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Thursday, December 1, 2022

While You Were Asleep: Australia qualify for Qatar 2022, Croatia shock winless France, Ronaldo pens down heartfelt note to Marcelo

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Australia have qualified for the 2022 World Cup following a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Peru in their intercontinental playoff on Monday.

Australia have reached their fifth consecutive World Cup.

Substitute goalkeeper Redmayne was the hero for Australia with two key penalty saves. Luis Advincula and Alex Valera miss spot-kicks for Peru.

Australia will meet defending champion France in the opening game of Group D on November 22, and take on Tunisia and Denmark.

The final place at the World Cup will be filled in the same stadium on Tuesday when Costa Rica meets New Zealand.

Modric stars in Croatia’s win

France’s hopes of retaining the UEFA Nations League title were ended by a 1-0 home defeat against Croatia.

Luka Modric scored in the fifth minute of the game, which proved to be the match’s only goal. Ibrahima Konate was penalised for a foul on Ante Budimir.

This was Croatia’s first win over France comes at the tenth attempt. In the previous nine encounters, they have lost six and drawn three. The red-hot Croats have lost only one of their last 13 games, and have only failed to score in one of their last 12 Nations League fixtures. They have kept five clean sheets in their last six away internationals.

Meanwhile, the World Cup holders France have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine UEFA Nations League matches.

Ronaldo’s emotional note to Marcelo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo had an incredible nine years playing down the left-wing together for Real Madrid. They had a telepathic relationship. Brazilian full-back Marcelo on Monday bids adieu to Real Madrid, and his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo paid tribute with an emotional note on social media.

More than a teammate, a brother that football gave me,” posted Ronaldo.

“On and off the pitch, one of the greatest stars with whom I had the pleasure of sharing a dressing room. Go for it all in this new adventure, Marcelo!”

The 34-year-old made 546 appearances for the club since joining in 2007 and leaves as the most decorated player in Real’s 120-year history.

“This is not a goodbye; I do not feel that I am leaving Real Madrid. The club’s future is secure with promising young talent, and in that I include my son, who is playing well in the academy. I arrived as a child, and I leave as a man,” Marcelo said at the press conference.


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