Portugal and Poland booked their tickets for the World Cup in Qatar following 2-0 wins over North Macedonia and Sweden respectively.

North Macedonia couldn’t repeat its miracle performance from last week. After beating Italy in Palermo on Friday, a second shock didn’t come in Porto. Bruno Fernandes scored both of Portugal’s goals, sealing their qualification to the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo played the whole 90 minutes and assisted Portugal’s first score.

The 37-year-old is on track to play the fifth World Cup tournament of his career. Only three other players have appeared at five different World Cups: Antonio Carbajal, Rafa Marquez (both for Mexico), and Lothar Matthaus (Germany).

“Goal achieved, we’re at the Qatar World Cup, we’re in our rightful place!” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to all the Portuguese for the tireless support! Forca Portugal!”

Ronaldo is months away from his 10th major international tournament after featuring in five Euro editions and four World Cups to date. If Ronaldo ends up scoring at least a goal in Qatar, he’ll become the only player in the history of football to net in 10 major tournaments. Former Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan is currently the record-holder after scoring in three World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations.

Lewandowski joins the party

Led by Bayern goal machine Robert Lewandowski, Poland also secured its seat at the World Cup after beating Sweden 2-0 in Chorzow. Lewandowski opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 49th minute, then Zielinski made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute, as Sweden was desperately looking for an equalizer. Zlatan Ibrahimovic played the final 10 minutes of the match but could do little to influence the game’s outcome.

Only five spots remain to be filled before we have a full table of World Cup participants. This week, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Portugal, and Poland qualified.

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