Tag Archives: World Cup qualifiers

The handball seen round the world (except by the ref)

19 Nov

French striker Thierry Henry clearly handles the ball twice before passing to William Gallas, who put in the game-winner to send France through to the World Cup finals on 2-1 aggregate over Ireland. After the match, Henry said, “”It was a handball, but I’m not the ref.”

Now there’s no guarantee that Ireland would’ve ended up winning even if Henry’s handball had been called, however, to lose a game on a blown call and blatant cheating must be incredibly hard to swallow. This is the kind of thing that gives soccer players a bad name. It’s not like the ball just hit his arm accidently. Henry clearly corrals the ball with his hand to keep it from going out of bounds. The Irish FA wants a replay, but that won’t happen. FIFA wouldn’t let it.

World Cup field to be finalized Wednesday

17 Nov

The final six spots in the 2010 World Cup will be decided Wednesday.  Ohhhh the drama.  Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand clinched spots over the weekend.

Wednesday’s matches
Ukraine vs. Greece (0-0 aggregate)
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Portugal (Portugal leads 1-0 aggregate)
Slovenia vs. Russia (Russia leads 2-1 aggregate)
Uruguay vs. Costa Rica (Uruguay leads 1-0 aggregate)
France vs. Ireland (France leads 1-0 aggregate)
Algeria vs. Egypt

Follow all the qualifying action here

14 Nov

Nigeria, Cameroon and New Zealand are in – only six spots left.

http://www.fifa.com/Live/Competitions/worldcup/preliminaries/matchday=14/index.html

Nine World Cup spots still up for grabs

13 Nov

23 teams are in. Nine more to go before the field in South Africa is complete. There’s going to be a lot of drama this weekend. In Africa, this weekend’s games will determine the three country that will advance to the finals. New Zealand and Bahrain will be playing a winner take all game since the first leg ended in a 0-0 tie, while European qualification begins the two-legged playoffs. Costa Rica and Uruguay will also kick off a two-legged playoff.

Teams already in: Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, United States, Mexico, Honduras, Denmark, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, Spain, England, Serbia, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast

Saturday’s qualifiers (11/14)
AFRICA
Mozambique vs. Tunisia
Togo vs. Gabon
Morocco vs. Cameroon
Rwanda vs. Zambia
Kenya vs. Nigeria
Burkina Faso vs. Malawi
Côte d’Ivoire vs. Guinea
Egypt vs. Algeria
Sudan vs. Benin

EUROPE (1st leg)
Russia vs. Slovenia – 10:55 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Ireland vs. France
Greece vs. Ukraine – 1 p.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Portugal vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina – 3:25 p.m. ET/Setanta (Live)

NORTH & CENTRAL AMERICA/SOUTH AMERICA PLAYOFF (1st leg)
Costa Rica vs. Uruguay

ASIA/OCEANIA PLAYOFF (2nd leg)
New Zealand vs. Bahrain – 2 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

The USA is World Cup bound! (And so are seven other nations)

11 Oct

The United States scored three times in 13 minutes to defeat Honduras, 3-2 and clinch a spot in South Africa.  The Americans went down 1-0 immediately after halftime, but came back to score three straight.  Conor Casey scored the first two and Landon Donovan added the third on a free kick.  Honduras pulled one back minutes later.  The Hondurans had a chance to tie the game after being awarded a penalty for a handball in the box, but Carlos Pavon put the kick over the bar.  It was a huge win for the US as they clinched a spot in the finals and also showed that they could win in a hostile environment.

Mexico also booked their ticket to the final with a 4-1 win over El Salvador.  Wednesday’s US vs. Costa Rica game will be a big one for Costa Rica as they currently sit third.  If they beat the US, they will be in.

The teams that clinched spots on Saturday:  Ivory Coast, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Mexico, USA, Chile

Gerrard hurt playing for England

10 Oct

Well, so far, the international break has been somewhat of a nightmare for Liverpool fans.  First, Fernando Torres picks up a knock in training with Spain and now, Steven Gerrard gets hurt playing for England.  The Liverpool captain left the game against Ukraine at halftime after picking up a thigh injury.  The last thing Liverpool needs is a repeat of last season when Gerrard and Torres were hurt every other game.

In other worrying news for Liverpool, Daniel Agger has been put into the starting eleven for Denmark.  He just recently returned to full fitness and hasn’t even played a game with Liverpool’s first team since coming back from injury.  Hopefully, he’ll make it through the week unscathed. 

The Reds have several other players on international duty (Mascherano and Skrtel to name a couple) as well, so hopefully they will all stay healthy.

More World Cup qualifier updates to come later…

Big weekend for World Cup qualifiers

9 Oct

More spots in South Africa are up for grabs this weekend.  In CONCACAF, the US, Honduras and Mexico all  have a chance to clinch a place tomorrow.  The big match in Europe is Russia hosting Germany.  The winner of that match is through to South Africa, while the loser heads to a playoff. A winner has yet to emerge in five of the groups in Europe.  South America is home to a tight race as well.  While Brazil and Paraguay have already qualified, the final 2 1/2 spots are up for grabs in a very tight race that will come down to the final matches.  Bahrain and New Zealand start their two-legged playoff tomorrow as well.  In Africa, only Ghana has made it through so far.  The rest of the groups are still up in the air.

There’s a lot of excellent soccer to be played this weekend.  It’s hard to believe how many spots (22 to be exact) are still open.  It’ll be exciting to see who else books a place in the finals…only 243 days away!

Already in (10):

Australia, Brazil, England, Ghana, Japan, Netherlands, North Korea, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain