2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (UEFA): France, Portugal Qualify; Netherlands Eliminated Despite Win

Former winners France and European champions Portugal have both qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after finishing atop their respective groups. 

France defeated Belarus 2-1 at home to finish as Group A winners. Atletico Madrid hitman Antoine Griezmann and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud got the goals for the 1998 World Cup winners.

Sweden can join France at next year’s World Cup via the playoffs after they secured their berth ahead of the Netherlands despite a 2-0 away loss to their rivals for a second-place finish.

Before the game, Dick Advocaat’s team needed to beat Sweden with seven unrepiled goals to secure a playoff spot but they could only manage two first half goals courtesy flying winger Arjen Robben meaning that they miss out to Sweden in the battle for the playoffs.

European champions Portugal have also booked their place at the World Cup in Russia following their impressive 2-0 home win over Switzerland.  In-form striker Andre Silva got one of the goals to help his team secure a spot as group winners ahead of former group leaders Switzerland.



Group A:

France 2-1 Belarus 

Netherlands 2-0 Sweden

Luxembourg 1-1 Bulgaria


1. France 23 points

2. Sweden 19 points

3. Netherlands 19 points

4. Bulgaria 13 points

5. Luxembourg 6 points

6. Belarus 5 points 

Group B

Portugal 2-0 Switzerland

Latvia 4-0 Andorra 

Hungary 1-0 Faroe Islands


1. Portugal 27 points

2. Switzerland 27 points

3. Hungary 13 points

4. Faroe Islands 9 points

5. Latvia 7 points

6. Andorra 4 points

Group H: 

Belgium 4-0 Cyprus

Greece 4-0 Gibraltar

Estonia 1-2 Bosnia and Herzegovina


1. Belgium 28 points

2. Greece 19 points

3. Bosnia and Herzegovina 17 points

4. Estonia 11 points

5. Cyprus 10 points

6. Gibraltar 0 point