Cristiano Ronaldo primarily assured that Portugal would make the 2022 FIFA World Cup in its closing European group-stage qualifier at house towards Serbia. But the assure got here up brief and now he must sweat it out to make what is going to possible be his final World Cup.
Portugal entered the ultimate group match in first place in Group A, and a win or draw would have been sufficient for it to e-book its ticket to Qatar 2022. Instead, it misplaced to Serbia 2-1 on a late objective, ending second and settling for a spot in the playoffs to resolve whether or not the 36-year-old Ronaldo will get an opportunity to shut out his legendary profession with a World Cup trophy.
But the playoffs will be tough: Portugal must win two separate one-off knockout matches or miss out on the World Cup for the primary time since 1998. Portugal and Ronaldo followers will be praying the playoff draw is sort to them.
European qualifying Group A closing standings
- Serbia: 20 factors
- Portugal: 17
- Republic of Ireland: 9
- Luxembourg: 9
- Azerbaijan: 1
How Europe’s World Cup playoffs work
Twelve European nations — the ten second-place group finishers and two groups from the UEFA Nations League group winners — will be break up into three brackets of 4 groups every. Those three brackets will every have a single World Cup ticket on the road.
The 4 groups in every of the three brackets will first play a single-elimination semifinal stage (March 24-25), adopted by a single-elimination playoff closing (March 28-29). Only the winner of the ultimate will make it to Qatar.
The draw to find out the four-team brackets will happen on Nov. 26. Eight of the 12 playoff groups are already recognized with the remainder of the sector decided by Wednesday, Nov. 16. Ronaldo’s Portugal is at present the highest-ranked workforce in the playoff discipline (listed beneath in alphabetical order):
|Nation||FIFA Ranking||How certified||World Cup apps||Titles|
|Austria||32||Nations League||7 of 21||—|
|Czech Republic||31||2nd – Grp. E / Nations League||1 of 6
(as Czech Rep.)
|North Macedonia||74||2nd – Grp. J||0 of seven
|Portugal||8||2nd – Grp. A||7 of 21||—|
|Russia||33||2nd – Grp. H||4 of seven
|Scotland||42||2nd – Grp. F||8 of 21||—|
|Sweden||17||2nd – Grp. B||12 of 21||—|
|Wales||19||2nd – Grp. E / Nations League||1 of 21||—|
|TBD||2nd – Grp. C|
|TBD||2nd – Grp. D|
|TBD||2nd – Grp. G|
|TBD||2nd – Grp. I|
Portugal final certified through the playoff for the 2014 World Cup. That European playoff format was primarily based on a two-match sequence in which Portugal obtained previous Sweden in an epic duel between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. That showdown could happen as soon as once more in the playoffs for the 2022 version.
Ronaldo is trying to make his fifth World Cup, having certified for the final 4 with Portugal. His nation appeared to be cruising to first place in Group A, solely to attract the Republic of Ireland 0-0 on Thursday after which lose to Serbia at house on Sunday to shut out group play.
It was after that 0-0 draw in Dublin that Ronaldo felt compelled to guarantee Portuguese nationwide workforce followers that qualification would occur at house in the ultimate recreation. “On Sunday, in front of our fans at home, we’re going to book our place in the Qatar World Cup,” learn the ultimate line (translated from Portuguese) of his Instagram publish to his 366 million followers.