Britain England Hungary WCup 2022 Soccer
England's John Stones, right, is congratulated by teammate Raheem Sterling after scoring his team's first goal during the World Cup 2022 group I qualifying soccer match between England and Hungary at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
soccer

Fan unrest as Hungary draws at England; Poland walks off

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Crowd trouble marred World Cup qualifiers as Hungary fans clashed with police during a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley Stadium and Poland's players walked off in Albania after bottles were hurled in another Group I match on Tuesday.

Karol Świderski had just scored for Poland in the 77th minutes when he was struck by a bottle thrown from the stands. It led to the game being suspended for around 20 minutes before Poland returned to the field and held on to win 1-0.

Euro 2020 finalist England is now three points behind Poland, with games against Albania and San Marino remaining next month in the pursuit of automatic qualification for a place at the World Cup in Qatar next year.

The disorder in London happened around kickoff after home players taking a knee had been booed by the visiting fans.

“Officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offense following comments made towards a steward,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators.”

Police were seen wielding batons to hold back the visiting fans but the rest of the game passed off largely peacefully.

Luke Shaw’s foul on Loic Nego led to Roland Sallai putting Hungary ahead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.

England recovered a point in the 37th minute when John Stones turned in a free kick from Manchester City teammate Phil Foden.

England coach Gareth Southgate even took captain Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling off with 15 minutes to go for Jordan Henderson and Tammy Abraham.

But England couldn't produce a winner, dropping points in World Cup qualifier at home for the first time since a draw against Ukraine in September 2012.

“Disappointing performance," Southgate said. "Full credit to Hungary, I thought they caused us a tactical problem and I don’t think we played at the level we needed to play.

“We’ll go away and think about the balance of the team but individually we can do better as well. We shouldn’t just judge things on one game, right across the board we weren’t sharp with our play, gave the ball away."

Disorder by Hungary fans — including racism — during the home match against England in Budapest last month led to Hungary having to play Saturday’s game against Albania in an empty stadium.

FIFA put Hungary on probation with the threat of another game being played without fans if there was further disorder at games.

PORTUGAL 5, LUXEMBOURG 0

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 10th international hat trick as Portugal cruised past Luxembourg 5-0 in World Cup qualifying to stay close to group leader Serbia.

Serbia kept a one-point cushion at the top of Group A by defeating last-place Azerbaijan 3-1 at home. It has 17 points, one more than Portugal, which has a game in hand.

Serbia’s last game is at Portugal in November. Portugal, which has won four in a row in qualifying, will play at Ireland before the decisive match against the Serbians.

It was the 58th career hat trick for club and country for Ronaldo, who took his record scoring tally to 115 international goals by converting two early penalty kicks and finding the net again near the end. Bruno Fernandes and João Palhinha also scored for Portugal.

“We had three final lefts and we succeeded in this one,” said Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patrício, who made his 100th appearance with the national team. “Two to go now.”

Bernardo Silva was fouled to prompt the first penalty in the eighth minute, while Ronaldo himself was brought down inside the area before converting the second penalty in the 13th. He had to retake it, though, after André Silva entered the area too early.

Ronaldo also struck the post a few minutes later, and in the 18th Fernandes added to the lead after being set up by Bernardo Silva.

Palhinha scored the fourth in the 69th, moments after Ronaldo came close with a bicycle kick that was saved by Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris.

Ronaldo completed his hat trick in the 87th to reach 25 goals in his last 16 World Cup qualifying matches

SWITZERLAND 4, LITHUANIA 0

Switzerland set up a World Cup qualifying showdown game with Italy by beating Lithuania 4-0.

The win lifted Switzerland level on points with Italy ahead of the last two rounds next month — starting with their meeting in Rome on Nov. 12.

Italy is top because its goal difference is two better than the Swiss, who got their biggest win in qualifying Tuesday to close the gap. Only the group winner advances directly to the World Cup in Qatar, and the runner-up enters a 12-nation playoffs in March.

Switzerland forward Breel Embolo scored twice either side of Renato Steffen’s lobbed shot in a 14-minute spell just before halftime in Lithuania. Substitute Mario Gavranovic got the fourth goal deep in second-half stoppage time.

European champion Italy aims to return to the World Cup after failing to qualify for the 2018 edition.

Italy hosts the Swiss before traveling to Northern Ireland three days later. Switzerland completes its program at home to Bulgaria which it beat 3-1 in Sofia in March.

Two second-half goals by Todor Nedelev helped Bulgaria beat Northern Ireland 2-1 on Tuesday, hours after its soccer federation’s election restored Borislav Mihaylov as president almost two years after he resigned.

Mihaylov, who was goalkeeper in Bulgaria’s 1994 World Cup semifinalist team, beat candidates including former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov.

SWEDEN 2, GREECE 0

Sweden climbed above Spain to the top of their World Cup qualifying group with a 2-0 win over Greece.

Alexander Isak was fouled for the 59th-minute penalty converted by Emil Forsberg before scoring himself 10 minutes later, latching onto a long clearance by goalkeeper Robin Olsen and rounding Greece keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos to shoot into the net.

Sweden moved two points clear of Spain in Group B with two games remaining for each team next month. One of those is a meeting between the countries in Spain.

Only one country gains an automatic qualifying spot in the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

Third-place Greece's chances of finishing in second place and earning a playoff place were damaged by its second-half display at the Friends Arena in Stockholm that ended with Pantelis Chatzidiakos getting sent off for collecting two yellow cards.

The Greeks were better in the first half, hitting the post through Giorgos Masouras and the crossbar through fellow forward Vangelis Pavlidis.

Greece is four points behind Spain.

Georgia beat Kosovo 2-1 in the other game in the group.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


2 Comments
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Hungarian fans involved in racism and riots at a soccer match? Geez, there's a shock! Not.

Ban all Hungary fans from all matches going forward. Far too dangerous to allow them into stadiums.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Eastern european fans are really regressing back in time.....they seem to be embracing the far right and engaging in football violence not seen since the late 80s early 90s. I'm all for boisterous singing and aggression from the stands....in support of your team, but when that crosses the stand boundary then that's gotta stop. FIFA should ban their supporters from games, not just at home, but away as well.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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