There was no shock result for Krzysztof Piątek and the Polish national team on Saturday evening as they defeated San Marino 5-0 in Warsaw, which keeps them in touch of Albania and England at the top of the group table. Our striker was substituted on for the second half and scored Poland’s fifth in the first minute of injury time. A crucial fixture in Albania on Tuesday is their next test. Dedryck Boyata’s Belgium, who lost the UEFA Nations League semi-final against France on Thursday, now face Italy in a third-place play-off in Turin on Sunday (kick-off 15:00 CEST).
Friday night: Four points from three games
Peter Pekarík and Slovakia suffered a 1-0 defeat to Russia in Kazan as part of World Cup qualifying on Friday night. The only goal of the match was an own goal by Skriniar. Pekarík, who made his 105th appearance for the side, was subbed off in the 80th minute. Head coach Štefan Tarkovič’s team will now face a tough task as they are up against Croatia on Monday. The 2018 World Cup runner-ups top Group H (16 points), ahead of Russia (16), Slovenia (10) and Slovakia (7).
Meanwhile, Stevan Jovetić and Montenegro were able to celebrate a 3-0 win against Gibraltar. Jovetić was an unused substitute. Head coach Miodrag Radulovic’s side are currently in fourth (11 points), behind the Netherlands (16), Norway (14) and Turkey (12). They will now face Norway on Monday (20:45 CEST) and will hope to pick up three more important points on their way to qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
Jurgen Ekkelenkamp was in action with the Netherlands U21s, as they look to qualify for the 2023 U21 European Championship in Romania and Georgia. The Dutch have taken four points from their first two games, having beaten Moldova and drawn against Switzerland. Zirkzee scored twice to secure a 2-2 draw (62’, 68’). Ekkelenkamp featured for 87 minutes. Next up, the team will face Wales U21s on Tuesday.