Five things we learned from World Cup qualifying

Five things we learned from World Cup qualifying
  • There were some spectacular results in qualifying for Qatar 2022
  • Some surprise standouts emerged in on either side of the Atlantic
  • Read on for insight and analysis from the past week

The big boys can be beaten

Although several favourites still recorded comfortable wins, most notably , several matches threw up surprising results.

Few would have predicted that the Netherlands would lose in their opening FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifier. Having looked unstoppable after their 6-0 rout of Germany in the UEFA Nations League last autumn, Spain toiled to secure a , before only thanks to an injury-time winner.

Burak Yilmaz puts Turkey 2-0 up against the Netherlands from the penalty spot

© imago images

The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Finalists had perhaps the most stuttering start of all, with Russia 2018 runners-up Croatia suffering a in their first qualifier, while reigning champions France dropped two points with a .