Belgium officially became the sixth team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after defeating Greece 2-1 Sunday on the back of this Romelu Lukaku header:
Ben Woodburn became Liverpool's youngest-ever goalscorer last season during the EFL Cup. The now 17-year-old attacker made his Wales debut in a World Cup qualifier against Austria Saturday, and, guess what, he scored.
And it was a banger.
Ben Woodburn comes on and scores on his Wales debut against Austria. Scored on his Liverpool and Wales debut. 17 years old. pic.twitter.com/bNJkZGRenK
It's been said on this website that on recent form Isco is the best player in the world. I have not been saying this, but Isco made me a believer today with his performance in Spain's 3-0 win against Italy, all but guaranteeing them World Cup qualification.
Isco's first goal was a beautiful free kick that hopefully ensures Sergio Ramos never again decides he should be the one to take set pieces for Spain.
Belgium's latest qualifier was against Gibraltar (whose record now reads played seven, lost seven, conceded 33), so many are claiming that right back Thomas Meunier is the beneficiary of coming up against the worst international left back of all time. Still, any match in which a defender records a hat trick of both goals and assists should be roundly applauded.
August was a kind month for Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba. United currently sit atop the Premier League table after trouncing West Ham, Swansea and Leicester by a combined scoreline of 10-0, with Pogba scoring two goals and registering an assist in three dominating individual displays.
He was duly awarded the club’s Player of the Month award, and with Nemanja Matic now anchoring the midfield alongside him, the Frenchman used August as a showcase of things to come.
What a moment this was: Philippe Coutinho, plagued by a back injury that, according to Brazil national team doctor Michael Simoni, “was something emotional” and simply required “a pep talk” to resolve, turned out for Brazil after missing Liverpool’s opening five competitive fixtures and scored a goal 16 minutes after coming on! Warrior.
France steamrolled the Netherlands 4-0 in Paris on Thursday night, climbing to the top of UEFA Qualifying Group A in the process. A brace from Thomas Lemar and additional goals from Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe marked a famous victory for the French, but this Dutch side is a shell of the one that finished third at the 2014 World Cup.
Japan joined hosts Russia, Brazil and fellow AFC side Iran as the only countries to have booked their places at next summer’s World Cup finals after defeating Australia 2-0 in front of over 60,000 delirious supporters. This will be Japan’s sixth straight World Cup finals appearance.
Takuma Asano gave the Samurai Blue the lead in the 41st minute, and 21-year-old midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi secured the victory with this stunning goal in the 82nd. With only one matchday remaining in AFC qualifying, Australia’s road to Russia just got a lot more complicated.
Major League Soccer may be a retirement home for some, but David Villa affirmed last week you can still factor into one of the best national teams in the world while plying your trade in MLS.
So why can’t Sebastian Giovinco get a recall from Italy?
Villa earned a spot on the Spanish roster for the two upcoming World Cup qualifiers after starting the season with 19 league goals for New York City FC. These aren’t throw-away qualifiers either; Spain faces Italy for first place in UEFA Group G on Saturday.