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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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World 2022: England And Switzerland In Qatar Qualified, Italy In Playoffs

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There was no suspense. England scored no less than ten goals to clinch its ticket to the next World Cup, Monday night against San Marino (0-10), in Serravalle. Harry Kane, author of a quadruple, and his teammates have ensured the Three Lions their 16th participation in the most prestigious competition.

Switzerland qualified in style for the next World Cup in Qatar by beating Bulgaria 4-0 on Monday in Lucerne, while European champions Italy failed to win in Northern Ireland (0-0) and will play in the playoffs.

England suffered much less and definitely secured its ticket to the World Cup in 2022 by pulverizing San Marino (10-0).

As usual, the Three Lions finished at the top of Group I, ahead of Poland, with 26 points out of a possible 30, having conceded only two draws and won eight. They have scored 39 goals in 10 games, conceding only three on Monday, when they crushed San Marino (10-0), with a four-goal haul from Harry Kane.

Gareth Southgate had largely rotated two Arsenal players, goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe, into the starting line-up for the first time, before introducing Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher in the second half. Harry Maguire headed in the fifth minute, just as he did three days ago in the ninth minute against Albania (5-0).

The play-offs are shaping up to be exciting, if not dramatic, come March: 12 countries will start, including Italy and Portugal, the last two European champions, and only three places at the end.

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