Thursday, September 2nd, 2021
Spain’s first bankruptcy since 1993
Italy sets a world record despite the damper
Italy’s national football team has been unbeaten for three years – and despite the dampening against Bulgaria, the European champions set a world record. Spain, on the other hand, lost in the World Cup qualifiers for the first time in 28 years, while England clearly won.
Despite a sobering return to the gray everyday life, the new European soccer champions Italy have made another exclamation mark. 53 days after their title triumph in the penalty drama of the European Championship finals in London against hosts England, the Squadra Azzurra remained unbeaten in the World Cup qualifying with a weak 1-1 (1-1) against Bulgaria in the 35th international match in a row, thus providing the Record of the former world champions Brazil and Spain.
Due to the draw against the Eastern Europeans in the fourth game of Group C, coach Roberto Mancini’s team lost their previously clean slate in the race for the direct ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In Florence, Federico Chiesa (16th) initially put the Italians in the lead at his former place of work, but Atanas Ilijew (39th) unexpectedly equalized. Italy suffered their last defeat to date in September 2018 against Portugal.
In Germany’s Group J, surprise leaders Armenia maintained the lead in the standings. Three days before the group game in Stuttgart against the German national team, the Armenians DFB-Schreck North Macedonia defied a goalless draw in Skopje. Romania kept the connection to the top trio with a 2-0 (0-0).
Unlike Italy, vice-European champions England continue to strive for the World Cup tournament inexorably. With their fourth success with a sovereign 4-0 (0-0) against the German opponents of the European Championship and so far their closest rival Hungary, the Three Lions consolidated their lead in Group I with a still flawless record, now ahead of Poland, the one against Albania after the lead Munich’s world footballer Robert Lewandowski won 4-1 (2-1) with a goal from Bayern Munich.
Again racist insults in Hungary?
England also struggled for a long time in front of 60,000 spectators in Budapest. Against the strong Hungarians, Raheem Sterling (55th), Harry Kane (63rd), Harry Maguire (69th) and Declan Rice (87th) only met after the break. However, the English joy was clouded by reports of racist hostility in Budapest. Some viewers are said to have made monkey noises in the direction of Jude Bellingham and Raheem Steerling during the game, as the English media unanimously reported.
Hungary had been sentenced to play its next two UEFA home games without spectators for discriminatory behavior by its fans at the European Championship games in the summer. At that time, among other things, French players were racially insulted. However, the game in the World Cup qualification belongs to a competition of the world association FIFA, which is why spectators were allowed.
At the top of Group E, world number one Belgium kept its three-point lead over the Czech Republic (1-0 against Belarus) with a befitting 5: 2 (2: 1) in Estonia thanks to a brace from striker Romelu Lukaku.
On the other hand, EM semi-finalists Spain suffered a setback. The Iberians lost their first defeat in a World Cup elimination since 1993 with 1: 2 (1: 1) in Sweden, leading the group B to the Scandinavians. The ex-world champion Spain also did not help the early lead by Carlos Soler (4th): The ex-Dortmund Alexander Isak (5th) and Viktor Claesson (57th) turned the game in favor of the still flawless hosts.