2018 World Cup

World Cup

Apparently This Is The New Nike Kit England Will Wear For Their Disappointing Second Round Exit At 2018 World Cup (Leaked Photos)

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'Tis the season of the international kit release and, while England's new strip has yet to be formally unveiled, a couple of leaked images purport to show just how the Three Lions will be togged up come the 2018 World Cup.

Because this is Nike we're talking about here, they'll be none of the individually themed retro-tinged goodness we witnessed with the recent batch of Adidas World Cup efforts.

World Cup Play-Offs: Peru Secure 32nd And Final Qualification Spot With 2-0 Win Over New Zealand (Photo & Video)

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That's it. As of last night, we now know which 32 teams will be competing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia after Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 on aggregate to shore up the final qualification berth on offer.

After the first leg in Wellington finished goalless, a goal apiece from Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos was enough to seal a 2-0 aggregate victory in Lima, thus sending the Peruvians to their first World Cup in 36 years.

World Cup Play-Offs: Mile Jedinak The Unlikely Hat-Trick Hero As Australia Book Berth At Russia 2018 (Photos & Video)

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After Tim Cahill's headstrong heroics in the previous round, it was Mile Jedinak who emerged as the somewhat unlikely catalyst for Australia as they booked themselves a berth at the 2018 World Cup with a cross-continental play-off win over Honduras.

The two sides produced a goalless draw in the first leg in San Pedro Sula on Friday, so a 3-1 victory on home soil in Sydney this morning was enough to swing it for the Socceroos.

Adidas Telstar 18: FIFA Formally Introduce Us To The Official 2018 World Cup Match Ball (Photo)

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It's official. FIFA have confirmed that the Adidas Telstar 18 is the ball to be used in Russia next summer and as such, it will join it's spherical brethren in the grand pantheon of World Cup matchballs.

Here it is, in all it's classically-hewn, white-and-black glory.

AFP

Rakitic would give World Cup spot to Buffon

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Barcelona’s Croatian international Ivan Rakitic said Tuesday he would love to tell Italian goalkeeping great Gianlugi Buffon to take his place in the 2018 World Cup.

Rakitic will meet Buffon in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus in Turin, just a week after Buffon tearfully retired from international duty as Italy crashed out of the World Cup.

Rakitic would give World Cup spot to Buffon

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Barcelona’s Croatian international Ivan Rakitic said Tuesday he would love to tell Italian goalkeeping great Gianlugi Buffon to take his place in the 2018 World Cup.

Rakitic will meet Buffon in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus in Turin, just a week after Buffon tearfully retired from international duty as Italy crashed out of the World Cup.

Syrian coach Hakim resigns after World Cup defeat

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Damascus (AFP) – Syria coach Ayman al-Hakim on Thursday resigned after the head of the federation criticised his performance, after the team failed to qualify for its first ever World Cup.

Syria’s hopes to qualify in the Asian playoffs in October for a spot in the 2018 World Cup were dashed during extra time against Australia.

M’bodji grabs dramatic win for Senegal

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Kara M’bodji scored in stoppage time to give already-qualified Senegal a flattering 2-1 win over South Africa in Dakar on Tuesday in a 2018 World Cup Group D eliminator.

Former France U-20 international Opa Nguette put the hosts ahead on 55 minutes and Themba Zwane missed a penalty for South Africa before Percy Tau levelled after 65 minutes.

M’bodji grabs dramatic win for Senegal

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Kara M’bodji scored in stoppage time to give already-qualified Senegal a flattering 2-1 win over South Africa in Dakar on Tuesday in a 2018 World Cup Group D eliminator.

Former France U-20 international Opa Nguette put the hosts ahead on 55 minutes and Themba Zwane missed a penalty for South Africa before Percy Tau levelled after 65 minutes.

Croatia qualify for World Cup with Greece draw

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Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) – Croatia qualified for the 2018 World Cup on Sunday by holding Greece to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their play-off in Piraeus for a 4-1 win on aggregate.

Zlatko Dalic’s men will be playing in their fifth World Cup in Russia next year, having only once failed to qualify in 2010.

Croatia qualify for World Cup with Greece draw

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Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) – Croatia qualified for the 2018 World Cup on Sunday by holding Greece to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their play-off in Piraeus for a 4-1 win on aggregate.

Zlatko Dalic’s men will be playing in their fifth World Cup in Russia next year, having only once failed to qualify in 2010.

Switzerland edge out Northern Ireland to qualify for World Cup

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Basel (Switzerland) (AFP) – Switzerland held off Northern Ireland to seal a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 0-0 second-leg draw on Sunday that secured a 1-0 aggregate play-off victory.

Vladimir Petkovic’s side wasted numerous first-half chances as the Northern Irish stayed in the tie, but Ricardo Rodriguez’s controversial first-leg penalty in Belfast proved enough for the Swiss to reach their fourth consecutive World Cup.

Morocco, Tunisia take different paths to World Cup

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Johannesburg (AFP) – North African nations Morocco and Tunisia took contrasting routes Saturday as they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Morocco scored twice within five minutes through Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia during the opening half to triumph 2-0 in the Ivory Coast and win Group C.

Morocco, Tunisia take different paths to World Cup

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Johannesburg (AFP) – North African nations Morocco and Tunisia took contrasting routes Saturday as they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Morocco scored twice within five minutes through Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia during the opening half to triumph 2-0 in the Ivory Coast and win Group C.

Loew to test German World Cup hopefuls

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany’s friendly against France on Tuesday offers Joachim Loew a chance of revenge, but the coach appears to be looking forward to the 2018 World Cup rather than back at Euro 2016.

“There are certain players that I want to see tested against the best,” Loew said ahead of the meeting in Cologne with Les Bleus, whose 2-0 victory in the Euro semifinals was Germany’s last defeat.

Loew to test German World Cup hopefuls

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany’s friendly against France on Tuesday offers Joachim Loew a chance of revenge, but the coach appears to be looking forward to the 2018 World Cup rather than back at Euro 2016.

“There are certain players that I want to see tested against the best,” Loew said ahead of the meeting in Cologne with Les Bleus, whose 2-0 victory in the Euro semifinals was Germany’s last defeat.

Australia frustrated in Honduras draw

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San Pedro Sula (Honduras) (AFP) – Australia edged closer to a place in the 2018 World Cup finals on Friday after grinding out a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Honduras in their Asia-CONCACAF playoff.

Socceroos striker Tomi Juric missed golden chances in each half as the Australians dominated a physical Honduras side without managing to find a precious away goal at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

Australia frustrated in Honduras draw

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San Pedro Sula (Honduras) (AFP) – Australia edged closer to a place in the 2018 World Cup finals on Friday after grinding out a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Honduras in their Asia-CONCACAF playoff.

Socceroos striker Tomi Juric missed golden chances in each half as the Australians dominated a physical Honduras side without managing to find a precious away goal at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

We’ll make World Cup despite setback, says Italy coach

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Stockholm (AFP) – Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura insisted Saturday that the four-time champions will still make the 2018 World Cup finals despite a 1-0 loss to Sweden in the first leg of their play-off.

Substitute Jakob Johansson grabbed the only goal of a scrappy game in the 61st minute with a low strike that found the corner with the aid of a big deflection to leave Italy in danger of missing the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

We’ll make World Cup despite setback, says Italy coach

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Stockholm (AFP) – Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura insisted Saturday that the four-time champions will still make the 2018 World Cup finals despite a 1-0 loss to Sweden in the first leg of their play-off.

Substitute Jakob Johansson grabbed the only goal of a scrappy game in the 61st minute with a low strike that found the corner with the aid of a big deflection to leave Italy in danger of missing the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

Sakho, Mane star as Senegal book World Cup slot

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Polokwane (South Africa) (AFP) – English Premier League pair Diafra Sakho and Sadio Mane played key roles as Senegal defeated South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane Friday to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

West Ham striker Sakho opened the scoring off a pass from Liverpool attacker Mane and both were involved in the move that led to a Thamsanqa Mkhize own-goal before half-time.

Kiwis eye Peru upset in World Cup qualifiers

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Wellington (AFP) – New Zealand believe they can spring a massive upset and down Peru to reach the 2018 World Cup finals, even if no one else shares their faith, coach Anthony Hudson said Friday.

The New Zealanders host “Los Incas” in Wellington Saturday for the opening leg of a two-match qualification tie with a berth at the finals in Russia next year up for grabs.

Kiwis eye Peru upset in World Cup qualifiers

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Wellington (AFP) – New Zealand believe they can spring a massive upset and down Peru to reach the 2018 World Cup finals, even if no one else shares their faith, coach Anthony Hudson said Friday.

The New Zealanders host “Los Incas” in Wellington Saturday for the opening leg of a two-match qualification tie with a berth at the finals in Russia next year up for grabs.

Cahill poised for Australia World Cup boost

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San Pedro Sula (Honduras) (AFP) – Tim Cahill is poised to give Australia a massive World Cup boost after being declared available for the Socceroos crucial 2018 World Cup playoff with Honduras here Friday.

Record scorer Cahill has been touch-and-go for the Asia-CONCACAF first leg tie after twisting an ankle a week ago in Melbourne City’s A-League game with Sydney FC.

Cahill poised for Australia World Cup boost

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San Pedro Sula (Honduras) (AFP) – Tim Cahill is poised to give Australia a massive World Cup boost after being declared available for the Socceroos crucial 2018 World Cup playoff with Honduras here Friday.

Record scorer Cahill has been touch-and-go for the Asia-CONCACAF first leg tie after twisting an ankle a week ago in Melbourne City’s A-League game with Sydney FC.

Say hello to Telstar 18, the 2018 World Cup ball

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Moscow (AFP) – What on Earth is Telstar 18?

Several heads were left being scratched on Thursday after Russia used some hardcore techno beats in a dark auditorium decked out to look like an underground dance club to present the official 2018 World Cup ball.

The orb in the spotlight followed the edgy motif of the presentation by being adorned with black-and-grey checkered rectangles that could have featured in one of Hollywood’s latest sci-fi thrillers.

Say hello to Telstar 18, the 2018 World Cup ball

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Moscow (AFP) – What on Earth is Telstar 18?

Several heads were left being scratched on Thursday after Russia used some hardcore techno beats in a dark auditorium decked out to look like an underground dance club to present the official 2018 World Cup ball.

The orb in the spotlight followed the edgy motif of the presentation by being adorned with black-and-grey checkered rectangles that could have featured in one of Hollywood’s latest sci-fi thrillers.

Stars on show for Brazil in Japan test

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Lille (France) (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian stars, including the world’s most expensive player, Neymar, face Japan in Lille on Friday as both nations ramp up their preparations for the 2018 World Cup.

Brazil were the first team - aside from hosts Russia - to clinch their place at next year’s finals after romping through South American qualifying, while Japan will make a sixth straight appearance at the global showpiece.

Khedira, Wagner slam VAR tests in Italy, Germany

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Berlin (AFP) – German internationals Sandro Wagner and Sami Khedira on Thursday heavily criticised the “disastrous” testing of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in both Italy and Germany.

The technology is being trialled in Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga this season with FIFA yet to announce whether it will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Khedira, Wagner slam VAR tests in Italy, Germany

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Berlin (AFP) – German internationals Sandro Wagner and Sami Khedira on Thursday heavily criticised the “disastrous” testing of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in both Italy and Germany.

The technology is being trialled in Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga this season with FIFA yet to announce whether it will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Russian PM vows World Cup crackdown on ticket touts

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed on Thursday to crack down harshly on people who intended to profit from reselling their tickets to the 2018 World Cup.

The price of admission for the June 14-July 15 event ranges from 1,200 rubles ($22, 19 euros) for the nosebleed seats at the opening matches to 66,000 rubles for the best ones available for the grand finale.

Russian PM vows World Cup crackdown on ticket touts

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed on Thursday to crack down harshly on people who intended to profit from reselling their tickets to the 2018 World Cup.

The price of admission for the June 14-July 15 event ranges from 1,200 rubles ($22, 19 euros) for the nosebleed seats at the opening matches to 66,000 rubles for the best ones available for the grand finale.

Italy’s proud World Cup record in danger

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Paris (AFP) – The last burst of qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup allows some nations a chance to dream, but for football aristocrats Italy, the next few days are a potential nightmare.

The last nine places in Russia will be settled in seven frantic days starting on Thursday.

Portugal

Game day for Portugal vs USMNT

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The USMNT is in action later today at Portugal (3:45pm ET - FS1). The pressure on this transitional group of USMNT players may be as much internal as external. All involved know the stakes as the program pushes forward after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Interim coach Dave Sarachan has made it clear that he understands his situation, looking at this window as an opportunity to put some space between the qualifying campaign and what happens next.

Portugal vs. US Men’s National Team preview: US aims to restore faith after World Cup disaster

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The US is not going to the 2018 World Cup. It’s been over a month since that dismal night in Trinidad but it’s still a sore spot and it’s still shocking to hear and say. It’s also quite depressing. But it’s time to turn the page on that dark chapter in US Soccer history and to make sure that it never, ever happens again.

The Rest

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at SBI Soccer

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Hello everybody. It is Thanksgiving Day, that day of the year you come to SBI looking for a soccer fix and find this familiar waving turkey greeting you.

It's been a rough year for American soccer fans, so some of you might feel like there isn't much to be thankful for. As painful as it was for many to see the USMNT miss out on the 2018 World Cup, there is still plenty for us to all be thankful for.

News roundup: Liberia win PHL Unity Cup, USL final, WCQ heroics and heartbreak, more

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Liberia lifts the cup at the Linc, USL final tonight, Switzerland, Croatia, and Morocco qualify for the World Cup, and much more.

Man Utd regular is a doubt for Newcastle game on Saturday

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The Premier League returns to action next weekend after the final 2018 World Cup qualifiers have been completed. Manchester United will be in action at home to Newcastle United in Saturday's evening kickoff hoping to return to winning ways. During... Continue Reading →

News Roundup: Sam Allardryce interested in USMNT job, FIFA releases 2018 World Cup ball, Jack Elliot finishes 3rd in RoY voting

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Sam Allardyce interested in USMNT position, Donovan isn't, and more

Chris Rolfe retires, USWNT vs. Canada, 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and more: Freedom Kicks for 11/10/2017

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A statue for Christian Gomez, and a tale of incredible 90s nerdery

Colder weather, after being locked out for several weeks, has kicked in our door and is throwing snowballs at us. It's time for hearty meals and high gravity beer, and for me it means it's time for some sort of major computer problem.