2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (Europe): Former Winners On The Brink


Former World Cup winners France are on the brink of booking their place at next year’s tournament in Russia after they recorded a slim 1-0 win against Bulgaria in Group A.

Blaise Matuidi scored the only goal of the game for the visitors as early as the third minute to hand the French team their 6th win in the qualifiers. They just need a win against lowly Belarus at home in their final qualifier to seal a spot at the World Cup.

Still staying with the Group, three-time finalists Netherlands are in danger of missing out despite beating Belarus 3-1 away from home. The Oranje as they are fondly called are currently three points adrift of the playoff place and they next face Sweden, who occupy the playoff spot.

The 1974, 1978 and 2010 World Cup finalists need to beat Sweden at home on Tuesday by at least 7 goals to have any chance of booking their place in Russia 2018 via the playoffs.

In Group B, Switzerland only need a draw in their final qualifier against hosts Portugal on Tuesday to book their ticket after a dominant 5-2 win over Hungary with Arsenal star Granit Xhaka getting one of the goals for the home side.

On the other hand, Portugal will need to beat Switzerland in the aforementioned game to qualify for Russia 2018 automatically and condemn the Swiss to the playoffs. Superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Silva scored for the European Champions in a 2-0 win at Andorra to put them in that position.

Group A:

Sweden 8-0 Luxembourg

Bulgaria 0-1 France

Belarus 1-3 Netherlands


1. France 20 points

2. Sweden 19 points

3. Netherlands 16 points

4. Bulgaria 12 points

5. Belarus 5 points

6. Luxembourg 5 points

Group B:

Switzerland 5-2 Hungary

Faroe Islands 0-0 Latvia

Andorra 0-2 Portugal


1. Switzerland 27 points

2. Portugal 24 points

3. Hungary 10 points

4. Faroe Islands 9 points

5. Andorra 4 points

6. Latvia 4 points

Group H:

Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-4 Belgium

Cyprus 1-2 Greece

Gibraltar 0-6 Estonia



1. Belgium 25 points

2. Greece 16 points

3. Bosnia and Herzegovina 14 points

4. Estonia 11 points

5. Cyprus 10 points

6. Gibraltar 0 point