FIFA WCQ, England and Denmark register big wins: Records broken
England took another step towards qualification for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar by beating minnows Andorra. The Three Lions thrashed the 156th-ranked team in the world in what was a collective performance. England youngsters Phil Foden, Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka impressed largely for the Euro 2020 finalists. Meanwhile, Denmark maintained their 100% win record. We decode the key stats.
Foden and Sancho combined to see Ben Chilwell score England's opener in the 17th minute. Foden then laid the perfect pass for Saka to make it 2-0. AS Roma forward Abraham added the third in the hour mark. Southampton mid-fielder James Ward-Prowse scored England's fourth late on from a rebound after his penalty was saved. Jack Grealish netted with his brilliant solo effort thereafter.
England registered their 12th clean sheet across competitions in 2021. This is now the most the Three Lions have kept in a single calendar year in their history, surpassing the 11 clean sheets in 1966. England had five different goal-scorers (Chilwell, Saka, Abraham, Ward-Prowse, and Grealish) in a game for the first time since March 2013 versus San Marino (6 - excluding own goals).
As per Opta, Grealish became the first substitute to win a penalty and score a goal in a European WCQ while playing 17 minutes or fewer since Nicklas Bendtner, who achieved this in a six-minute cameo for Denmark versus Republic of Ireland in November 2017. Sam Johnstone became the first keeper to provide an assist in a European WCQ since Asmir Begovic for Bosnia.
As per Opta, Saka (20y 34d) is the youngest player to score in consecutive appearances for England since Wayne Rooney in 2004 (18y 241d). Abraham is the first player to score for England while affiliated to an Italian team since David Platt (Sampdoria) versus Sweden in June 1995. As per Squawka Football, Chilwell had more touches (119) and won more fouls (4) versus Andorra.
Denmark beat Moldova 4-0 away to seal three points. Placed in Group F, Denmark have now won seven successive games in the qualifiers. They have 21 points in total. Andreas Skov Olsen was the hero for Denmark, scoring once and providing two assists. Simon Kjaer, Christian Norgaard, and Joakim Maehle were the other scorers on the night.
Denmark are yet to concede in the ongoing qualifying matches. They have scored 26 goals in seven games, having a goal difference of +26. Kjaer has now scored in back-to-back World Cup qualifying games for Denmark. Meanwhile, Olsen has registered five goals and five assists in 12 international appearances for the Danes.