year’s competition, which will be held in the winter months of November to December.

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Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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