Portugal, Serbia, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Azerbaijan were in Group A in the qualifications, where Portugal finished second. They were heavy favorites to win the group, but Serbia edged them out in the last game week to qualify for the World Cup. Then, in the playoff semifinals, they thrashed Turkey to get to the finals against North Macedonia. Portugal won five games, drew two, and lost one, amassing a total of 17 points in the process. In the qualifications, they had a four-win and one-loss record at home. They have scored 20 goals while allowing only seven goals. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has six goals to his name, is the team’s top scorer.
North Macedonia is fresh off an incredible upset over Italy, thanks to a goal from former Palermo striker Trajkovski. They want to make it to the World Cup after making it to the Euros. Their attempt to qualify for the World Cup was successful, as they came in second behind Germany, Romania, Armenia, Iceland, and Liechtenstein in a group that included Germany, Romania, Armenia, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. They won five games, including a historic victory over Germany, drew three games, and lost only two. With 18 points from ten games, they finished one point ahead of Romania. They netted 24 goals while allowing 11 goals. Aleksandar Trajkovski leads the team in scoring with five goals.