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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 13 Jun 2017, 14:33 
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Plenty, I would say. I expect Uzbekistan to finish third in the group, which gives them a play-off against third in the other group
The winner of this then plays the fourth placed CONCACAF (North & Central America) for the final place.
Having said that, I suspect the final winner of this place to be Australia!

Meanwhile, in deepest Papua New Guinea
96. Papua New Guinea
85. Tahiti.
There were three options on the table for the game today
a) The Solomon Islands won or drew, giving them the place in the next round
b) PNG thrashed the Solomons, with a five goal victory and finished top of the group
c) PNG win by a smaller margin, and Tahiti win through.
It started well for options b/c, with PNG taking the lead after 18 minutes
But it went wrong on the half hour, when they had Felix Komolong sent off.
Solomon Islands equalised from the penalty spot, and took the lead just before half time
With no second half goals, it was Solomon Islands that play New Zealand in the next round


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017, 07:42 
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Tahiti is of course, 95, not 85.
I thought I would include this comment, made on a different forum

Quote:
Lest we forget that when the new qualifying system kicks in for 2026, the losers of this high-ranking game between New Zealand and Solomon Islands would qualify for the final play-offs for the 126th place at the World Cup.


Fair point that.

I was expecting to add some more Asian teams to the knocked out list, but results did not quite do as expected.

The first unexpected result almost achieved the opposite though, as the UAE went to bottom of the group team Thailand. UAE really needed a win to keep their chances alive. I do not understand some of the stats summaries shown on web sites. If Thailand did not have an attempt on target in the game, how did Mongkol Tossakai score to put them ahead in the 69th minute. This could have put UAE out, but an injury time equaliser keeps them running.

UAE are now six points behind both Australia and Saudi Arabia. There next game howver is home to Saudi Arabia - and if they can beat their neighbours, then it is "game on" - at least for third place in the group. Saudi finish their programme at home to top of the group Japan, while the UAE go away to play Iraq. If the game is to be played in Iran, then we need someone with a degree in middle-Eastern studies to tell me whether the Iranians hate Iraq or UAE more.

The second game in the group was Iraq (also already out) v Japan. The Japanese took an early lead, but the final score was 1-1. Japan must finish in the top three, and have secured the play off slot as minimum. The result means they have only a one point advantage on Saudi Arabia and Australia and hence must win one of their last two games to secure direct qualification.
They play Australia next (at home), followed by the trip to Saudi Arabia

In Group A, Syria play their home games in Melaka, Malaysia. I am not certain if the local Chinese population will support China, but I have seen support from the Muslim population for countries such as Iraq, so maybe Syria get some support here as well. A reported crowd of 4737 seems quite good for a neutral match.
Syria opened the scoring with a 12th minute penalty, but China levelled midway through the second half, also from the spot, and then took the lead soon afterwards. Syria then equalised in stoppage time.
The result left China six points behind third placed Uzbekistan, who they need to catch to get into the play off. China's next game is Uzbekistan at home

Much later in the day, with kick off at 22.00 local time to allow for the meal after breaking the fast during Ramadan, Qatar entertained South Korea. Qatar needed to win this to stay in contention, but their leading goalscorer from this tournament, Hassan Khalid Al Haidous was in form, scoring the opening goal, and getting the assist when they went two up early in the second half. The Koreans are not easy opponents, and have not yet secured their qualification, and fought back to 2-2, only for Hassan Khalid to score again and restore a Qatari lead. With Qatar winning 3-2, the group is now very interesting - except at the very top where Iran are now group winners.

South Korea have 13 points, Uzbekistan 12, Syria 9, Qatar 7 and China 6.
On August 31, it is China v Uzbekistan, South Korea v Iran and Syria v Qatar, while 5 days later it is Iran v Syria, Qatar v China and Uzbekistan v South Korea.

The Qatari team still seems as if they psh the rules to the limit, or beyond. Leading goalscorer, Uruguayan born Sebastian Sorria was not involved in this game, but I noticed that Rodrigo Tabata was given one of the assists. I wonder at what point in his career, Tabata thought about his future 17 caps (more to come?) for Qatar. For a long time, he was a lightly regarded player in the lower divisions in Brazil, but moving up to the top division, he starred in Goias' campaign of 2005 when they qualified for the Copa Libertadores for the first time. This earned him a move to Santos, where he scored 42 goals in 154 appearances.

From Santos, he moved to Turkey, first to Gaziantepspor and then to Besiktas. In 2010, at the age of 30, he turned up at Al Rayyan in Qatar on loan. They liked him enough to sign him a year later.

Oddly, the reports say that he tried to gain Japanese citizenship while with Al Rayyan, in order to allow him to qualify as Asian and increase the clubs foreign player quota for Asian Champions League games. He did not succeed in this, and later was naturalised as a Qatari citizen and in 2015 joined their National team.

Also in the team for this week's game was Pedro Miguel Correia, Portuguese born, but of Cape Verde descent, (according to wiki, soccerway has him listed as Cape Verde born) Mohamed Kasola (Ghana), Ibrahim Majid (Kuwait of Palestian descent) Boualem Khoukhi (Algeria), and Ali Assadalla (Bahrain), while on the bench they had Karim Boudiaf (French born, but Algerian descent, played U-23 for Algeria), Ahmed Al-Sayed (Egypt), Omar Barry (goalkeeper, born in Guinea), Khalifa Ababaccar (goalkeeper, born in Senegal) and Luiz Ceara (another Brazilian by birth).

Onto CONCACAF, and Panama at home to Honduras. A good crowd (25,000 quoted) here, but Panama found themselves a goal down after 6 minutes. They levelled before half time, but did not build on this. The stats on Soccerway say they had 72% possession, and that Honduras did not have a shot on target during the game. Still Honduras managed to regain the lead, with a late goal restoring parity.

Costa Rica at home to Trinidad & Tobago, in front of 30,000. An expected home win, which is what we got. Although Costa Rica scored in the first minute, the win was narrow with T&T equalising before Costa Rica regained the lead just before the break. No goals second half.

After 6 games (10 to play), Mexico lead the group with 14 points, Costa Rica have 11 and USA 8. Panama are in the play off position on 7, Honduras are on 5, while Trinidad & Tobago struggle to stay with 3 points.
Costa Rica play both Mexico and USA in September, after which we will have a clearer idea of how the group will finish.


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 30 Aug 2017, 11:25 
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leohoenig wrote:
A little shock in South America. Argentina were told less than 6 hours before kick off that Messi was to be suspended for four games, having been caught out for abusive language towards the fourth official in their previous game. Argentina had won five out of six games with Messi playing, but only one in seven without him. Bolivia needed to win to stay in contention for a little longer, but all seven points had come from home games. It would have been ten if they had not had a played an ineligible player in one game and had it awarded against them, (the same player cost them, their only away point). However when later in the evening Venezuela were beaten 3-1 by Chile, it meant the end, not only for
106. Venezuela, but it also meant that
105, Bolivia were now out as well.
Over half the 211 entrants have now lost their chance of reaching the finals, and we also have one qualifier for Russia.
Not surprisingly this is
2. Brazil (I am counting Russia as 1)

Although, Brazil are only 11 points ahead of Argentina, who now sit in the play-off position, Argentina play in Uruguay in the next game, so it is not possible for both to catch Brazil, meaning they must finish in the four positions that get direct qualification for the finals.

Between Brazil who qualify, and Bolivia and Venezuela who cannot - the rest of the group is incredibly tight. WIth four games to go, it is Columbia 24 points, Uruguay and Chile 23, Argentina 22, Ecuador 20, Peru and Paraguay 18.


Bolivia have tried to get the award of games against them reversed, but their appeals have been turned down. Technically therefore they were only knocked out this week, rather than the original mathematical one

Meanwhile, UAE beat Saudi Arabia in the early game in Asian qualifying, which means they continue to have a slim chance. They now travel to play Iraq (in Jordan), and need to win and make up 8 goals on either Saudi Arabia or Australia. One of Saudi Arabia (home to Japan), or Australia (Japan away, Thailand home) needs to be pointless in remaining games
A win for Japan against Australia tomorrow would mean they have qualified.


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 31 Aug 2017, 14:06 
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With a 2-0 win over Australia, we have
4. Japan as group winners and through to the finals


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 31 Aug 2017, 15:00 
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94 Qatar, who were beaten 3-1 by Syria
China keep going to the final day, a late penalty meaning they beat Uzbekistan, and push the Uzbeks below Syria in the table
South Korea and Iran share a scoreless draw, meaning that if South Korea lose in Uzbekistan, they drop to the play off.
If Syria were also to win, (away to Iran), then South Korea would be out.

China need both the Uzbeks and Syria to lose, and to make up the goal difference deficit (Syria +1, Uzbeks -1, China -3)
- and of course, China need to win in Qatar


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 01 Sep 2017, 08:48 
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Catching up on results from last night.
Europe Group A.
The French stay on course with an emphatic 4-0 win over Netherlands, while Bulgaria shock Sweden with a 3-2 win.
Meanwhile, despite already being eliminated, Luxembourg score a rare victory, beating Belarus 1-0
The Dutch still have a chance of going through, with a home match against Bulgaria coming up
Belarus need to beat Sweden in order to avoid elimination

Europe Group B
Very much as expected, the top three teams in the group all had good wins over the bottom three.
All the same kick off time, so
93. Latvia. Bottom of the group, losing 3-1 in Hungary
92. Andorra. Lost 3-0 in Switzerland, a point better off than Latvia
91. Faroe Islands. Lost 5-1, including the inevitable Ronaldo hat-trick in Portugal
Faroe Islands have one more point than Andorra
Hungary are 8 behing Portugal, so they need to beat Portugal in the next game, or they are also out
Portugal are three points behind Switzerland, who in turn are on 100% record

Europe Group H
90. Gibraltar (No real reason for the ordering 93-90).
Gib went down by 9-0 in Belgium, hat-tricks for Lukaku and Meunier.
Dissapointing night for Greece, held 0-0 by Estonia (who therefore still have a mathematical chance), however, Bosnia's defeat in Cyprus means that Greece increase their lead in second place to 2 points.

South America
A couple of unexpected results, with Venezuela getting a 0-0 draw with Columbia, and Chile going down 3-0 at home to Paraguay. The big match, Uruguay v Argentina also ended scoreless, while Peru beat Bolivia. Already qualified Brazil did not mess about, beating Ecuador 2-0. Not much change at the top, but Peru and Paraguay both move ahead of Ecuador.


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 01 Sep 2017, 09:24 
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Humiliating for Latvia...getting fewer points than the Faroes and Andorra.

Any eliminations on the cards tonight? Could be all over for Scotland?


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 01 Sep 2017, 12:04 
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Yes
No


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 01 Sep 2017, 19:23 
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Proving my first answer to RCS' troll, there was an early kick off in Kazakhstan
They lost 3-0 at home to Montengro, so that is
89. Kazakhstan

Meanwhile New Zealand have beaten Solomon Islands by 6-1
This means that the Islanders "have a mountain to climb" in the second leg
Anyone know if there are mountains in the Solomon Islands


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 02 Sep 2017, 03:01 
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Poland still have a 3 point lead in Group E, but suffered their first defeat in style. going down by 4-0 in Denmark
This means both Denmark and Montenegro are on 13 points.
Romania, on 9 are trying to keep in touch and beat Armenia by 1-0
Armenia play Denmark next, needing a win to avoid elimination
Romania visit Montenegro, and would also be out if Montenegro and Denmark both win
Poland should recover from the defeat, with a home game against Kazakhstan

Group F is the late show for England, but many of you will have seen it, (while I have not)
The important result was Slovakia 1-0 Slovenia, which leaves the Slovaks two points behind England, and playing at Wembley next
Scotland move up to third with a 3-0 win at
88. Lithuania

In Group C, it took a late goal for Germany to win in the Czech Republic. The worst the Germans can now do is fininsh second in the group, but with their 100% record, they look certain to go through. Germany are at home to Norway next
The only team that can catch Germany, are Northern Ireland, who apparently took some time to crack the defence in San Marino, but ended up 3-0 to the good. Norway beat Azerbeijan 2-0 to stay in the contest.

Northern Ireland are at home to Czech Republic next - a win knocks the Czechs, Norwegians and Azerbeijanies out

North America is still in play as I write, but there has been an vital result, and the name Marco Urena will now haunt USA.
The Costa Rican, born in the Costa Rica capital of San Jose, but now playing in the US city of San Jose scored both goals as Costa Rica went (probably temporarily) to the top of the group
As I have been typing, Honduras completed a 2-1 win in Trinidad & Tobago, leaving T&T rooted to bottom spot, while bringing Honduras level on points with USA. I guess its too much to hope that Panama can win away as well, as if they could beat Mexico, they would jump above both Honduras and USA


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 02 Sep 2017, 04:41 
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5. Mexico eventually got the win against Panama, (1-0) which means they are through to the finals

We are gearing up for three very interesting games next
First up will be Honduras v USA, both teams on 8 points
Then the leaders, Mexico travel to Costa Rica, three points behind - a win send Costa Rica to Russia

Finally, Panama face Trinidad & Tobago, Panama are only a point behind Honduras and USA, so will hope to jump back ahead of at least one, and in doing so, confirm T&T's elimination


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 02 Sep 2017, 06:52 
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Cheers Leo, always enjoy reading these.

Does third place in the North American group guarantee qualification?


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 03 Sep 2017, 01:53 
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If you enjoy reading this, then surely you already know the answer?
OK then, its Yes.

The big game in Europe was Spain 3-0 Italy in Group G. As the only points either team had lost prior to this was the draw with each other in Italy, this result gives Spain a three point lead. Isco scored twice in the first half, and Morata in the second. The groups surprise was that Macedonia, already out won in Israel. Israel can still catch Italy, and Albania who beat Liechtenstein 2-0 can still catch both Spain and Italy

In group D, group leaders Serbia secured a 3-0 win over
87. Moldova, who are stuck at the bottom of the group.

Ireland lost ground with their third successive draw, Shane Duffy's early goal being cancelled out before the break, it is a poor result both for Ireland, and for
86. Georgia, who can still catch second placed Ireland, but only if they lose to Wales - which would place Wales, the group's draw specialists (5 out of 7) in second. Wales won for the second time, in their game against Austria, which leaves Wales two behind Ireland, four behind Serbia, and leaves Austria floundering in fourth

Heavy rain caused the first half abandonment of Croatia v Kosovo, with no goals before the interruption. The group is the tighest with four teams separated by three points. Ukraine took over at the top, thanks to a 2-0 win over Turkey, who drop to fourth. The surprise result is that Finland picked up their first win, beating Iceland in Tampere. Iceland and Croatia are both a point behind Ukraine


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 04 Sep 2017, 06:31 
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A quick one this, as I accidently killed the first attempt to type it.

The shock result of the day, was undoubtedly Luxembourg's scoreless draw against France in Toulouse.
Following on from their win over Belarus, it lifts Luxembourg off the foot of the group table, replaced by
85. Belarus, who lost at home to Sweden, by 4-0
The Swedes are only a point behind France now, while Netherlands beat Bulgaria to move into third spot. Still, France and Sweden only need one win in their final games to be certain of a top two finish, and both have what should be an easy home game. Of course, Sweden's is against Luxembourg, (France play Belarus). France's remaining away game is in Bulgaria, while Sweden have to visit the Netherlands

Group B, sees Switzerland and Portugal continuing their winning ways. The Portuguese victory means
84. Hungary are out, and the leading pair will certainly end as 1 and 2. Also, the second place team will be in the "top 8", which means a play-off. Faroe Islands beat Andorra in the other game

Group H saw
6. Belgium become the first European Qualifyer. They did it with a narrow win in Greece, but still seven wins and a draw in 8 games.
While four of the others can still get second spot (Gibraltar already out), Estonia's win over Cyprus did more to dent Cypriot hopes than improve those of Estonia. Bosnia are second thanks to a 4-0 win in Gibraltar, but they face Belgium next before finishing the campaign in Estonia. Greece, a point behind play away to Cyprus before finishing with a game against Gibraltar


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 05 Sep 2017, 04:01 
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The match in Armenia kicked off earlier than most of the other European ties, and they were beaten 4-1 by Denmark with a hat-trick for Werder Bremen's Thomas Delaney, so that is
83. Armenia

Attention then switches to Africa, my intention is to do a round up when all have played their games, but this needs to be interrupted for the first to go out at this stage. Despite picking up a point against a Nigerian side who had won all three earlier games, it is not enough so
82. Cameroon, who had played in six of the last seven World Cups

IN Stuttgart, the Germans narrowly beat the Norwegians. OK, then it was a 6-0 annihilation, so still on 100%, the second European qualifyer is
7. Germany, while for their oppenents, it is
81. Norway

Minutes later, as the result of goals from Jonathan Evans and Chris Blunt, two of West Brom's finest, Northern Ireland secured second spot in the group, resulting in the elimination of defeated
80. Czech Republic, and also meaning that the a 5-1 defeat of San Marino earlier in the evening cannot help
79. Azerbaijan

A goal from Stevan Jovetic was enough for Montenegro to get a result, and remove
78. Romania

The third game in this group (along with the Armenia match already mentioned finished with Poland beating Kazakhstan 3-0, and staying three points ahead in the group. Poland have a three point lead from both Montenegro and Denmark, and still have to face Armenia (away), and Montenegro (home). Montenegro will first have to play Denmark which will come close to settling second place.
Denmark finish with a home game against Romania.

In Group F, both Scotland and Slovenia secured home wins that keep them in contention, at least for second place. Slovakia scored an early goal at Wembley, but England came back to win, and are close to booking their place in Russia


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 05 Sep 2017, 15:55 
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Apologies, there was a mistake in the earlier post, I misread the table and thought Germany had a seven point lead, but it is only 5, so they have not qualified yet

So, after the first leg, who would have guessed we would get to
77. Solomon Islands
Practically everyone :?:
After a 6-1 defeat in New Zealand, it was getting worse for the Solomons as they were 2-0 down in 21 minutes at home, but two penalty goals allow them to level the match, if not the tie.

No doubt Thailand will take comfort from coming close to taking a point in Australia, but they lost 2-1, meaning Australia cannot go out today. If Saudi win later, then Australia are in the play-off, but in the case of a draw, or Japanese win, it is Saudi Arabia in the play-off, and Australia through


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 05 Sep 2017, 17:02 
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Currently watching Asian matches on TV, and just finished is
Iraq 1-0
76. United Arab Emirates

Aymen Hussein scoring the goal that ended UAE's slim hopes.
I don't think I'll wait up three hours to see if Saudi Arabia win.


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 05 Sep 2017, 17:42 
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Ghana's 5-1 win in Brazzaville, means that
75. Congo, cannot qualify, regardless of what happens later tonight in Alexandria

Meanwhile, I have been watching the Uzbekistan v South Korea match on Fox Sports, who have commentators that really fail to deliver the tension of the game. The Uzbeks were really fortunate not to lose, with South Korea hitting the post twice in the first half, and missing a golden opportunity late on.

When the game finished, at 0-0, Uzbekistan looked like holding onto third place, and South Korea would go direct to Russia.
The only thing certain though was that
74. China were out, as even the win they managed in Qatar was not enough

But then Syria levelled at 2-2 in Iran, and it is
73. Uzbekistan who are out, and
7. South Korea who qualify

(Had Syria scored again, they would have made it to the finals, still a play-off for a play-off is not bad for the homeless team)


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2017, 01:48 
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As I left it, Saudi Arabia were just starting their game against Japan, needing a win to become
8. Saudi Arabia
The final score was just 1-0, and means Australia now play Syria

At the same time is Kinshasa, DR Congo built up a 2-0 lead against Tunisia, but Tunisia pulled back to 2-2
It keeps Tunisia, who already had three wins at the top of the group, but simultaneously knocked out
72. Libya
71. Guinea


After this, attention moved to Europe, all with the same kick off time

Start with Group D, which does not add to the numbers game, although Georgia getting a 1-1 draw in Austria means that Austria now know they are not going through, but they have to wait on the final knock out
Kolarev scored for Serbia in Ireland, and they held on to win, despite going down to ten men, this places Serbia on the brink of going through, while Wales' 2-0 win in Moldova moves them up to second. Whether they finish depends mainly on next month's game in Cardiff, when they meet Ireland.

Group G saw Spain hit 8 i Liechtenstein, staying top of the group, while Italy had a tougher time, with a single second half goal ending the challenge of
70. Israel
Albania draw in Macedonia, so are six points behind second placed Italy with two to play.

Group I is still open for four team, with Finland's win over Kosovo having no meaning,
home wins for Turkey against Croatia (1-0) and Iceland against Ukraine (2-0)
So Ukraine and Iceland are now both on 16, Turkey and Ukraine on 14

The other effect of tonight's games was
69. Estonia
They can still finish in second place, but would do so on 14 points, of which only 8 count in the second placed comparison
Every other group is guaranteed to have more than 8 points in this.

One more from Africa as
68. Algeria
lose at home to Zambia, leaving Zambia as the only team that can stop Nigeria going through
Zambia travel to Nigeria next month


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2017, 03:14 
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All remaining decisions on South America wait on the final games next month
Brazil are through, and there winning run is brought to a halt by a 1-1 draw in Chile
Good results for the bottom two in the group, so its a pity they are already out
Bolivia beat Chile 1-0, while Venezuela get a draw away to Argentina
Argentina are therefore seriously at risk in the final run of fixtures
Peru won away in Ecuador - the fourth defeat in a row for the Ecuadorians who are seeing their chances drop off.
Finally the late show, as Uruguay score twice in two minutes in Paraguay, the home team pull one back but it ends 1-2

So with 16 games played
Brazil 37 points - untouchable group winners
Urugauy 27, and with the easiest final games, Venezuela (Away), Bolivia (Home)
Columbia 26, with Paraguay (h) next, followed by a trip to Peru
Peru 24, with Argentina (a), then Columbia (h)
Argentina 24 (currently in play off position), Peru (h) then Ecuador (a)
Chile 23 , Ecuador (h), Brazil (a)
Paraguay 21, Columbia (a), Venezuela (h)
Ecudaor 20, Chile (a), Argentina (h)
Bolivia 13
Venezuela 8

My guess is that Peru miss out, so Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina go through and Chile make the play off.


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 Post subject: Re: 209 to One - the Countdown to the 2018 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2017, 05:21 
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African Summary
Currently five groups of four, the winners qualify, and that is it.
This month, each team played the same opponent home and away leaving everyone with one home match, and one away to play, these games being one each in October and November

Group A: Tunisia took four points off their games with DR Congo, and lead by three points. The other pair, Guinea and Libya won their home match against the other, but both are out

Group B:Nigeria took four points off Cameroon. Cameroon also drew both earlier games and are now out. Zambia won both games against Algeria, so Zambia are just three behind Nigeria, (they meet in October, in Nigeria), Algeria also out

Group C: Cote d'Ivoire, ahving won 3-0 in Gabon then lost the home game, while Morocco took four points against Mali. The Ivorians still lead the group (7 points), but only by a point from Morocco, who in turn have a point on Gabon. Mali, with 2 points to date, are down but not out

Group D: Cape Verde Islands, who had lost both opening encounters now beat South Africa home and away, while Senegal and Burkina Faso slug out two draws. Burkina Faso lead the group on goal difference from Cape Verde, both on 6 points. Senegal have five and South Africa four.

Group E: Egypt and Uganda have both won 1-0 at home to the other. Ghana, struggling after a home draw against Congo won the away match 5-1. Egypt 9 points, Uganda 7, Ghana 5, Congo 1 (and out)

Finally, CONCACAF.
Another poor result for the USA, as they come back from behind to take a point in Honduras. That leaves them only goal difference ahead of the Hondurans. Also a draw between the top two as Costa Rica take a point off Mexico, leaving them one point from qualification. Panama take a 3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago and move to third, a point ahead of both USA and Honduras. T&T will be out unless they win both remaining games, while both USA and Honduras lose twice.
The final round of fixtures appear to fancy the USA chances (Panama home, T&T away) ahead of Panama (USA Away, Costa Rica home) or Honduras (Costa Rica away, Mexico home), so I still see USA as the direct qualifyer and think Panama are better bets for the play-off spot


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