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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 09 Jun 2013, 00:17 
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European Summary - San Marino Out

116. San Marino.

Having lost all six matches to date, there was no way San Marino were going to get through. Their slender mathematical chances depended on neither Poland, nor Ukraine picking up points on a night they were not playing. Poland drew 1-1 in Moldova, and then Ukraine scored a stunning 4-0 away victory at group leaders Montenegro. Ukraine had Roman Zozulya sent off at the end of a scoreless first half, but went ahead seven minutes into the second period thanks to Dinamo Kyiv's Denis Garmash. The players per side were evened up when Vladimir Volkov picked up his second yellow of the game, and soon after Yevhen Konoplyanka increased the visitors lead, the third red of the day was given to Montenegro's Savo Pavicevic by the German referee, Manuel Grafe. Ukraine added two late goals which lifts them one point behing England, while Montenegro stay two points ahead. Montenegro and Moldova have played seven games, while the others have only six played. Had Moldova lost to Poland with Ukraine winning as well, then they would also be out now. Ukraine have to play San Marino twice, plus England and Poland (both at home) and are looking very strong. England's fate will become clearer after the September matches, if they beat both Moldova (home) and Ukraine (away) then they begin to look safer.

-------------
In group A, Belgium beat Serbia 2-1, while Robert Snodgrass' goal for Scotland keeps the group interesting. Had Croatia picked up a draw, then both Serbia and Macedonia would have been out, had Croatia won, then Wales too would have been finished for this campaign. As it is, all three survive until September.

Plenty of other European action, or quite likely inaction in the Czech Republic where Italy played out a scoreless draw that keeps them clear at the top of the group. Malta's away win in Armenia gives them their first points of the campaign (Armenia's only points came by winning their opening game, in Malta). Austria picked up a critical home win over Sweden as the second place competition heats up. Germany (who did not play) seem convincingly top. Austria have 11 points, as do Ireland, after their 3-0 win (Keane hat-trick) over the Faroe Islands. Assuming Sweden beat the Faroes on Tuesday, then they too will have 11 points off 6 games. A Swedish win would also confirm that the Faroe Islands cannot qualify.

In Group E, Albania and Norway drew 1-1, keeping Albania in second place, a point ahead of Iceland who went down 4-2 at home to Slovenia. The Saturday game saw Switzerland keep clear at the top with a 1-0 win over Cyprus. The group's bottom team only beaten by a late goal from Haris Seferovic, an Italian Serie B player at Novara. Group F saw an early goal by Helder Postiga as the only score between Portugal and Russia. Portugal go two points ahead of Russia, but have played 7 games, the Russians have two in hand. Meanwhile Azerbaijan and Luxembourg drew 1-1 - neither of these teams, nor Northern Ireland have a win yet, but Azerbaijan have four points (from 7 games), Northern Ireland 3 (from 5) and Luxembourg 3 (from 6). NOrthern Ireland's next two games are at home (Russia and Portugal) but then they have three road trips including both Azerbaijan and Luxembourg. Group G saw Bosnia increase their qualification chances with a 5-0 win in Latvia. Manchester City's Edin Dzeko was the last of five different second half goalscorers, after Latvia had Aleksanders Fertovs sent off in just 11 minutes. Greece are pushing for second spot (or better if Bosnia slip up, they have already played each other twice). Greece won 1-0 in Lithuania. It was a dissapointing evening for Slovakia who went behind in Liechtensteinand ended up drawing 1-1. They are now two points behind Greece, and they face Bosnia in both their next two games, before playing in Greece and Lithuania in October. Group I saw Belarus go down 1-0 in Finland. The return match is on Tuesday and Belarus will be out if they lose again.

Americas Summary
Starting with the big one, Argentina v Columbia in Buenos Aires. Two Red Cards here (Higuain of Argentina, Zapata of Columbia, both 26 minutes in), but no goals. Argentina could still qualify if they win in Ecuador on Tuesday, but this result means it is not entirely in their hands. They are five points clear of Columbia and Ecuador, and have three more chances to get the points they need, if they do not go through this month. Ecuador lost 1-0 in Peru but their 20 points keeps them well into the qualification positions. Chile's 2-1 win in Paraguay appears to condemn the Paraguayans to miss a World Cup for the first time since 1994. Roque Santa Cruz's late goal being too little, too late for Paraguay. Despite a 1-1 draw with Venezuela, the numbers are almost up for Bolivia as well. Jhasmany Campos' late equalizer for Bolivia gave them the draw leaving Venezuela on the cusp with no leaway as Peru (two points behind) and Uruguay (three points behind) play out the games in hand. Venezuela play both of these rivals at home in the coming months, so if they can win these, they have every chance of being debutants in the World Cup finals.

Jamaica's chances have been blown away by two successive home defeats, firstly to Mexico, and then to USA. Jermaine Beckford looked to have rescued a point with a late equaliser, but not late enough to stop Brad Evans keeping the USA on course. Mexico were held to a draw, 0-0 in Panama, their fourth in five games, but this means they have seven points, the same as USA and group leaders Costa Rica, who beat Honduras thanks to a Roy Miller goal midway through the first half. Panama's point leaves them one behind the top trio, and in the play off spot - but their next game is a tough trip to play USA in Seattle.

African Summary
Five teams knocked out Saturday.

115. Botswana
114. Lesotho
113. Central African Republic
112. Gambia
111. Cape Verde Islands


Group A saw home defeats for both Botswana (2-1 to Ethiopia) and Central African Republic (3-0 to South Africa). This means the two losers cannot qualify, while South Africa visit Ethiopia next week needing to draw at least to keep the group running to the last match.
Group B saw the Cape Verde Islands beat Equatorial Guinea, but their fate was assured by a late equaliser for Tunisia, who got a 2-2 draw in Sierra Leone. A five point lead in top place means Tunisia are confident of reaching the play off round
Group C. A comfortable 3-0 win for Cote d'Ivoire in Gambia. Morocco kept a faint hope with a 2-1 win over Tanzania, but for Morocco to go through, the need Tanzania to beat Cote d'Ivoire and then lose to Gambia, while Morocco need to beat both. The Ivorians need to win just one of their two matches to go through.
Group D. A 4-0 win sees Zambia regain the group leadership, after Ghana had appropriated it by playing the night before. It also sees Lesotho join Sudan in the out pile. Next week Zambia play Sudan, Ghana visit Lesotho, but the crucial match will be in Ghana in September.
Group E. Congo (the Brazzaville version) drew 0-0 in Gabon and have a six point lead. Tomorrow Niger play Burkina Faso - winner climbs to second place, four points behind Congo - loser is out. Both still in, but without a chance if the game is drawn/
Group F. Played Wednesday
Group G. Playing Sunday
Group H. Playing Sunday
Group I. Angola have drawn all four games played in a very tight group. Today it was a 1-1 draw with group leaders Senegal. However, after winning 3-1 at home to Liberia in their opening fixture, Senegal have drawn their other three games (all by 1-1). They are still favourites, especially as two of these draws were away. The games between Liberia and Uganda were both home wins, so Uganda have five points in second place, while Liberia are bottom of the group with four.
Group J. Fridays game was a 0-0 draw between Libya and DR Congo. The two also shared a 0-0 draw in March. Cameroon lead the group having won their two home games, but lost in Libya. There visit to Togo tomorrow could give them a clear advantage, and if they win, then Togo will not be making a return to the World Cup Finals.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 09 Jun 2013, 16:13 
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Spending the afternoon at home - only six Qualifing games today, all in Africa, but all have an influence on who goes through and can lead to teams going out, starting with

110. Zimbabwe
109. Mozambique


The first match of the afternoon, Zimbabwe 2-4 Egypt, with a hat-trick from Mohamed Saleh, a Hoffenheim player who spent all last season on loan at Augsburg. It is Egypt's fourth win out of four, and Zimbabwe with only one draw in four games cannot catch up. Nor can Mozambique even if they win later this evening - indeed unless Guinea beat Mozambique, Egypt will be through to the next round and Guinea will also be out.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 09 Jun 2013, 18:15 
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108. Niger. Beaten today 1-0 at home to Burkina Faso, the goal scored by Jon Pitroipa about 10 minutes from the end.

Meanwhile, Algeria win 3-1 away in Benin, which strengthens their chances - should Mali beat Rwanda this evening (last of the days games), then Rwanda join Algeria on 9 points. Rwanda play Algeria in Kigali next week.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 09 Jun 2013, 23:33 
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Three more results.
Togo 2-0 Cameroon. The result closes up the group, with Togo now two points behind Cameroon and group leaders Libya. Sandwiched in between are DR Congo. A group in which no team has won away, and every team has one home (and one away) game to play.

Guinea 6-1 Mozambique. A result which keeps Guinea just in contention, but they are five points behind Egypt, so if Egypt win in Mozambique next week, Guinea will be out before taking the field later the same evening.

Mali 1-1 Rwanda. A dissapointing result for the home side who were 1-0 down at first half and only levelled the scores after Rwanda had a player sent off. Mali are two points behind Algeria. Benin's chances are merely mathematical. Of course, the equaliser was even more dissapointing for

107. Rwanda


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 11 Jun 2013, 19:51 
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106. Iraq
105. Qatar


Todays Asian Results, in playing order
Australia 4-0 Jordan, South Korea 1-0 Uzbekistan, Iraq 0-1 Japan, Iran 4-0 Lebanon

Australia's comfortable win puts them in pole position to join Japan in qualifying from Group B - the worse they can finish in is 3rd place, which gives them a play off. Jordan are three points behind Australia, two behind Oman (who did not play today). Iraq needed to beat Japan to stay in contention but lost to a late goal by Shinki Okazaki, after they had Ala'a Abdul Zahra sent off. They would still have been out if they had held out for a draw. Next week, Australia play Iraq - unless the kick off times are changed, Jordan and Oman will know what they need before they play. If Australia win, they are through and Jordan and Oman are playing for the third place play off, if Australia draw, the Oman take the place by winning. If Australia lose, then Oman would go through with a win, a draw would only be enough if Australia lose so badly it turns around a 6 goal difference. For Jordan to go through Australia has to lose, Jordan win, and a 14 difference needs to be transcended. Jordan are guaranteed a play offplace if they win, Oman if they win or draw.

An own goal by Akman Shorakhmedov meant South Korea beat Uzbekistan and puts a dent in their hopes. Iran's easy win over Lebanon brings them up into second. The consequence is that 2022 hosts Qatar are out - they could only reach the play off, and only if Iran lost. South Korea play at home to Iran next week - the winner is certain to go through but there is a good chance that both can make it with a draw. South Korea lead the group, and the draw ensures they are group winners, and leaves Uzbekistan needing to win by at least four to overtake Iran. The Uzbeks will prefer the Koreans to win again, as then any victory against Qatar places them as second. An Iranian win means they have to make up six goals. AT least the Uzbeks are promised a play off.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 11 Jun 2013, 21:27 
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Qatar's exit left exactly half of FIFA's 208 members (at the start of this World Cup) in competition.

European Results

Belarus 1-1 Finland - a late equaliser by Dimitriy Verkhovtsov means Belarus still have a faint hope of qualifying.
Sweden 2-0 Faroe Islands - two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic means that Faroe Islands are out - they can reach 12 points and although Austria, Sweden and Ireland are all only on 11, they all play each other so at least one must reach 13. If all three draw all games against each other (so as they all have 13 points) then Kazakhstan can just survive by winning all their games.
104. Faroe Islands.

Denmark 0-4 Armenia - a surprise result, Armenia going ahead in the first minute and then building on the score. NO one out, but until this match, Denmark may have had serious thoughts of getting at least to the play off round.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013, 22:14 
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South America

Four matches played Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning (UK time - all Tuesday evening locally)

Columbia 2-0 Peru - two first half goals which keep Columbia on course in second place, while meaning Peru need to catch up, the next matches are in September and Peru play Uruguay at home next, a crucial game.

Ecuador 1-1 Argentina - Argentina stay top of the group, and an unlikely worse case scenario still gives them a play off match. Sergio Aguero scored an early penalty but Ecuador were soon on level terms. Mascherano was sent off shortly before the end. Ecuador are in third place and will not be dissapointed by the result

Venezuela 0-1 Uruguay - Edison Cavani scored the only goal after 28 minutes. It is a crucial result which puts Uruguay into the play off slot, and they have a game in hand over the Venzuelans who they lead on goal difference alone. Venezuela's Tomas Rincon was sent off close to the end.

Chile 3-1 Bolivia - maybe not quite comfortable, Chile scored in the last minute. Chile are in fourth place, level on 21 points with Ecuador, which means five more than Uruguay, or five less than Argentina.

So it looks like Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador and Chile will fill the automatic qualification places; while not out yet, Paraguay and Boliva are unlikely to go further. Uruguay are now favourites for the play off spot, but Venezuela and Peru are still in the hunt - Peru play both Urugauy and Venzuela in September.


North and Central America

Three matches Wednesday morning (UK time, which places them late in the evening locally)

Mexico 0-0 Costa Rica - Mexico have now drawn five of six qualifying games, and although still in third (a straight through to Brazil placing), the others all play next week, when they are on Confederations Cup duty having already played their game. Costa Rica are in second

Honduras 2-0 Jamaica - one early goal, one late goal, one Jamaican sent off.

USA 2-0 Panama - goals around ten minutes before and after the break

USA lead with 10 points, Costa Rica and Mexico 8, Honduras 7, Panama 6 and Jamaica 2
Mexico and Jamaica have played six games (of 10 in the round), the rest five only with one to come next week

Which means Jamaica have little chance of going through, next week USA are at home to Honduras, Costa Rica play Panama and two home wins would put USA and Costa Rica well on their way.


Africa

Group F Played today

Malawi started at home to Kenya, who are already out. Malawi really needed a win to keep in with a chance and must have thought they had it sorted when Robert Ng'ambi scored with 10 minutes to play, but an own goal from Chimanga Kayira put them at risk.

That meant that when Nigeria started their game in Namibia, they needed only a draw to see Namibia out of the competition, while a win would confirm them through to the finals. ON 77 minutes, it was all going wrong for Nigeria when Namibian substitute Deon Hotto opened the scoring, but six minutes later Godfrey Oboabona levelled things up, to give a final score of 1-1, and add one more number


103. Nambia


With two teams (Brazil and Japan) sure of their places, there are exactly 100 teams still trying for the other 30 places.

Exactly half of these 50 are UEFA Members, fighting for 13 places.
28 are Africans, fighting for 5 places
9 South Americans are bidding for 4 places, and a play off match against an Asian team
6 Asians looking for three more slots in Brazil, and the play off against the South American
6 North and Central Americans, three going to Brazil, and One playing off against New Zealand, the last team standing from Oceania


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 14 Jun 2013, 19:33 
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Only one Friday result, but it is an important one
Libya 2-0 Togo - a penalty and an own goal in the first 18 minutes.
Libya move top, three points ahead of Cameroon, four points ahead of DR Congo (before these two meet in Kinshasha on Sunday), and now five points ahead of
102. Togo


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 15 Jun 2013, 18:44 
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Todays results and effects.
Bostwana 3-2 Central African Republic - dead rubber game, both already out.
Zambia 1-1 Sudan - Sudan were already out, but it is a knock for Zambia, who went ahead on 70 minutes, only to be pegged back within 2 minutes. If Ghana win in Lesotho tomorrow, then they have a one point and home advantage for the deciding clash against Zambia in September
Uganda 2-1 Angola. Angola took the lead just before the hour mark through Ricardo Job, but despite having Hassan Waswa sent off, Uganda levelled on 83 minutes, and then took the lead on 89.Between the goals, Angola also had a player red-carded. End of the road for
101. Angola
Congo 0-1 Burkina Faso - the important goal was scored by Aristide Bance.
Gabon 4-1 Niger - keeps Gabon in until September, Niger already out.
Group status is Congo 10, BF 9, Gabon 7 and Niger 2 points. Congo go to Niger in September, while BF play Gabon

Just kicked off, Cape Verde Islands v Sierra Leone. Sierre Leone out unless they win, while CVI already out.
Later tonight, Morocco v Gambia. Morocco out unless they win, Gambia already out.

100 countries left in. Two through, 98 looking for 30 places. 50 of the 98 are members of UEFA


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 17 Jun 2013, 20:15 
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The Africans have been busy since I last managed to post.

Starting with Saturday's two late kick offs.
Cape Verde Islands were already out, but Heldon's 12th minute goal gave them a 1-0 win over
100. Sierre Leone

Morocco 2-0 Gambia - goals at the start of each half give Morocco a short lived hope. Gambia were already out.

And onto Sunday's 10 games.
Tanzania 2-4 Cote d'Ivoire. Although Tanzania went ahead in the first minute, Lacina Traore and Yaya Toure (twice) scored before the break giving the Ivorians a 3-2 lead. Vitesse's Wilfried Bony scored late to make it 4-2 and simultanuously knock out
99. Tanzania
98. Morocco

(so it was less than 24 hours of hope for Morocco).

Mozambique 0-1 Egypt - Mohamed Saleh got the goal shortly before half time. Egypt confirmed through to the next round, but Mozambique were already out, and ahead of their game later in the day, the team knocked out were
97. Guinea

Lesotho 0-2 Ghana - no one knocked out in this one, as Lesotho were already out. Goals from Christian Atsu and Asomoah Gyan lifts Ghana one point ahead of Zambia - and Ghana have home advantage when they meet in September.

Ethiopia 2-1 South Africa. South Africa and Kaizer Chiefs player Bernard Parker had the unusual distinction of scoring to put both sides in the lead, scoring the opening goal after 34 minutes for South Africa, but then Getanah Kebede had levelled, getting the winning own goal. Ethiopia progress but
96. South Africa
are out.

Rwanda 0-1 Algeria. Meaning that only Mali, by winning both their last two games (last one in Algeria) could catch the Algerians. Rwanda were already out, the team getting a number before meeting Mali were
95. Benin

DR Congo 0-0 Cameroon. After two 0-0 draws with Libya, Congo needed a goal against Cameroon, but got another 0-0. Cameroon are two points behind Libya, Congo one further back, but Cameroon play Libya (at home) in the final game, so
94. DR Congo

Liberia 0-2 Senegal. Two goals, the first a penalty for Newcastle's Papiss Demba Cisse. Senegal still have get at least a draw against Uganda to go through, but its the end for
93. Liberia

Starting the day six points behind Tunisia, Equatoria Guinea needed to win both remaining games, and hope Tunisia lost their final game as well. Equatorial Guinea 1-1 Tunisia did not cut it for
92. Equatorial Guinea
It did however see Tunisia into the next round

Guinea 1-0 Zimbabwe, a dead rubber with both teams out after Egypt's win earlier in the day

in the final match of the day, Mali started five points behind Algeria, but by beating Benin, (already out) and Algeria, they would get through. But Benin had other ideas, and scored twice in the first half. Mali levelled between these with a penalty and rescued something with another equaliser in the second half, but
Mali 2-2 Benin means
91. Mali

To recap, Africa has ten groups, and every team has one game to play in September - but only the winners go through to the final round, a two legged knock out to decide the five in Brazil
Group A. Won by Ethiopia
Group B. Won by Tunisia
Group C. Won by Cote d'Ivoire
Group D. Ghana v Zambia in the final round. Zambia go through with a win, otherwise it's Ghana's group
Group E. Congo 10, Burkina Faso 9, Gabon 7. Final round sees Burkina Faso play Gabon, if Gabon win they need Congo to lose in Niger, and they need to make up a 6 goal difference. If the game is a draw, then BF can go through, but only by Congo losing badly (Congo have a two goal advantage), but if Burkina Faso win, all they need is for Congo to not win.
Group F. Nigeria v Malawi in the final round, Nigeria through unless Malawi win
Group G. Won by Egypt
Group H. Won by Algeria
Group I. Cameroon v Libya in the final round. Cameroon need to win this, otherwise Libya go through
Group J. Senegal v Uganda in the final round. Senegal get through with a draw, Uganda need to win.

A big day tomorrow in Asia. Three teams will qualify for the finals, two for a play off (to get into another play off) and one will be added to the knocked out list. The one to fall will be Jordan, unless they beat Oman at home. If Oman can win or draw, Jordan are out. With a very big goal difference to make up on Australia (12) Jordan can only really be third in their group - but anyway the decision will probably be already made. If Australia beat Iraq in the day's first game, then they will have made it to Brazil. A draw or defeat means Australia can drop to the play off if Oman win, while a six goal defeat for Australia would open the route for Oman to get through with a draw.

In Group A, it will be simultaneous kick offs for South Korea (14 points, GD 7) v Iran (13, 5) and Uzbekistan (11 points, 1) v Qatar (7 points and out). Any two of the trio can make it to Brazil, although a draw sees the Koreans through and Iran in a good place.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 18 Jun 2013, 10:32 
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FIFA are taken action against three African teams who are alleged to have fielded ineligible players, Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Ethiopia.

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminar ... index.html

The effect of this could well be that the three matches are awarded 3-0 against the offending teams. All the offending teams won, and in all cases this could effect the qualification.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 18 Jun 2013, 12:36 
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Australia beat Iraq 1-0 - goal scored by Joshua Kennedy in the 83rd minute.

As a result, Australia become the 3rd team to book their finals place

1. Brazil
2. Japan
3. Australia
4/5. to be decided today


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 18 Jun 2013, 15:26 
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MarkHalliwell wrote:
Iran and South Korea (just) go through. Uzbekistan finished 5-1 winners over Qatar (after being 1 down after an hour, with subs scoring 4 of the 5 goals) but needed one more goal, after Iran won 1-0 in South Korea.
Sorry Leo...!


Beaten to it!!

Current qualified list is

1. Brazil
2. Japan
3. Australia
4. Iran
5. South Korea


Uzbekistan actually needed two more goals, as level would not do (Uzbekistan scored 11, and conceded 6, South Korea scored 13 and conceded 7). The Uzbeks now play either Oman or Jordan. Let you know later, unless Mark beats me to it again

The Iranian goalscorer, his third in successive matches was Reza Ghoochannejhad (which I cannot pronounce when sober). He also scored two in Standard Liege's final game of the season


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 18 Jun 2013, 18:59 
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90. Oman
Jordan won through to their play off against Uzbekistan with a single goal win against Oman. Ahmad Hayel Ibrahim was the 57th minute goalscorer.
So we now have 89 teams going into September. 5 teams, four Asians and the hosts have their berths settled, the other 84 teams, 50 of which are UEFA members are vying for the remaining 27 places. In addition, we have three African teams waiting on FIFA decisions that could bring them back into contention


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 14 Aug 2013, 21:45 
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The only match to be played this month sees Northern Ireland beat Russia 1-0.

A surprise result move Northern Ireland up to 4th in the ground, the real winners being Portugal and Israel whose chances of qualifying are improved.

For Northern Ireland the win gives them seeding points, and hence the possibility of a marginally better draw next time

For Azerbaijan, it means the mathematical chance of staying in is still there - they would have been knocked out by a Russian win


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 16 Aug 2013, 20:51 
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To confirm the backtracking mentioned in my earlier post.
The match Botswana 1-2 Ethiopia, played on 8 June has been awarded 3-0 to Botswana
As a result, South Africa (96) and Botswana (115) are still in contention.
Ethiopia go through from the group if they win in the Central African Republic next month, if Ethiopia lose, then the winner (assuming there is one for South Africa v Botswana qualifies for the next round). Neither South Africa, not Botwsana can qualifyby drawing, and only South Africa can make it if Ethiopia's match ends in a draw.

Both of Equatorial Guinea's games against Cape Verde were awarded against them by 3-0. The original results were home wins, 4-3 in Equatorial Guinea, 2-1 in Cape Verde. This brings Cape Verde (111) back into contention, and they will make it to the next round if they can win in Tunisia next month.

Cameroon have been awarded the points after a 2-0 defeat in Togo, which means a draw will be enough in their final game to take them through, while without the points they needed a win

For the records, three matches played a year earlier were also awarded - Sudan were originally 2-0 winners over Zambia, but the match was awarded to Zambia, who are still in the contest as a result - now needing a win away to Ghana to go through.

Both the opening games in Group E, Burkina Faso v Congo, and Niger v Gabon were 0-0 draws, but they have been awarded to Congo and Niger. This does not change the fact that all the teams in the group except Niger can go through, but it means Congo are in the driving seat, while otherwise Burkina Faso would be the most likely.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 02 Sep 2013, 20:43 
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The September Preview

Following the three countries reprieved thanks to ineligible players in Africa, there are still 93 teams with at least a mathematical chance of reaching the World Cup final. Five of these have their places in the finals confirmed, they are the hosts Brazil, and the Asian quartet of Japan, Australia, Iran and South Korea. This month’s qualifications will see plenty more knocked out and a few confirming their places. Thirteen places are open to European teams, and at the moment these can only be settled on the nine group winners. All but one of the group runners-up will play in November’s play off round for the other four places. From South America, there are five places on offer, one has gone to the hosts, while the top four in their single group all get through. The fifth place in the group goes into an Intercontinental play off against an Asian team. This will either be Jordan or Uzbekistan, who play over two legs this month, starting in Amman on Friday. Five more will qualify from Africa, they finish ten groups of matches this month, with the ten winners playing off for the places. Three of the other four places go to the final North and Central American group currently underway. The fourth of these teams play off against New Zealand in November.

Taking the European situation first, there are three teams (Scotland, San Marino and Faroe Islands) who cannot qualify, nine who cannot finish better than second place – not that it is likely that any of them will. Belgium can only finish first or second in their group, while all the rest have everything to play for.
Starting in Group A, which is Belgium’s group, and still has ten games to play, five each in September and October. Belgium only play one game, and while they can improve their chances with a win in Macedonia, they cannot win the group this month. Belgium’s game this month is away in Scotland on Friday. Second placed Croatia go to Serbia on the same evening. As for the others in the group, Macedonia who are at home to Wales on Friday, and then at home again to Scotland on Tuesday will be out unless they win all six points (and all six the following month), and Croatia fail to get another point. Serbia may currently be third in the group, but they are in the same position as Macedonia and will be out unless they beat Croatia on Friday, and then win in Wales on the Tuesday. Wales can still get through with three wins and a draw, but even if they win all four, their fate would be confirmed by one Croat victory. No one is honestly looking at anything other than a Belgium/Croatia 1-2 here.

With every one of the six teams still having to play four games in Group B, all technically have a chance off finishing in first or second, but no one will bet on anything other than Italy winning, amd you are not going to get good odds for that bet. Italy have three home games in their last four, with second placed Bulgaria up first, followed by third placed Czech Republic. Two wins sees Italy to Brazil. The Bulgarians go on from Italy to Malta, while the Czech Republic are at home to Armenia on Friday. If they win these matches, then second place is most likely to be settled when they play each other in the final group game. Malta play Denmark at home before Bulgaria, but losing either means they cannot win the group, as does an Italian win in either game.

In Group C, Germany lead by five points from Austria, Sweden and Ireland, so it is very open which of the trio finishes second. All three have 11 points, and they play each other once each, meaning that even if the Faroe Islands win four times, and finish on 12 points, they cannot reach second, and that Kazakhstan who can only reach 13 points are out as soon as any one wins, or picks up a point against Germany, Kazakhstan or the Faroes. The Kazaks are also out if they fail to win any game. Kazakhstan play two home games this month, the first of which is against the Faroes, followed by Sweden. Group leaders Germany play Austria at home, and then go to the Faroe Islands. It is Ireland that have the most critical games, playing Sweden at home first, and then going to play in Austria, (Sweden v Austria is next month). Good results put Ireland in prime position, but then they still have to play in Germany.

In Group D, the Netherlands have a perfect record, and if they keep that up this month, they will be through. The Dutch to have to play three away games, but the two this month are in Estonia and Andorra, which makes them favourites to make the grade this month. Second placed Hungary go to third placed Romania on Friday, in a match that goes a long way to choosing the second place team. Turkey will stay in contention by beating Andorra on Friday, but may well drop behind when they go to Romania. The Hungarians will keep the group open, whatever happens on Friday by beating Estonia in their home game, while two wins would mean the Estonians are still competing. Group E is very much closer, with all teams still in with a chance. Switzerland have a fourpoint lead and expect to hold onto this with a win over Iceland, but their trip to Norway could be trickier. Albania are currently second, but have three away games to play, including both Slovenia and Iceland this month. Iceland are third, one point behind Albania, while Norway have one less. The Norwegians still have a good chance of finishing second as they have to play home three times, starting against bottom placed Cyprus on Friday. Cyprus play Slovenia on Tuesday – it is quite likely that neither is still in the competition after that evening.

Russian qualification was at least held up by defeat in Belfast last month, but it should get back on track with a home game against Luxembourg. The almost inevitable Russian win will knock Luxembourg out. Russia’s second game this month is at home to Israel, while next month they have two away games, Portugal go to Belfast on Friday, and this is their only game this month, which is likely to mean Russia end up ahead of them. Still if Portugal win their game, they will not be more than a point behind, and they are at home twice in October. The Portugal game is Northern Ireland’s last home game. Liechtenstein’s last chance of qualifying requires a home win over second placed Greece, and even that fails if third placed Slovakia can win in Bosnia. Bosnia hold a three point lead in the group at the moment. Lithuania and Latvia’s involvement may carry on if they can get the right results, but the places are still between the top three. Group I is effectively a two horse race, and the French, a point behind Spain have two away matches this month, in Georgia and Belarus. Spain have only one game, away to Finland, so two French wins puts them ahead, but next month it is the other way around with Spain playing twice (at home to Belarus and Georgia), while France have only one (home to Finland).
And so we come to Group H and England. England have three home games, Moldova on Friday, Montenegro and Poland next month. Moldova are out if they lose at Wembley. Moldova are out anyway if Ukraine win on Friday, and Ukraine play San Marino at home. Like England, the Ukrainians have three home games, with England following San Marino, and Poland visiting next month. Despite being current leaders, Montenegro have one less game to play, and are liable to go out if they cannot get points in Poland on Friday. Their only home game remaining on the last day, when they host Moldova.

The table for second place qualifications will also have more shape by the end of this series of games. One of the second placed teams misses out on the play offs, and England are currently bottom of that table, but they have played less games than any other in the table, having picked up six points against San Marino, (who are sure to be bottom of the group). These six points do not count in calculating the second placed rankings. There is also a risk that England could be in the play offs without gaining a seeding, (the top four in the FIFA rankings, of the 8 play-off teams will be seeded), as the FIFA rankings, often criticised for placing England better than they are, have now seen England dropping down to 14th, below Bosnia and Greece, but above Russia.

In Africa, the five places are decided by a play-off round in both October and November. Three teams are through to this round, while 16 vie for the other 7 places. The qualified trio are Ivory Coast, Egypt and Algeria. Ethiopia’s chances of qualifying have been reduced by losing the points for their win in Botswana, which brings both Botswana and South Africa back into the fray. Ethiopia still go through if can win their final game in the Central African Republic. Should Ethiopia be held to a draw, the South Africa would win the group if they win at home to Botswana, if Ethiopia lose, then either Botswana or South Africa can go through by winning their match – but if South Africa and Botswana draw, the Ethiopians are through anyway. Tunisia are at home to Cape Verde in Group B, and go through unless they lose. Ghana are in a similar position, with a home game against Zambia, and again a draw sees them through while Zambia, like Cape Verde need to win.

Group E is the other one with three teams left in. Congo are the favourites- they might go through even if they lose in Niger, as they have a goal difference of 4, Burkina Faso are a point behind, but with a goal difference of 2, while Gabon away at BF in the final game, are four goals behind Congo, as well as three points.

That leaves us with three more important games, Nigeria v Malawi, Cameroon v Libya and Senegal v Uganda. In all cases the home side go through with a win or a draw, but the away team will make it if they win.

In Oceania, there are no games, with New Zealand awaiting the name of their CONCACAF opponent in November, while Jordan and Uzbekistan play off themselves to get themselves a match against a South American team.

Argentina are top of the South America group, and the very worst they can do is be in the play off. They not play in the first match day, but will probably secure qualification by winning away to current bottom placed team Paraguay on Tuesday. Second placed Columbia play third placed Ecuador on Friday, and they would go top with a three point win. If they can follow this with points in Uruguay then they should also be through. Ecuador play a second away game in Bolivia, and will hope to at least strengthen their case. The bottom two, Paraguay and Bolivia can only reach the play off position at best. They play each other on Friday, and Bolivia are certainly out if they lose. To be honest neither have much of a chance of qualifying anyway, and both could be out this month.

In the other Americas group, all six teams are still in contention, but Jamaica need to start winning if they are going to continue in the competition. Defeat in Panama, themselves second bottom would put them on the verge of going out. USA are group leaders, and they go to second placed Costa Rica for their Friday game, the winner here will be looking at hotels in Brazil, The third of the matches seen the middle teams, Mexico and Honduras meet in Mexico. Despite drawing five of their six games so far, Mexico are still in line for a place in the finals. However with a trip to the USA on Tuesday, they cannot afford to lose the home game. The Hondurans continue with a game against Panama on Tuesday, while Costa Rica travel to Jamaica.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 18:11 
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A slight delay to proceeding on this thread today. The match between Russia and Luxembourg was supposed to be the first to kick off, but rain in Kazan delayed kickoff by an hour, meaning Kazakhstan against the Faroe Islands is first out.
The Faroes scored first, but two second half goals keep the Kazaks in competition until later today at least. As their maximum score is 13 points, their chances of finishing second in the group depends on all three games in the series, Republic of Ireland v Sweden (tonight), Austria v Ireland (Tuesday) and Sweden v Austria (Oct 11) finishing in draws. And all three have to lose their other two games, and the Kazaks must win all three.....so most people think the three games I have mentioned may go a long way to deciding who goes through as second to the Germans.

Meanwhile, the Russians have started, which looks like ending the chances of Luxembourg and Azerbaijan


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 18:28 
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Although Oman were listed as 90., the reprieves (if temporary) for South Africa, Botswana and Cape Verde means they are renumbered at 93, so Russia's 4-1 win over Luxembourg repeats two old numbers.

92. Luxembourg and
91. Azerbaijan

Two first half goals for Aleksandr Kokorin, the Dynamo Moscow forward who was transferred to Anzhi for €19 million in the summer, only to return for the same fee when Anzhi restructured themselves with slightly less money to spend.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 19:25 
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90. Zambia Ghana progress to the African play off round with a 2-1 win over Zambia.

Meanwhile, the Asian play off finishes Jordan 1-1 Uzbekistan.
And back to Europe, where Armenia pull of a surprising 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. This is Armenia's third away win of the campaign, following a 1-0 win in Malta, and an amazing 4-0 win in Denmark. However, Armenia did lose in Bulgaria, and also lost all three home games. The real winner here is Bulgaria, who will remain in second place even if they lose to Italy in Palermo.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 20:00 
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Norway beat Cyprus, Cyprus can now do no better than second in their group
The Macedonia v Wales match was another matter, only the winner still being in with a chance of finishing second in the group, while a draw means both teams are out. Aaron Ramsey's penalty equaliser kept the Welsh in contention into the second half, but an 80th minute goal means a 2-1 home win and brings up
89. Wales


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 21:12 
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Ukraine beat San Marino 9-0. This keeps the pressure on England ahead of their meeting next week.
A Danish win in Malta, limiting the Maltese to second place at best.
A hat-trick for Umut Bulut, as Turkey win 5-0 over
88. Andorra

In the same group, Romania leap frog Hungary into second place with a 3-0 win
Latvia win the Baltic derby, beating Lithuania 2-1. All the goals in the first half, and Lithuania cannot win the group now.
The knock on effect of France's suprising 0-0 draw in Georgia is
87. Belarus

Meanwhile Viktor Pecovsky's goal gives Slovakia a 1-0 away win at group leaders Bosnia and Herzegovina


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 22:05 
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No problems for Spain, 2-0 in Finland, and guaranteed at least a play off berth. Slovenia win 1-0 in Albania, to keep their group open, but the other match in the group is a classic, as Johann Gudmundsson puts Iceland 1-0 in Switzerland, the Swiss storm into a 4-1 lead, only for Iceland to pull back to 4-4 with Gudmundsson completing a hat-trick. Arjen Robben scored early for the Netherlands, but Konstantin Vassiljev scored twice to end the Netherlands 100% record. A late penalty by Van Persie gave the Netherlands a draw and meant that Estonia can only finish second in the group.

Kostas Mitroglou scores the only game, and both teams have a player sent off as Greece win 1-0 in Liechtenstein, a big result for
86. Liechtenstein
and consequently for
85. Lithuania
Latvia can still scrape into second place

Dissapointment for Ireland, Robbie Keane gave them the lead against Sweden, but they went down 2-1. The result is also a dissapointment for
84. Kazakhstan

England's 4-0 win over Moldova comes in soon after Poland and Montenegro draw 1-1, which means
83. Moldova

Germany beat Austria 3-0, to put themselves on the verge of qualifying.

Another match where both sides have a player sent off ends Serbia 1-1 Croatia. Nota good enough result for
82. Serbia or
81. Macedonia
Craotia and Belgium must fill positions 1/2 in this group.
Belgium win 2-0 in Scotland to keep ahead in the section

Helder Postiga is sent off for Portugal, but then both Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty get their marching orders for Northern Ireland as a Ronaldo hat-trick gives Portugal a 4-2 win, Northern Ireland can still finish second.

A single goal for Italy, scored by Alberton Gilardino gives them a big lead in their group. Bulgaria stay second


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 07 Sep 2013, 10:33 
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I am indebted to a Tranmere supporter living in New York for the following comments.

The CONCACAF Hexagonal group is shaping up very nicely after tonight's results.

The big news was Mexico's second ever home defeat in 77 matches of WC qualifying, a 2-1 loss to Honduras. The visitors turned round a one goal deficit with two goals in three second half minutes, missed a sitter for a late third but held out comfortably to turn Mexico's poor year into a disaster. El Tri are now out of the automatic qualifying positions with only three games to go - and next up is a trip to the US in Columbus next Tuesday. Doubtful whether beleaguered coach De La Torre will survive until then.

At the very top, Costa Rica gained revenge for their defeat in the Colorado snow earlier this year to move to the top of the group by beating the US 3-1, thus ending the Yanks' 12 game winning streak. A Dempsey penalty being scant consolation for the visitors, who lost key midfielder Bradley to injury in the warm up, then saw three others pick up yellow cards to rule them out of the upcoming Mexico game.

A slight surprise in the remaining game as Jamaica kept their very slim hopes alive by getting out of Panama with a goalless draw. A major blow for 2013 Gold Cup finalists Panama, who would have moved up to 4th with a win. Their play off hopes now look slim, although they end the campaign with an intriguing visit to Mexico - who they've already beaten twice this year in the Gold Cup.

So with each team having played 7 of 10 games the three automatic places are filled by Costa Rica on 14 pts, US on 13 and Honduras on 10. The 4th place finishers will play New Zealand in a play off and that spot is currently filled by Mexico on 8pts. Then we have Panama on 7 and Jamaica on 3.

Thanks to Paul H for that. Looks all set up for Wednesday morning (UK time) when the next set of fixtures get underway. USA v Mexico in Columbus. Has this venue been selected because the USA supporters will not be outnumbered? And of course, the big question, will the singing be organised in Columbus, or Seattle?

Jamaica v Costa Rica - is this the end for Jamaica, will Costa Rica seal qualification, and then Honduras v Panama. A Honduran win coupled with a USA win in Columbus is likely to push the Mexicans closer to New Zealand than Brazil.

And so on to South America. Columbia followed the example of Russia earlier in the evening, and worked on the pitch following the rains in Barranquilla, eventually kicking off 90 minutes late. They won 1-0 with a goal from one of Monaco's high priced summer signings, James Rodriguez (he is reported to cost €45 million from Porto). Paraguay and Chile both completed comfortable home wins, Bolivia going down by 4-0 in Asuncion, while Venezeula lost 3-0 in Santiago. In Peru, it was all down to Uruguay's all time record goal scorer - Luis Saurez. He put his side ahead just before half time from the penalty spot. Peru were reduced to ten men shortly after this, and Saurez scored again to make the score 2-0. A late goal from Schalke's Farfan may have caused some doubt near the end of the game, but Uruguay claimed the points.

The results were too much for the chances of
80. Bolivia
who become the first South American to be knocked out - the rest of the group is becoming clear, with Argentina, Columbia and Chile almost certainly to go through (none of this trio can do worse than the play off spot, so at least two must go to Brazil), Ecuador and Uruguay are likely to claim the fourth qualifcation spot and the play off spot. Venezuela and Peru stil harbour hopes of reaching that play off spot, while Paraguay are just waiting for the inevitable knock out blow. If Columbia win in Uruguay on Tuesday, then not only do they qualify, but they also confirm Argentina's place in Brazil, whatever the result in Uruguay, Argentina can confirm their qualification when they go to Paraguay - a match the Paraguayans must win if they are to retain hope of the play off spot. (Paraguay will be knocked out before the start if Uruguay beat Columbia). Meanwhile Venzeuala and Peru will fight to keep their slim chances alive, while Ecuador can do their case a whole lot of good by getting a result in Bolivia.

Today the focus is on Africa, with seven African sides to be knocked out during the afternoon and evening. There are a few matches playing on Sunday, but only one, Cameroon v Libya is important. The only match being played today in UEFA qualificationis Israel v Azebeijan. A home win will be the knock out blow for Northern Ireland


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 08 Sep 2013, 12:05 
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Saturday's results and knock outs.

The only UEFA area game finished Israel 1-1 Azerbaijan. Not the result Israel needed ahead of their trip to St. Petersburg on Tuesday. I assume the world leaders have left, and are now staying behind to view the game. An Israeli win would have ended Northern Ireland's mathematical hopes. The Northern Irish can still qualify. This requires
    Israel to win in Russia
    Israel and Russia to both lose their last two games
    Northern Ireland to win three games in a row
    Northern Ireland to make up a goal difference deficit of at least 13 goals on Russia and Israel.
    Simples :roll:

So, first up in Africa was the Ethiopia group. Thanks to FIFA awarding the points to Botswana after they had lost to Ethiopia, the Etiopians could be caught by whichever of South Africa or Botwana won the match in Durban - but only if Ethiopia themselves failed to win in the Central African Republic. At half time, there were signs of hope in Durban, the South Africans led 1-0, and Ethiopia were 1-0 down. A second South African goal followed after the break, and although Botswana got one back, South Africa added two more late to win 4-1 and knock out
79. Botswana
Unfortunately for South Africa, Ethiopia recovered second half and won 2-1, so its
78. South Africa

Next up was Nigeria v Malawi - a simple two team scenario, where a home draw was enough to get through. Emmanuel Emenike (of Fenerbache) opened the scoring early in the second half, and Victor Moses penalty a few minutes later put the Nigerians en route to the promised land, and ended the hopes of
77. Malawi

Group E was another complex one, both Congo and Niger had been awared 3-0 win from the first day of competition, for matches without goals on the field of play. Burkina Faso and Gabon, the "losers" in these games found themselves on eight and seven points respectively going into the last date, but Congo on 11 held the upper hand.
One goal in Burkina Faso was enough to see them keep in the game, and put an end to
76. Gabon
In the match with a simultaneous kick off, Congo were playing in Niger, whose only point to date was the awarded three from the opening day. Mahamane Cisse gave Niger a first half lead. Congo levelled on 66 minutes, only for Niger to again take the lead within a few minutes. Ulrich Kapolongo - a player whose summer move from Jordan to Azerbaijan must give him some contrasting views of the footballing world - scored the second equaliser, but
75. Congo
could not improve on the draw.

And so the focus moves to Rades, just outside the Tunisian capital of Tunis. Tunisia thought they were already through with their draw in Equatorial Guinea, which gave them 11 points. Cape Verde had lost 4-3 in Equatorial Guinea, but beaten them in the return and victory over Sierra Leone only bought them up to 6 points. Tunisia will claim they did not go all out in EG, as they did not need to, but FIFA awarded Cape Verde 3-0wins for both their EG games. Still, Tunisia, who had won the away match in Cape Verde only needed a draw in the final game to go.
Luís Carlos Almada Soares, who has taken the name Platini is a player who appears to like Island life, born in Praia, the Cape Verde Islands capital, he has since played in the Azores for Santa Clara before transferring to Cyprus (with Omonia) this summer. His 28th minute goal must have started Tunisian doubts, while Heldon Ramos who co-incidentally plays for Maritimo on the Portuguese Island of Maderia added a second just before half time. There was no coming back and the score remained 2-0 to Cape Verde, so its good night to
74. Tunisia

Finally on to Morocco, where Senegal were playing their "home" game against Uganda, as they were banned from playing at home following riots when they played the Ivory Coast in an African Nations cup game. Still, with a one point lead. Senegalese hopes improved on 36 minutes when Uganda's Godfrey Walusimbi was sent off on 36 minutes, what I think of an an Express departure from Marrakesh. Any lingering doubts were ended six minutes before the end, when Sadio Manio scored in the 84th minute. 1-0 to Senegal, and an exit for
73. Uganda


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 08 Sep 2013, 21:48 
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What an achievement for Cape Verde.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 08 Sep 2013, 22:15 
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With just a few matches today, the door closes on
72. Libya
Aurelian Chedjou, a summer signing for Galatasaray from Lille scored a rare goal to be the Cameroon hero, with the only score, just before half time.
Chedjou is a defender whose six seasons in France yielded just 11 goals.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 09 Sep 2013, 20:08 
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The Lilian Thuram of Cameroon.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 09 Sep 2013, 21:20 
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...although I have since been told off for taking the records of soccerway, which appears only to have given domestic records at his last club. He has a few goals in Europe, and has played in France for about 10 years (six for Lille) before switching to Turkey.


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 10 Sep 2013, 18:03 
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71. Northern Ireland
With the match in Uzbekistan, that leads to either them or Jordan being out kicking off a full hour before Russia v Israel, one expected an Asian team to get knocked out first today, but that match went to extra time, and then had a short delay due to floodlight failure. Meanwhile in Russia, the Northern Irish chances depended on an Israeli win. A late goal for Israel came after three for Russia.

The Uzbek match goes to penalties as I leave the office


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 10 Sep 2013, 18:44 
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70. Uzbekistan
Equalled the 1-1 draw in Jordan, no extra time goals, and Uzbekistan go down 9-8 on penalties


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 10 Sep 2013, 21:18 
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Leo, I would have loved to have read your update immediately prior to this night:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blo ... ember-1993


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 10 Sep 2013, 21:31 
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Well, I've been Skype-ing into the Robins Trust Meeting.
While I have been doing this, three more European teams have gone out, and one has made it to Brazil.

69. Georgia
68. Malta
67. Estonia


Georgia lost 1-0 at home to Finland, which keeps Finland in the running at least until Belarus v France finishes. Belarus were winning 1-0 and 2-1, but two Franck Ribery goals, the first from a penalty have put the scores level. A draw leaves Finland needing to beat France by 3 goals in the final group game.

Malta also went down at home, 2-1 to Bulgaria a result that lifts Bulgaria back to second place, and means that Italy who are now leading, having been 1-0 down at home to the Czech Republic can win through and qualify tonight.

Estonia were thrashed 5-1 by Hungary who move back to second place, one point ahead of Turkey and Romania, but with Netherlands winning 2-0 in Andorra,
6. Netherlands
becomes the first European qualifyer


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 Post Posted: 10 Sep 2013, 21:49 
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7. Italy?


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 Post subject: Re: 208 to 1. The Countdown to the 2014 World Cup.
 Post Posted: 10 Sep 2013, 22:08 
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Losing 2-0 at home to Slovenia spelt the end for
66. Cyprus

Greece have beaten
65. Latvia
by a single goal, scored by Dimitris Salpigdis. Ritvars Rugins for Latvia gets a late red card, and Kostas Katsouranis gets an even later second caution
this also removes
64. Slovakia
who were ahead against Bosnia, but ended up losing 2-1. Bosnia lead the group on goal difference from Greece, and these will finish in the top two places

Germany will be happy enough with a 3-0 win in the Faroe Islands. Germany can only be caught by Sweden, while their next opponents, the Republic of Ireland still have a glimmer of a chance.

England will be happy enough to stay top with a draw in Ukraine, but both next month's opponents at Wembley, Montenegro and Poland remain in contention. Poland did concede San Marino's first goal of the campaign, but came away with a 5-1 win.

With Scotland winning in Macedonia, Wales drop to bottom of their group with a 3-0 home defeat by Serbia - both matches were dead rubbers.

Chiellini and Balotelli (penalty) scored the goals as 7. Italy became the second European qualifyer.

France came good in the end, winning 4-2 in Belarus, and ending the challenge of
63. Finland
France are level with Spain on points, but Spain have to play twice next month, both at home.

The final game of the week in Europe sees Iceland beat Albania 2-1 despite the Albanian's scoring first. Iceland are second in the group, five points behind Switzerland. Slovenia, Norway and Albania can all still qualify.

(So, thats a yes to RCS - just takes me a minute or two to type them all in :D )


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