World Cup qualifying roundup 13/11: France and Belgium earn easy wins, Gareth Bale gets 100th cap

World Cup qualifying roundup 13/11: France and Belgium earn easy wins, Gareth Bale gets 100th cap

We’re another step closer to knowing which teams will reach Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, with Saturday night throwing up more one-sided thrashings and goals galore.

The likes of France and Belgium were in action, while it was also a very special evening for legendary Wales forward Gareth Bale.

Let’s get into the results from the European teams attempting to reach next year’s global showpiece.

We start off in Group D and Zenica, where there was a red card and a missed penalty in the clash between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Finland.

The visitors went ahead through Marcus Forss before they had Jukka Raitala sent off, though their depleted ranks managed to grab a second through Robin Lod.

Luke Menalo managed to pull one back, but Daniel O’Shaughnessy put the game to bed with Finland’s third.

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Shocking scenes as Rabiot scores for France / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Nobody expected much of an upset here, right?

Kylian Mbappe was in a ‘fill your boots’ mood early on, quickly netting a brace with two nice finishes. He got his hat trick well before half time, sending a lovely header from Kingsley Coman’s cross into the far corner, before Karim Benzema got in on the act.

The striker tapped in from close range before getting another simple goal, this time courtesy of Mbappe’s squared pass.

If Kazakhstan thought things couldn’t get any worse, Adrien Rabiot then scored. An actual goal from actual Adrien Rabiot. And then Antoine Griezmann scored a penalty. And then Mbappe got his fourth.

A pretty long night for Kazakhstan but a great one for France, who secured their spot at the World Cup thanks to the win.

You can find 90min’s France player ratings here.

Norway’s hopes of playoff spot took a blow as they were held to a goalless draw by lowly Latvia.

With no Erling Haaland in the squad, the likes of Alexander Sorloth and Martin Odegaard were tasked with breaking down the visitors, but no opening came despite their dominance in possession and the shooting stats.

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Turkey boosted their World Cup hopes / OZAN KOSE/GettyImages

Norway’s bad night was great news for Turkey, who smashed Gibraltar to boost their own qualification hopes.

Kerem Akturkoglu opened the scoring before Gibraltar’s Jayce Mascarenhas-Olivero was sent off, with Halil Dervisoglu’s double making it 3-0 before the break.

Merih Demiral, Serdar Dursun and Mert Muldur all grabbed a goal to complete the rout, pushing Turkey ahead of Norway in Group G on goal difference.

The Netherlands were two goals up and coasting against Montenegro, but threw it all away late on and had to settle for a draw.

Barcelona forward Memphis Depay grabbed two goals as he slammed in a pretty soft penalty to give the Dutch the lead before doubling that advantage with a close range finish.

However, strikes from Ilija Vukotic and Nikola Vujnovic in the 82nd and 86 minutes respectively ensured Holland would not secure qualification for the World Cup just yet.

The Christian Benteke renaissance of 2021 is still in full swing, with the Crystal Palace striker getting Belgium’s opener as they beat Estonia.

It was somewhat gifted to him by visiting goalkeeper Matvei Igonen, who spilled a simple cross into Benteke’s path to convert from about a yard out. Yannick Carrasco settled the affair in the second half, whipping in a brilliant effort from range into the top corner.

Erik Sorga did pull one back for Estonia, but Thorgan Hazard quickly reestablished Belgium’s two goal lead as the Red Devils secured their spot in Qatar.

Gareth Bale’s 100th cap for Wales was the main talking point in Cardiff on Saturday night as his side secured a hefty victory over Belarus.

The Real Madrid forward grabbed an assist when Neco Williams tucked one home, with Aaron Ramsey previously scoring with a tap in. Bale was taken off at half time before Wales were awarded a penalty, which Ramsey cooly converted.

Ben Davies then got his first international goal for Wales, the Tottenham defender bundling in from a corner, before Artem Kontsevoy scored an absolute banger of a consolation for Belarus.

That might have been a nice note for the visitors to end on, but instead Connor Roberts flicked in to make it 5-1.