Andorra’s far-fetched dreams of top spot in Group I are now officially dead in the water, and Koldo Alvarez’s side will be anticipating the final whistle blowing in World Cup 2022 Qualifying given their dismal run of results so far.
The world’s 156th-ranked nation did claim a morale-boosting 2-0 win over whipping boys San Marino last month but have otherwise lost their other five matches in Group I, results which have left them fifth in the group and only capable of achieving an audacious second place.
With only four goals scored and 14 conceded in Group I, Andorra were never going to be serious contenders for a top-two finish and first-ever appearance at a World Cup Finals, although they were able to give Hungary a good run for their money in a 2-1 defeat during their most recent game.
Alvarez’s side will eye another three points in the group next week, though, as a trip to San Marino awaits before next month’s final fixtures with Poland and Albania, but they can take confidence in the fact that they are unbeaten in two at home and have not shipped a single goal in that time.
England were able to afford two dropped points against the other Group I powerhouses in Poland last time out, but the manner of the draw was certainly frustrating, as Harry Kane’s opener was cancelled out by Damian Szymanski’s equaliser right at the death.
However, the Euro 2020 runners-up eased to five consecutive victories before the stalemate with Paulo Sousa’s side and are not expected to lose their grip on top spot now, with Gareth Southgate’s side four points clear of second-placed surprise package Albania at the top of the pile.
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Only Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands can top the 18 goals that England have notched up during their six games of Qualifying so far, while only two goals shipped represents the kind of defensive resilience that Three Lions fans have become accustomed to before, during and after that magical run to the Euro 2020 final.
Southgate’s side prepare for a more daunting tie with Hungary three days after this game – although their 4-0 thrashing of the Magyars last month was overshadowed by abhorrent acts of a section of Hungary fans – and their spot at Qatar 2022 could very well be wrapped up following the conclusion of this international break.
England’s September fixtures included a 4-0 thrashing of Andorra in front of the Wembley crowd, and the Three Lions have won all five of their previous meetings with the minnows without conceding a single goal since their first meeting in 2006