The last game of the England World Cup qualifiers was played on November 21st, 2021. This is almost exactly one year before the beginning of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. So of course, we have known that England has qualified for the World Cup for quite some time now. However, that doesn’t stop us from taking a look back through the England World Cup qualifiers to give you the full breakdown.
These qualifying games have been critical not only for England making it to the World Cup. But they have been important as an indicator for England’s chances in Qatar too. As a reminder, the World Cup in Qatar is due to start on November 20th. And the finals of the event will be played on December 18th, 2022. But the journey for qualifying for this tournament started way back in March 2021 for England.
This was when the first qualifying games were played from UEFA Group 1, which was obviously the group that England was placed in. Anyway, there is quite a bit to recap here, so let us begin by discussing the group standings.
Final standings following England World Cup Qualifiers
In case you weren’t aware, Group 1 of the UEFA groups contained six teams. And only the top team would advance through to the main event automatically. The team that finished second would go into the playoff stage, which England did well to avoid. After all, once you enter the playoffs anything can happen. However, fortunately, England finished at the top of Group 1 to advance to the World Cup.
Following the conclusion of all of the England World Cup qualifiers, they ended up with 26 points from 10 games. That’s a loss of just 4 points from 10 games, which is pretty impressive, to be honest. England went unbeaten throughout the qualifying games, managing to win 8 matches in the process. This means that they drew two games, and this came against Hungary and Poland. Then again, England beat both of these teams in the other games against them.
So to say that the England World Cup qualifiers went well would seem appropriate. Overall, they had a goal difference of +36. And to give you a breakdown of this, England scored 39 goals in 10 games, yet they conceded just 3 goals in the entire qualifying event. This was largely helped by the 10-0 battering of San Marino in the final game of the qualifying stage.
England World Cup Qualifiers Top Games
As you’d expect, there were some pretty thrilling games played in the England World Cup qualifiers. This is proven by the fact that England had a goal difference of +36 in just 10 matches. So clearly, England was netting plenty of goals during the qualifying games. But of the 10 matches played, we believe that three of them stand out above the rest.
England vs San Marino Round Two
The first time England played San Marino in the qualifiers, England won by a score of 5-0. This was clearly a big win, and England showed their dominance. However, nobody expected that England would then go and double their tally against San Marino in the next meeting. As mentioned previously, England defeated San Marino by a score of 10-0 in the second leg. And amazingly, Harry Kane scored 4 goals in this qualifying game, which was the largest tally of any player in a single game for the England World Cup qualifiers.
It wasn’t just Kane who enjoyed this match either. Other goals came from Maguire, Sakka, Abraham, Mings, Smith Rowe, and Fabbri. So pretty much the entire squad had an impact in this game, which was cool to witness.
Poland vs England Round One
The reason that this game is listed as one of the top three is that Poland was the main rival to England in the qualifying tournament. Or perhaps it would be better to say that Poland was the team that posed the biggest threat to England failing to qualify in the first place. Anyway, England put these doubts to bed in the first leg against Poland. For this first match, England managed to beat Poland by a score of 2-1. The goals came from Harry Kane followed by Maguire with an 85th-minute winner.
Of course, this win put the team in good stead for the rest of the England World Cup qualifiers. And on the whole, this game was incredibly exciting to watch.
Hungary vs England Round One
Besides Poland, Hungary was arguably the other team that posed the biggest threat. So beating Hungary in the first clash against them was extremely important. And England showed the world why they are strong contenders for the World Cup in this match. The team put on a class performance to dispatch Hungary by a score of 4-0. Once again, goals came from Kane, Maguire, Sterling, and Rice.
The fact that England also managed to maintain a clean sheet was impressive in this one. We say that because Hungary did press too, much more than other teams in the England World Cup qualifiers.
FAQs on England World Cup Qualifiers
Who was the highest-ranked team in these qualifiers?
Poland was the highest ranked team besides England in this group. And currently, Poland has a ranking of 26.
Were England favourites to win their qualifying group?
Yes, England was definitely the favourites to win the qualifying group and advance automatically to the 2022 World Cup.
Who was the top scorer in England’s qualifying games?
Harry Kane was the top scorer for England in these qualifying games. Kane managed to find the back of the net 12 times in 10 games. And interestingly, Maguire was the next highest scorer with 4 goals. This put him ahead of main strikers from other teams.
Were the players picked in these games the same as who will play at the World Cup?
Pretty much, yes. Most of the guys involved in the qualifiers will be listed for England’s World Cup squad.