Denmark qualifies for World Cup after 8th straight win

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark became the second European team to qualify for next year’s World Cup by beating Austria 1-0 on Tuesday to maintain the team’s perfect record in its group.

Joakim Maehle’s 53rd-minute goal at Parken Stadium secured an eighth straight qualifying win for the Danes, who have yet to concede in Group F and have the only 100% record. The midfielder scored with a sweeping shot teed up by Thomas Delaney’s direct run at the Austrian defense.

Germany was the first team to reach the 2022 tournament in Qatar via qualifying, sealing first place in its group on Monday.

Denmark came into World Cup qualifying without star midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is recovering from collapsing during the European Championship after suffering cardiac arrest, but as one of the best teams on the continent having still reached the semifinals at Euro 2020.

With just the first-place finisher qualifying automatically, Denmark holds an unassailable seven-point lead over Scotland, which is still on track to finish runner-up and advance to the playoffs in March.

However, Scotland tested the nerves and patience of its fans Tuesday as a 1-0 win at the Faeroe Islands was only secured in the 86th by Lyndon Dykes’ header after the home side had several scoring chances.

Scotland is four points clear of third-place Israel — which beat visiting Moldova 2-1 — with two rounds left in November.

Scotland can seal its place in the 12-nation playoffs by winning its next game at last-place Moldova before hosting Denmark.

Austria is also likely to be in the playoffs, where three World Cup places will be decided, by getting one of two slots awarded to teams who won a Nations League group last year.

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