(Moldova 0–4 Denmark) 26–0 goal difference, goal record and steady course towards the World Cup. Kasper Hjulmands Danmark is in the process of completing an unprecedented World Cup qualifier.
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Winger Joakim Mæhle’s 4-0 goal against Moldova was his 26th goal in the World Cup qualifiers. Never before had Denmark scored so many in a qualifier, neither for the World Cup nor for the European Championships. They scored 24 in the 2018 World Cup qualifier.
If not 26 goals in seven games it is an achievement in itself: Kasper Hjulmand’s men have won all seven in Group F and still have the benefit of conceding goals in the World Cup qualifiers.
No one has scored more goals than the Danes in the World Cup qualifiers, and not only that: they are the only nation that has not conceded goals in the World Cup qualifiers.
You can secure a ticket to the World Cup on Tuesday
The distance to Group runner-up Scotland is seven points, and with a win against Austria on Tuesday, the World Cup ticket will be in the box regardless of how Scotland does it.
Saturday’s game against Moldova was already decided before the break.
Andreas Olsen put the European Championship semi-finalist ahead in the 23rd minute, before Gullballen nominee Simon Kjær doubled the lead with a brilliant penalty eleven minutes later. Christian Nørgaard made it 3-0 with his first goal for the national team in the 39th minute, before Mæhle set the record just before half-time.
The excellent first half gave Hjulmand a chance to rest key players and save energy for the next match against Austria.
The Danish coach used his five substitutes and let Simon Kjær, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Thomas Delaney, Andreas Olsen and Yussuf Poulsen rest.
With all the changes and a 4-0 lead in the area, the Danes took their foot off the gas after the break. They were closer to 5-0 than Moldova was reducing, but it was still a goalless second half.
The Danes, who impressed the entire soccer world with their efforts on and off the pitch during this summer’s European Championships, must catastrophically stumble and miss the World Cup in Qatar. If they give up their first points against Austria on Tuesday, the Faroe Islands and Scotland await in November.
Goal celebration in English
England, leading Denmark from this summer’s European Championship semi-final, like the Danes, are on a steady course towards the World Cup and had no trouble taking all points away from Andorra on Saturday night.
Gareth Southgate made up to ten changes from the previous international match against Poland, without affecting the English. Ben Chilwell sent the Three Lions in the lead before Bukayo Saka doubled the lead. Tammy Abraham, who got her first game for England from the start in four years, scored England’s third.
Then James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish fixed 4- and 5-0.
Other results in the World Cup qualifiers
Scotland 3-2 Israel
Switzerland-Northern Ireland 2-0
Faroe Islands-Austria 0-2
Poland-San Marino 4-0