Portugal Lose To Switzerland; France Draw at Belarus

Posted on by Sreya

Germany vs Czech Republic

A string of surprising results greeted major European nations as the first set of matches in the first round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the UEFA nations were played on 6th September, Tuesday.

A Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal side fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland in Basel as goals from Breel Embolo and Admir Mehmedi pushed the Swiss to the top of Group B standings. The European champions were thoroughly outplayed by a convincing Swiss side who have increased their chances of qualification to the next round significantly with this win as the likes of Latvia, Hungary, Faroe Islands and Andorra could be easily outplayed by Switzerland.

While Germany, Wales and Austria won their respective matches to start off the qualifying campaign on a much-needed high, France were held back by Belarus at the Borysov Arena. France’s goalscoring woes in Karim Benzema’s absence continued as Didier Deschamp’s men failed to find the back of the net against a determined Belarus side.

Belgium won against Cyprus courtesy a brace from Romelu Lukaku. Roberto Martinez, Belgium’s new manager looked upbeat post an impressive performance from the Red Devils but Belgium has a number of tricky fixtures ahead with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece winning their respective Group H matches.

While England started with a win against Slovakia in Group F, their eliminators in the European championships Iceland were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine in a Group i fixture. Sam Allardyce has made a cautious start to his career as an England manager but will need to ponder over a lot of his squad options over the next few months.

Spain and Italy won their Group G matches, as did Albania, with Spain all but annihilating Lichtenstein in a 8-0 victory. With only the first round of matches being played, qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is still a long distance away for all the competing UEFA nations but the first international break of the season has thrown up a set of intriguing results across Europe.

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