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Liverpool pair Van Dijk and Salah take crucial steps towards Qatar World Cup

Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah both helped their countries take a step towards the 2022 World Cup in Qatar while Neco Williams made a crucial contribution for Wales

Jurgen Klopp lauds Mo Salah after goal v Man City

Liverpool stars Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah both helped their countries take a step towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup on Friday night.

And their Reds team-mate Neco Williams made a crucial contribution as Wales drew 2-2 with the Czech Republic to keep their hopes of qualification alive.

Virgil van Dijk captained the Netherlands to a 1-0 win in Latvia, with Davy Klaassen’s 19th-minute strike keeping the Oranje at the top of Group E.

The Liverpool colossus was called upon to keep his side in the lead just a few minutes after Klaassen’s goal, with the defender charging down Roberts Uldrikis’ point-blank effort from a swift counter-attack.

Holland held on for a victory which sent them two points clear at the top of their group, ahead of the visit of minnows Gibraltar on Monday.



Virgil van Dijk played a crucial role as the Netherlands narrowly beat Latvia in their World Cup qualifying clash
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Image:

TOMS KALNINS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)




Louis van Gaal’s side then face a trip to Montenegro and a home clash against second-placed Norway in November to conclude their campaign.

Salah’s Egypt are also top of their group following a 1-0 win over Libya on Friday night.

After his starring role in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with rivals Manchester City last weekend, Salah played the full 90 minutes as a strike from Omar Marmoush proved enough for victory in Alexandria.

The win sent Egypt above their opponents and they are now a point clear at the halfway point in the qualifying campaign.









The Pharaohs face a return trip to Libya on Monday, before games against Angola and Gabon next month.

Salah and Co will be expected to qualify having won two of their three games so far, although they could yet be made to rue a 1-1 draw in Gabon last month.

Meanwhile, Williams delivered the assist for Aaron Ramsey’s opener as Wales went on to draw 2-2 with the Czech Republic in Prague.

The 20-year-old, who was playing as a left wing-back, was unfortunate to be left stranded in the lead-up to Tomas Soucek’s equaliser.

But he got forward as often as he could to form an effective partnership with Leeds winger Dan James, who scored Wales’ second goal.

Should Mohamed Salah win the Ballon d’Or? Have your say in the comments section



Neco Williams in action for Wales against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Soucek on Friday night
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Image:

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Wales had to come from behind to earn a point, with former Liverpool keeper Danny Ward at fault for the Czech Republic’s second goal as he failed to control a backpass from Ramsey.

The draw left both teams eight points behind Group E leaders Belgium as they battle it out for a play-off spot.

Wales are already all but guaranteed a play-off place thanks to their success in the Nations League, but finishing second in their World Cup qualifying group could earn them a more favourable draw.


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