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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Slovakia win three-way fight for second place in World Cup qualifying

Slovakia won a three-way fight for second place in Group F of European qualifying for next year's World Cup thanks to a 3-0 victory over Malta and the 2-2 draw between Slovenia and Scotland on Sunday.

By: AP | Published: October 9, 2017 12:47:36 am
Slovakia, Malta, Slovenia, England, World Cup qualifier, sports news, football, Indian Express Slovakia finished ahead of Scotland on goal difference. (Source: Reuters)

Slovakia won a three-way fight for second place in Group F of European qualifying for next year’s World Cup thanks to a 3-0 victory over Malta and the 2-2 draw between Slovenia and Scotland on Sunday.

England, which was already sure of first place and an automatic berth in the tournament in Russia, beat Lithuania 1-0 to conclude an undefeated campaign with 26 points from a possible 30.

Slovakia finished ahead of Scotland on goal difference and must wait to see if it has clinched a place in the playoffs, containing the eight best runners-up from the nine groups. The group stage finishes on Tuesday.

The Scots started the final round in second place and would have guaranteed a playoff spot with a victory in Ljubliana.

They went 1-0 up through Leigh Griffiths, then equalized for 2-2 in the 88th through Robert Snodgrass. Bostjan Cesar’s red card in injury time left Slovenia a man down for the final three minutes, but Scotland couldn’t find a winner.

Slovakia had it easy, as expected, against Malta as Adam Nemec scored twice and Ondrej Duda added a third goal. Harry Kane scored England’s winner against Lithuania.

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