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Bruno Fernandes scores double, sending Portugal to 2022 World Cup

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PORTO, PORTUGAL - MARCH 23: Portugal's Vitor Ferreira (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd L) attend a training session ahead 2022 FIFA World Cup European Qualification semifinal playoff match between Portugal and Turkiye, at Dragao Stadium in Porto, Portugal on March 23, 2022. ( Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency )
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Mar 30, 2022 - 03:58 AM

ANKARA (AA) – A Bruno Fernandes double gave Portugal a 2-0 win against North Macedonia in the European Qualifiers playoff final Tuesday to send them to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Portugal scored the opener in the 32nd minute at Porto’s Dragao Stadium after Manchester United star Fernandes intercepted the ball in midfield.

The Portuguese midfielder made a one-two with his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and then Fernandes entered the area to fire a shot that beat North Macedonian goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.

Home team Portugal led the first half 1-0.

Fernando Santos’ men made it 2-0 in the 65th minute as Fernandes scored another goal from short distance on a counter attack.

The Portuguese national team’s 2-0 win earned them a spot at Qatar 2022. Meanwhile, North Macedonia’s fairy tale ended in the playoff final.

North Macedonia shocked UEFA EURO 2020 champions Italy 1-0 last week to face Portugal.

Portugal have been a World Cup mainstay since 2002. North Macedonia have never been in the World Cup finals.

Meanwhile, Turkiye, who were previously eliminated by Portugal 3-1, lost to Italy 3-2 in a friendly match Tuesday at MEDAS Konya Buyuksehir Stadium in the Turkish city of Konya.

Cengiz Under and Serdar Dursun were the scorers for Turkiye.

Italy’s Bryan Cristante and Giacomo Raspadori (2) scored for the visitors.

The 2022 World Cup will be held Nov. 21 to Dec. 18 with 32 teams in eight groups.

Poland qualify for Qatar 2022

Meanwhile, Poland beat Sweden 2-0 at Silesian Stadium in Chorzow to go to the 2022 World Cup.

Polish forward Robert Lewandowski scored from the penalty spot in the 50th minute.

Piotr Zielinski put the ball into Sweden’s net in the 72nd minute to cement the victory.

Poland qualified for a World Cup tournament for the second time in a row.

They previously appeared in Russia in 2018.

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