Denmark vs Republic of Ireland :
Christian Eriksen scored a superb hat trick as Denmark qualified for next year’s World Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Ireland in their playoff on Tuesday.
With last week’s first leg having finished 0-0, Ireland made an ideal start to the return match by taking the lead in the sixth minute through defender Shane Duffy.
But Denmark’s players gradually took control in midfield and were rewarded when Andreas Christensen’s effort went into the net off Ireland’s Cyrus Christie in the 29th minute.
Eriksen then stole the show, putting the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute, and scoring two more after the break.
Nicklas Bendtner turned a deserved victory into a rout when he converted a penalty in the 90th minute.
Next year’s tournament in Russia will be Denmark’s fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2010.
Denmark coach Age Hareide paid tribute to Eriksen, who has been on fine form this season for Tottenham in the Premier League and the Champions League.
A raucous home crowd in Dublin had been treated to the perfect start when Robbie Brady’s free kick from just beyond the halfway line was flicked on by Denmark’s Nicolai Jorgensen. The ball rose into the path of center back Duffy, who headed home.
Pione Sisto went past Harry Arter after a short corner and pulled the ball back for Christensen, whose touch just managed to send the ball over the line despite Christie’s efforts to try and divert it away.
Three minutes later, Yussef Poulsen showed good tenacity to steal possession off Stephen Ward, before exchanging passes with Jorgensen. The ball was worked to the left, where Eriksen struck a first-time shot into the net via the crossbar – giving Ireland keeper Darren Randolph no chance.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill made two changes at the break as his team tried to chase the game. It made for an open contest, but it played into Denmark’s hands.
The contest was over in the 63rd minute when Sisto picked out Eriksen. The Tottenham forward was given too much time on the edge of the area and fired the ball home – with Ciaran Clark and Duffy unable to reach him.
It was a match to forget for Ward, who failed to control a cross and allowed Eriksen to race onto the loose ball and rifle it into the top corner in the 74th minute.
A bad night for Ireland was compounded when James McClean gave away a penalty for a foul on Bendtner, with the former Arsenal striker scoring from the spot.
“We were well beaten,” O’Neill said. “We fought tooth and nail to try and get into this position. This was a playoff to take us to the World Cup, I have to commend the players for getting this far.”
Australia vs Honduras :
The Australian soccer team defeated the Honduras on Wednesday and assured themselves a spot for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They defeated their rivals with the final score of 3-1 and sealed their playoff victory.
Mile Jedinak played a heroic game against the Hondurans after deflecting a free kick as well as completing a pair of penalties.
The Australian national soccer team had missed the services of Jedinak before the closing stages of the Asian qualifier. He was injured and forced him to seat out during that time. However, he managed to recuperate and came back stronger to help his team to their victory on Wednesday for a spot in the 2018 World Cup.
The Australian player scored against Henry Figueroa who is defending him in the 54th minute marker of their matchup. With their home court advantage, playing inside the jam-packed Olympic Stadium in Sydney, the team captain Jedinak made the spectators roar after he scored, as detailed through Associated Press.
According to the recorded figure, over 77,060 people watched the game.
He then managed to score another goal for the two penalties to complete their 3-1 victory against the Honduras. The national soccer team of Australia will be playing for the prestigious World Cup its 4thstraight appearance.
Before the matchup against the Australia, the Hondurans faced the Mexicans and defeated them to get a spot in the playoff with the final score of 3-2. This gave the team of Honduras an opportunity to face the Australian team.
Unfortunately, they Australians showed enough courage to win the match and earned them a spot next year.
It is not an easy journey for Australia because they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup during the Asian qualifier after they suffered a defeat against the Saudi Arabia.
However, they defeated the Syrians during the Asian playoff matches to give them a chance to face the Hondurans and won.
Peru vs. New Zealand :
Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 on Wednesday night to win a two-leg playoff and earn the 32nd and last spot in the 22-team World Cup field in Russia.
Peru won at home after tying 0-0 on Saturday in New Zealand. It last reached the World Cup in 1982.
Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring Wednesday in the 27th minute from the edge of the box.
Defender Christian Ramos made it 2-0 in the 64th minute after a mistake from New Zealand’s defense.
Peruvian players dedicated the win to striker Paolo Guerrero, who was suspended on doping suspicions.
New Zealand failed in a bid to reach its third World Cup.