Bianconeri International Round-Up: Part three
Sami Khedira was a 60th minute substitute in Germany’s 6-0 win over Norway, in Khedira’s hometown of Stuttgart.
The Germans hold a healthy lead at the top of Group C, having won all of their games and scored 35 goals. A win away to Northern Ireland in October will see them qualify for Russia.
Wojciech Szczesny sat out Poland’s 3-0 victory against Kazakhstan. The Poles currently lead a tight Group E, but could need to win their next two games against Armenia and Montenegro in order to qualify automatically.
Italy did just enough to beat Israel, with a Ciro Immobile header proving the difference in a 1-0 win. Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli featured for the entirety of the match, Federico Bernardeschi came off the bench in the 87th minute, while Daniele Rugani was an unused substitute.
Spain remain three points ahead of the Italians and are currently in command of Group G. Other results mean that Italy need just a point against Macedonia in Turin to book their play-off spot, when the two sides meet in October.
Mario Mandzukic’s Croatia suffered a 1-0 defeat to Turkey in Eskisehir to make Group I perhaps the closest to call of them all. Croatia still lead the way on 16 points, boasting a superior goal difference to Iceland (also on 16), then Turkey and Ukraine on 14 apiece, meaning that all four sides can still qualify for Russia next year.
Croatia face eliminated Finland at home in October, before travelling to Ukraine and could need maximum points to ensure qualification.
Juan Cuadrado played the first half and Alex Sandro was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw between Colombia and Brazil in Barranquilla.
Brazil are guaranteed top spot in their World Cup South American qualifying group. As for Colombia, they sit third in the group and could need to win both of their next two games against Paraguay and Peru next month to make sure they are on the plane to Russia.
Argentina were held at home to bottom of the table Venezuela in a shock 1-1 draw, with Paulo Dybala playing just over 60 minutes of the encounter before being replaced. The result leaves his side in fifth place, in the group’s only play-off spot, one point ahead of Chile. Argentina meet Peru at home in October before travelling to Ecuador.
Medhi Benatia played the full 90 minutes in Morocco’s 0-0 stalemate away to Mali, which leaves them in second place in World Cup African qualifying Group C, one point behind the Ivory Coast.
Morocco meet Gabon at home in October, and then finally end their group with a potentially decisive trip to the Ivory Coast in November.
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