By Izuchukwu Okosi: Arjen Robben produced a fantastic individual performance on Tuesday night in the Netherlands’ ill-fated 2018 World Cup Group A qualifier against Sweden in a 2-0 win which was not sufficient to take the Dutch side to the playoff stages, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Needing seven unanswered goals at the expense of Sweden to go through, The Oranje scored through Robben scored from the penalty box in the 16th minute when Victor Lindelof handled the ball inadvertently in the box.
The Bayern Munich star doubled the Dutch lead five minutes to half time with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.
There was no goal scored again in the game which means the Dutch are missing from a succesive international competition after failing to reach Euro 2016.
In the other Group A qualifier on Tueaday, France confirmed their place in Russia 2018 with a 2-1 home win against Belarus at Stade de France, Paris. Antoine Gruezmann and Olivier Giroud were on the score sheet for Les Blues.
In the last Group A match of the night, Luxembourg and Bulgaria played out a 1-1 draw.
Cristiano Ronaldo will play in the 2018 World Cup as Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 to finish as leaders in Group B with 28 points. Their opponents concluded the World Cup qualification campaign as runners-up with the same points but with inferior goal difference, thereby confirming their place in the playoffs.
Latvia thrashed Andorra 4-0 in the last Group B game which was of no consequence.
Lastly on the night in Group H, Belgium mauled Cyprus 4-0, Estonia were defeated 2-1 by Bosnia while Greece defeated Gilbratar 4-0. Greece finished behind Belgium in the table with 19 points. The Belgians had already qualified and claimed 28 points after the qualifiers.