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Monday Morning Wakeup: UEFA World Cup Qualifying kicks off

European World Cup qualifying is underway. The balance of power is such that many results will be both unsurprising and lopsided. But there is still drama to be found. Here is a quick look at where we stand so far with results through Sunday. For reference, the seven group winners will qualify. The four best runners-up will playoff in November 2018 for the final spot. Runners-up will be ranked based on performance against teams finishing 1st, 3rd, and 4th in their respective groups. France qualified as hosts and are not participating in qualifying:

Jess Fishlock’s goal gave Wales a 1-0 win at Kazakhstan in World Cup qualifying openers for both. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Group 1

Sunday: Kazakhstan 0, Wales 1
Tuesday: England vs Russia

DNP: Bosnia and Herzegovenia

Group 2

Friday: Albania 1, Switzerland 4
Friday: Poland 4, Belarus 1
Tuesday: Belarus vs Albania
Tuesday: Switzerland vs Poland

DNP: Scotland

Group 3

Friday: Norway 4, Northern Ireland 1
Tuesday: Norway vs Slovakia
Tuesday: Northern Ireland vs Ireland

DNP: Netherlands

Group 4

Friday: Ukraine 1, Croatia 1
Tuesday: Croatia vs Sweden
Tuesday: Hungary vs Denmark

Group 5

Thursday: Faroe Islands 0, Czech Republic 8
Saturday: Germany 6, Slovenia 0
Monday: Iceland vs Faroe Islands
Tuesday: Czech Republic vs Germany

Group 6

Friday: Italy 5, Moldova 0
Tuesday: Romania vs Italy
Tuesday: Belgium vs Moldova

DNP: Portugal

Group 7

Tuesday: Serbia vs Austria

DNP: Finland, Israel, Spain

Story lines to follow

Here are some story lines we’ll be following ahead of NWSL Week 21:

-How is Kelley O’Hara feeling after taking friendly fire from Alyssa Naeher on Friday night?
-Will the rest of the USWNT players return healthy to their NWSL sides?
-When, an for whom, will Tobin Heath return to the field?


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