RPL players on international duty: Azmoun's crucial goal against Lebanon, Kvaratskhelia's match-winning double over Sweden

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On 11 November, 2022 World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies involving Russian Premier Liga players took place.

2022 World Cup qualifiers


Group B

Georgia 2-0 Sweden

Rubin winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored his first double at senior level against Sweden. The 20-year-old opened the scoring in the 61st minute and scored the second goal 17 minutes later, and was replaced in the 81st minute. Now Kvaratskhelia has five goals in 11 matches for the national team. Arsenal midfielder Zuriko Davitashvili also played for Georgia, coming on in the 70th minute. Krasnodar midfielder Viktor Claesson played 74 minutes for Sweden.

Georgia wrapped up their qualification campaign with seven points from eight matches to finish fourth in the group. On 15 November, they will play a friendly against Uzbekistan in Batumi. Sweden are left with 15 points and lost the group lead after Spain’s 1-0 win over Greece. On 14 November, Spain and Sweden will meet in Seville.

Group H

Malta 1-7 Croatia

Zenit defender Dejan Lovren remained on the bench for Croatia against Malta. Zlatko Dalic's team scored seven goals ahead of the clash with Russia for the first time in 15 years; the last such case was the 7-0 win over Andorra in October 2006 during Euro 2008 qualification. Croatia (20pts) are second in the group, two points behind Russian (22pts). On 14 November, Croatia and Russia face each other in Split, with first place and direct qualification for the 2022 World Cup at stake.

Slovakia 2-2 Slovenia

CSKA defender Jaka Bijol missed the match in Trnava due to suspension. Without the Armyman, 10-man Slovenia earned a point, with the visitors’ second goal scored by former Rostov, Zenit and Sochi player Miha Mevlja. Slovakia and Slovenia remain third and fourth respectively on 11 points apiece. Their last qualifiers will be held on 14 November: Slovenia vs Cyprus, and Malta vs Slovakia.

Group J

Armenia 0-5 North Macedonia

Rostov midfielder Khoren Bayramyan spent the match on the bench, while Krasnodar midfielder Eduard Spertsyan did not play because he was serving a ban. After the defeat, Armenia dropped to fourth place in the group with 12 points, leaving North Macedonia to take second place with 15 points. On 14 November, Armenia will host group leaders Germany in Yerevan.

South America

Paraguay 0-1 Chile

Dynamo defender Fabian Balbuena remained on the bench for Paraguay, who lost at home to Chile. Paraguay are eighth in the South American group with 12 points from 13 games. Their next match is on 16 November away to Colombia.

Brazil 1-0 Colombia

Zenit midfielder Wilmar Barrios was shown a yellow card in the 78th minute, his second of the qualifiers. Colombia are fifth on 16 points, while group leaders Brazil have already booked their place in the Finals after reaching 34 points.

Asia, 3rd round

Group A

South Korea 1-0 UAE

Rubin midfielder In-beom Hwang played the full match for South Korea. After five matchdays, Paulo Bento's team are second in the group with 11 points, and will play the next game on 16 November away against Iraq.

Lebanon 1-2 Iran

Zenit striker Sardar Azmoun helped Iran to snatch victory in Lebanon. By the 90th minute the hosts were leading 1-0, but at the beginning of added time Azmoun equalized; in the fifth added minute, Ahmad Nourollahi scored the winner for the visitors. The Zenit forward scored his 38th goal for Iran, in doing so registering a direct goal contribution for the sixth consecutive international game with four goals and three assists.

Iran top the group with four wins and one draw from five matches. On 16 November, Dragan Skocic's team will meet Syria on the road.

Friendly matches

Serbia 4-0 Qatar

Krasnodar defender Uros Spajic played the entire match against Qatar. On 14 November, Serbia will face Portugal in their last World Cup qualifier. Both teams have 17 points, but Portugal head the group on goal difference.

Ukraine 1-1 Bulgaria

Arsenal midfielder Georgi Kostadinov came on in the 69th minute with Bulgaria 1-0 up, but in the end the visitors had to settle for a draw. Next, Bulgaria will play Switzerland in a 2022 World Cup qualifier on 15 November, but they have already lost the chance to finish in the top two, lying six points behind both Switzerland and Italy.

Photo: Asian Football Confederation


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