December 17, 2020 – The Croatian Football Federation has announced the schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in March when Croatia meets Cyprus and Malta.
The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation decided on the host of Croatia’s qualifying matches against Cyprus and Malta in March 2021.
On March 24, 2021, the Croatia national team will open the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 away against Slovenia.
The 2018 World Cup finalists then have two matches at home, against Cyprus and Malta, and the HNS Executive Board has decided that the two matches will be played at the HNK Rijeka stadium (Rujevica).
The match against Cyprus will be played on March 27 starting at 18:00, and three days later, the match against Malta is scheduled at 20:45.
Croatia has played 16 games in Rijeka so far and has never lost, with 13 wins and three draws.
Croatia’s qualifying cycle for the World Cup in Qatar will continue with three September matches, against Russia (September 1, 20:45) and Slovakia (September 4, 20:45) away, and against Slovenia (September 7, 20:45) at home. Zlatko Dalić’s team will play two matches in October next year, against Cyprus (October 8, 20:45) away, and Slovakia (October 11, 20:45) at home.
In the final part of the qualifications in November 2021, Croatia will play in Malta (November 11, 20:45), and in the last qualification round at home, they will meet Russia (November 14, 15:00).
As a reminder, the ten group winners will qualify directly for the World Cup, and the ten second-placed teams will try to win the same in the playoffs, which will be played from March 24 to 29, 2022.
In addition to the ten runners-up from the group stage, the playoffs will also include the two best national teams in the overall standings of the UEFA Nations League for the 2020/2021 season, which will not directly qualify for the World Cup, nor will they win the playoffs as the second-placed teams in the group. Twelve teams in the playoffs will be divided into three “pots” and will fight for the three remaining European places at the World Cup in March 2022.
The 2022 World Cup will be held from November 21 to December 18, 2022, in five Qatari cities (Doha, Lusail, Al Khor, Al Wakrah, Al Rayyan).
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