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WC qualifiers roundup: Tough night for Juventus stars

March 25, 2021 - 12:45 pm

Wednesday night witnessed the opening fixtures of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The European nations began their pursuit for a spot in Qatar next year, but it wasn’t all rosy for some of the Juventus stars.

We begin our roundup with Portugal, who were once again led by their captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo against Azerbaijan.

Although the Bianconeri star was playing at his adopted home – Juve’s Allianz stadium – his performance was far from convincing.

ilBianconero describes his outing as nervous, especially during the second half, when he reacted with anger after an interception by an opponent.

At the end of the day, Portugal came away with a bland 1-0 victory thanks to an own goal in the first half.

On the other hand, Adrien Rabiot was described by the same report as one of the best performers for France last night.

The reigning world champions were held at home by Ukraine, as Kimpembe’s own goal canceled out Antoine Griezmann’s brilliant curler.

The Juventus midfielder was present throughout the whole 90 minutes, and was favored to start by Didier Deschamps ahead of Paul Pogba.

Finally, Netherlands’ campaign began with a disappointing 4-2 defeat at the hands of Turkey.

Despite conceding four goals, Matthijs de Ligt performed relatively well for the Orange side.

The 21-year-old was unlucky to deflect Yilmaz’s shot on the first goal, but he almost scored himself, before his header crashed against the post.

The young defender also earned his side a late penalty kick, but it was wasted by Memphis Depay.

On the opposing side, Merih Demiral couldn’t take his usual spot within the Turkish national team due to his latest injury.

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