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Thread: 2022 FIFA World Cup

  1. #21
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Three goals in injury time for Japan.

    Gone are the days when the fourth officla would give a sympathy 1 minute it seems...

  2. #22
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    Reading around on Saint Lucia, just because I love the ridiculous drama you often find with footballing minnows, their FA head is claiming they simply couldn't afford to play the games, having come close to insolvency playing the CONCACAF Nations League over the last few years. Seems a bit strange, as smaller Caribbean dots are playing the games, after the Nations League, without problems.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Germany 1-2 North Macedonia

    Wow. Was not expecting that.

    Armenia top that group with three wins from three.

  4. #24
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    North Korea have apparently said they won't travel to South Korea to play their remaining World Cup qualifiers. From news reports it seems FIFA and the AFC are hoping they'll reconsider. If the remaining games are all just allotted as 3-0 walkovers, it will presumably have a major impact on who progresses, in regards the best runner-ups. The very unlikely team of Turkmenistan stand to benefit pretty significantly.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    Biggest mismatch of qualifying so far played out today, Japan beating Mongolia 14-0.
    And they just put ten without reply past Myanmar.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Guatemala were knocked out by Curacao on goals scored this week - possibly the first team ever to be knocked out of qualifying without conceding a goal.

    Curacao are managed by Guus Hiddink, but Patrick Kluivert stepped in as interim manager this month as Hiddink was recovering from covid.

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    Curacao are an interesting little country, a real Caribbean speck able to punch above their weight largely on the back of a colonial connection to Dutch players. They made great strides recently under a guy named Remko Bicentini, who was unceremoniously sacked and replaced by Hiddink late last year, after Bicentini had reached out to Hiddink seeking to put in him in a mentor role. He took the Curacao FA to court and got a settlement, and potentially might be due a huge payday if Curacao were able to get to Qatar (they were quarter-finalists in the most recent Gold Cup, where the ran the US close, so it's not that inconceivable).

    One of the other big stories I have read coming out of that part of qualifying is Trinidad and Tobago crashing out after failing to score against the Bahamas, who are much better known for beach football and whose top goalscorer in their entire history has a total of 10. St Kitts and Nevin progressed out of that group, whose most notable player is probably Romaine Sayers, who just got relegated with West Brom.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  8. #28
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    Significant surprise in AFC the other day: 79th ranked Oman beat 24th ranked (highest in Asia) Japan with a last minute goal, away. All those Irish friendlies finally paying off, clearly.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Germany the first non-host country to qualify last night. I read they've lost just three qualification games in 101 since their first over 90 years ago. That's an impressive machine. Flick has them doing well, but perhaps a bit too soon to consider them as a favourite? Still a year to go mind.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Yep - all three at home too, including one in this campaign against North Macedonia. Northern Ireland and Portugal the others to beat them.

    First to qualify is a bit random as it involves getting a bit lucky with a crap second seed (Romania in this case, who haven't done great but who have two easy games to go and are probably still favourites for second)

    Their two games this time we a bit ropey - 1-0 down at home against Romania and 0-0 away against North Macedonia at half-time - but they came back strongly in the second half each time. They should make the knock-outs anyway. After that, who knows?

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    Brazil the first CONMEBOL side through, which is hardly a surprise I suppose. But very impressive form, dropping points just once in 12 games, and confirming a place having played one game less than everyone else, bar Argentina. They're on 34 points with six to play, record for that single group format is 43 (Argentina for 2002). No-one's ever topped it unbeaten.

    I know Brazil have been iffy in tournaments lately, but they're doing something right at this point anyway.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  12. #32
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    Starting to get to the time when you start looking for the tournament debutants - there's never been a World Cup where a country didn't make its debut, and of course we already have one this time in the hosts, Qatar.

    North Macedonia just need to beat Iceland at home to make the playoffs in UEFA, which would be a great feat for them. Though of course with two rounds to get through this time, the odds are still strongly against them.

    In Africa, Benin need to avoid defeat away to DR Congo (the former Zaire, who qualified in 1974) to reach the African playoffs, while Mali have reached that stage. Burkina Faso and Cape Verde islands could also reach that stage if they win both their last two games, including the top seeds (Algeria, Nigeria) away from home.

    Looks like slim pickings elsewhere though. Lebanon are in the Asian playoff spot with five points from five games, but that's bad enough that they're likely to lose the first playoff (against Japan as things stand), let alone the one against the South American side. The two American qualifications feature one non-qualifier between them in Venezuela, and they're bottom of their group.

    That then leaves Oceania - which hasn't even started yet. They've cancelled a number of times, and now plan to run the whole thing next March in Qatar. Given New Zealand have qualified before though, you imagine a tournament debut is unlikely here.

  13. #33
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    Italy into the playoffs after a 0-0 draw in Belfast. Portugal and Russia two other big names there. Sweden and Poland with some big players too.

    The planned 48-team World Cup would give UEFA three extra slots. You wonder if having teams like Italy and Holland (last time) missing out entirely would lead them to reconsider that split

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    14 teams qualified now, the Dutch the last group winner confirmed in UEFA last night.

    Argentina through, Ecuador likely to join them, after that it's crazy tight in CONMEBOL for the last automatic spot and the Intercontinentals with four points separating fourth and ninth, any two of those six sides could realistically get them with four games to play.

    Canada looking like a good shout to get to their first Finals since 1986 after beating Mexico last night, they top CONCACAF with six games to play.

    CAF's process remarkably straightforward: all ten top seeds in the Second Round group stage have progressed to the play-offs as of last night.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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