The European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar started on Wednesday evening with many results going as expected but one big shocker kicked off the matches.
It was Turkey hosting the Netherlands in Istanbul and it was a show for Lille forward Burak Yilmaz who scored a Hattrick on the night to give Turkey a 4-2 victory.
Yilmaz scored the first of his three goals in the 15th minute before doubling it 19 minutes later from the penalty spot as the host took a 2-0 lead into the break.
The second half started with Hakan Calhanoglu making it three immediately after the break before Davy Klassen and Luke De Jong scored two quickfire goals in the 75 and 76 minutes to reduce the deficit but Yilmaz made it 4-2 in the 80th minute.
There was late drama in the game as Memphis Depay lost a penalty for the Netherlands, who missed the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, started the latest qualifiers on a losing note.
In Paris, World Champions France failed to win against Ukraine after a 1-1 draw. Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann scored a spectacular goal in the first half but Presnel Kimpembe scored an unfortunate own goal.
Romelu Lukaku scored a penalty while Kevin De Bruyne and Thorgan Hazard added to the goals as Belgium defeated Wales 3-1.
In other matches, Russia beat Malta 3-1 while Norway beat Gibraltar 3-0, and Portugal was denied by outstanding goalkeeping but never denied the victory as the European Champions pipped Azerbaijan 1-0 through an own goal.
Serbia defeated Ireland 3-1, the Czech Republic were 6-1 winners over Estonia and Croatia lost 6-1 in Slovenia.
Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki scored a brace as Finland drew Bosnia 2-2 while Latvia lost 2-1 to Montenegro at home.
Written by: Daniel Ademiju Idowu