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UEFA World Cup 2018 Qualification Concludes

Four two legged play off matches resulted in Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, and Sweden qualify for next years tournament in Russia.

Croatia dominated their home leg 4-1 against Greece and played out a boreish 0-0 in the second leg to secure qualification.

A Ricardo Rodriguez away goal in the first leg completed Switzerland's road to the World Cup beating Northern Ireland 1-0 on aggregate.

After a tight 0-0 draw in Copenhagen, Denmark and a Christian Eriksen hattrick comfortably saw off Republic of Ireland to take them to the finals.

AEK Athens midfielder Jakob Jahansson got the only goal over two legs for Sweden which saw them beat Italy, who fail to qualify for the first time since 1958.

Categories: Switzerland | Croatia | Sweden | Denmark

Posted at Tue 14th Nov 2017

CAF World Cup Qualification Concludes

In Group A, Tunisia managed not to lose at home to Libya to secure their World Cup 2018 place despite DR Congo winning 3-1 against Guiinea.

In Group C, Morocco overcame the Ivory Coast 2-0 away. Before the game, Ivory Coast needed only a win but goals from Dirar and Benatia sees the North African country go to Russia in 2018.

Senegal secured their place in Group D with a 2-0 win against South Africa rendering the final match also against South Africa inconsequential. This was the only group where all four teams could qualify going into the last round of matches.

Categories: Senegal | Morocco | Tunisia

Posted at Sun 12th Nov 2017

News Round Up 27th October 2017

English players to have vaccinations against rabies

Argentina to play Russia in friendly - The game takes place on November 11th in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Brazil to play Russia in friendly - March 23rd 2018 for the game, stadium to be confirmed.

Russian stadiums will be ready by December - Including Kaliningrad which is "83% ready". How very specific.

Categories: Argentina | Russia | Brazil | England | Kaliningrad Stadium | Luzhniki Stadium

Posted at Fri 27th Oct 2017

October Qualifiers

The first half of October saw an additional 15 teams qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

UEFA

The UEFA qualifiers saw Germany, England, Spain, Poland, Iceland, Serbia, Portugal, and France win their groups.

Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Greece, and Republic of Ireland all go into a seeded draw to play a two-legged match to determine the remaining four qualifiers from Europe. The first legs will be played 9th-11th November and the second 12th-14th November.

Iceland make their debut at the World Cup as the country with the smallest population in the history of the World Cup at time of qualifying. After an extremely impressive performance in the 2016 European Championships (including a win against England), they will look to better their quarter-final finish come 2018.

CAF

Nigeria and Egypt are the first two qualifiers from Confederation of African Football (CAF) winning groups B and E respectively. There are five groups of four teams with one remaining game left to play between 10th-14th November.

In Group A Tunisia are all but guaranteed qualification requiring just a draw against bottom placed Libya to complete it. DR Congo will need to have Tunisia lose and they must win by more than two goals.

In Group C Morocco and Ivory Coast face off with the winner going to the World Cup. Morocco currently top the group and so will proceed in the event of a draw.

Group D is completely up for grabs as they are one game behind the other groups - all four of Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and South Africa are in contention with Senegal currently leading the way with a game in hand. Should Cape Verde qualify, they will become the second lowest population team in the history of the World Cup to qualify behind the aforementioned Iceland.

CONCACAF

Costa Rica and Panama secure their places in the fifth round of qualification, a six team league with three teams progressing. Fourth place Honduras advance to an inter-confederation play-off, facing Australia over two legs between 6th-14th November. A quick Google suggests that flights are around £1,500 for those willing to make the trip. A sloppy 2-1 loss to bottom placed Trinidad & Tobago saw the United States eliminated in front of a 5,350 attendance on the small Caribbean island.

CONMEBOL

Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia join runaway qualifying winners Brazil at the 2018 World Cup. A controversial free kick deemed to have gone off the goalkeeper Ospina landed Peru a spot in the other inter-confederation play-off against New Zealand. The free-kick consequently prevented Chile from having any chance at the World Cup.

AFC

Australia kept their hopes of qualification alive narrowly beating Syria over two legs after a 109th minute winner from Tim Cahill. They will face Honduras in the play-off.

OFC

Back in September, New Zealand stomped their way through the OFC qualifier which lands them a spot against Peru in the inter-confederation play-off. After winning Group A, New Zealand faced Solomon Islands in a two legged play-off which they won comfortably 8-3 on aggregate.
Come November 14th, we will have the full roster of teams attending the World Cup with the draw to be held at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on the 1st December.

Posted at Fri 13th Oct 2017

News Round Up 13th October 2017

Russian World Cup venue builds seats outside stadium to meet FIFA capacity standards

Luzhniki - the $450mn stage for a new Russian sporting era

Fire erupts at Russian World Cup stadium - contractor

Putin confident construction of 2018 World Cup venues on track despite delays

Categories: Ekaterinburg Stadium | Luzhniki Stadium | Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Posted at Fri 13th Oct 2017

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