World Cup qualifying

World Cup

World Cup Play-Off Draw: Republic Of Ireland To Face Off Against Denmark, Northern Ireland To Play Switzerland

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The draw for the 2018 World Cup play-offs has just been completed in Zurich, with Fernando Hierro doing the honours and granting the Republic of Ireland a two-legger against Denmark.

A single goal from James McClean saw Ireland narrowly pipped Wales in their final qualifier to pinch the play-off spot in Group D, ensuring their quest to make it to Russia will roll on, starting with a trip to Copenhagen in early November.

If There's A Will, There's A Weah

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I'm still working on my World Cup qualifying post-mortem. To be honest, I spent most of last week in a serious funk and the weekend was busy. I should have it up by tomorrow, but for now let's all take heart in the US Under-17's own World Cup run, which is now to the quarters thanks to a surprising 5-0 rout of previously hot Paraguay paced by a Timothy Weah hat trick.

Official: Gordon Strachan Leaves Role As Scotland Manager After Missing Out On Two Major Tournaments In Succession

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Not that there was ever much doubt, but Gordon Strachan has today left his post as Scotland manager with immediate effect after failing to qualify for his second major tournament in succession.

A 2-2 draw in their final qualifier against Slovenia last week was enough to see the Scots fall short of reaching Russia 2018 on goal difference, with Strachan left to rue his side's genetic deficiencies in the aftermath.

Colombia: Radamel Falcao Might Be In Trouble With FIFA For Allegedly ‘Discussing Beneficial Scorelines’ With Peru Players In Last Few Minutes Of World Cup Qualifier (Video)

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Colombia captain Radamel Falcao has admitted that he discussed scoreline permutations with opposing Peru players during the latter stages of Monday night's World Cup qualifier between the two sides.

With the score stood at 1-1 and roughly five minutes left to play, Falcao was seen nattering away with several Peruvian players individually.

‘One For The Legend Books!’ – Alvin Jones Scores Superb 30-Yard Humper As Trinidad & Tobago Quash USA World Cup Aspirations (Photos & Video)

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The USA's farcical quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup ended with a stout fart on Tuesday evening, terminating with a 2-1 defeat against Trinidad & Tobago.

Bruce Arena's side went a goal behind early on when US defender Omar Gonzalez awkwardly shanked a cross into his own goal.

Fire Fight: Bosnia & Herzegovina Fans Respond To World Cup Elimination By Setting Estonia’s Pitch Ablaze (Video)

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Heading into the final round of fixtures, Bosnia and Hezegovina retained a fairly slim chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Basically, they needed to beat Estonia themselves and then hope that, by some miracle, teenie-weenie Gibraltar could muster a victory over Greece despite having failed to amass a single point in Group H by that juncture.

Row Zed: Heroic Panama Ball-Boy Does What Needs To Be Done To Ensure His Country Qualify For First Ever World Cup (Video)

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Since it began in 1930, every World Cup has featured at least one team appearing for the first time.

Along with fellow debutantes Iceland, Panama have kept that streak alive going into 2018 by qualifying for their first ever World Cup with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Tuesday night.

From The Brink: Peerless Lionel Messi Hat-Trick Drags Argentina To World Cup As Chile Miss Out On Goal Difference (Photos & Video)

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Timed for maximum dramatic impact, Lionel Messi produced an inspirational performance in Argentina's final World Cup qualifier to drag his nation from the brink of elimination and into the 2018 finals in Russia.

The Albiceleste began the day in sixth place, but a 3-1, last-gasp, Messi-powered victory over Ecuador saw them hurtle up into third, hence securing themselves an automatic qualification spot at the death.

World Cup Qualifying: Tim Cahill Scores Couple Of Trademark Headers As Australia See Off Syria In Asian Play-Off (Photos & Video)

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A 1-1 draw in the first leg in Melaka last Thursday meant that the World Cup play-off decider between Australia and Syria was poised on a knife-edge going into the second.

After battling so hard to get this far, Syria's dreams were eventually ended by a vintage captain's innings from Tim Cahill, who scored twice in a match that ended up going the full distance in Sydney.

World Cup Qualifying: Solitary James McClean Goal Sees Rep. Of Ireland Reach Play-Offs At Wales’ Expense (Photos & Video)

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Republic of Ireland went barnstorming into the World Cup play-offs by beating Wales in Cardiff on Monday evening to thereby quash their opponents' thin hopes of making it to Russia.

The evening kicked-off with a stirringa capella rendition of the Welsh national anthem, Land of Our Fathers, which the home contingent bellowed out in bristling unison.

Iceland Become Smallest Nation In History To Qualify For World Cup With 2-0 Win Over Kosovo (Photos & Video)

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After ascending to the top of Group I with a win over Turkey five days ago, Iceland formally booked themselves a place at Russia 2018 with a 2-0 victory over Kosovo in their final qualifier on Monday evening.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was instrumental for Iceland on the night, with the Everton midfielder opening the scoring shortly before half-time by bustling his way into the Kosovan 18-yard box and hacking a shot past the onrushing goalkeeper.

Downtown Cairo Grinds To Standstill As Egypt Fans Take To Streets To Celebrate Historic World Cup Qualification (Photos & Video)

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Having failed to reach a World Cup since Italia 1990, the euphoric relief was understandably palpable after Mohamed Salah's tension-busting 94th-minute penaltyhit the back of the Congolese net and assured The Pharaohs of a berth in Russia on Sunday evening.

The historic result in Alexandria sparked scenes of mass delirium in capital city Cairo, some 150 miles down the road, as fans took to the streets in droves to celebrate in unison.

World Cup Qualifying: Leon Goretzka Scores Audacious Back-Heel As Germany Sign Off With 5-1 Trouncing Of Azerbaijan (Video)

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Having already sealed their place at the World Cup, holders Germany put the finishing touch on their flawless Group C qualification campaign by signing off with a tenth win in ten outings a 5-1 demolition job of Azerbaijan.

Leon Goretzka opened the scoring in style with just eight minutes on the clock, the Schalke midfielder demonstrating excellent technique to squeeze a back-heel up and into the top corner from close range.

World Cup Qualifying: Northern Ireland Through To Play-Offs Despite Defeat In Norway (Video)

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Northern Ireland ended their World Cup qualification campaign with a 1-0 defeat away to Norway.

However, after Scotland's Group F draw in Slovenia earlier in the day, Michael O'Neill's side were already assured of a play-off place.

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The only goal of the game came on 71 minutes, with Chris Brunt's fluffed goal-line clearance flying into his own net after 'keeper Michael McGovern got a hand to Stefan Johansen's cross.

CONCACAF

Quakes locker room encapsulates the aftermath of CONCACAF's craziest night

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SAN JOSE, Calif. On Friday, the San Jose Earthquakes traveled to Vancouver as one. On the same bus, on the same plane and with the same intention: winning against the Whitecaps on Sunday to remain in contention for a first playoff appearance in five years.

But just 48 hours earlier, on Wednesday, Chris Wondolowski and Anibal Godoy, separately, traveled back to San Jose from the depths of North America.

T&T's Leston Paul: U.S. 'learned their lesson' on Tuesday night

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Much ado was made about the pitch conditions heading into Tuesday night's World Cup Qualifying finale that ended in the U.S. Men's National Team missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Torrential rain flooded the pitch at Ato Boldon Stadium, causing a social media uproar as videos of American players being ferried across the moat surrounding the playing surface made their way around the internet.

Does Mexico have a momentum problem?

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct 11, 2017) US Soccer Players - With World Cup qualifying now complete for Mexico, the attention will soon focus on the future. The World Cup draw, tune-ups against European foes before and after FIFA draws teams into groups. The endless debate on what the 23-man roster for Russia should look like.

The day after the Hexagonal

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the responses to the USMNT missing out on the 2018 World Cup. The USMNT lost their final game in the Hexagonal 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago, giving Panama and Honduras the gap in the table that both needed to advance. Panama advanced directly with Honduras now playing Australia over two legs to see if a fourth CONCACAF team can qualify for Russia 2018.

WCQ: Trinidad & Tobago 2 – USMNT 1

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The USMNT lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, finishing in 5th-place and missing the 2018 World Cup. Trinidad & Tobago took the early lead from a 17th-minute own-goal at Ato Boldon Stadium. They doubled it when Alvin Jones scored in the 37th minute. Christian Pulisic pulled a goal back in the 47th minute.

Christian Pulisic prepared for physical play

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Christian Pulisic is no stranger to the physical abuse he's taken at the hands of opposing defenders.

The young U.S Men's National Team star has taken plenty of it during World Cup Qualifying so far, and is expecting more tonight when he takes on Trinidad and Tobago. This is nothing he isn't used to, and nothing he can't handle, even if it's disrespectful.

Despite conditions, USMNT ready to seize World Cup chance with win in T&T

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Everyone knows what's at stake for the U.S. Men's National Team on Tuesday night. It's been discussed for months and, with a win, they will finally be able to grasp a ticket to Russia.

Before the U.S. can escape CONCACAF, though, they must first handle one final challenge, and it's one very befitting of a World Cup decider in the region.

Game day for Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT

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It's time to say goodbye to the 2017 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying cycle one way or the other. Sure, one team will end up in 4th-place and have to play Australia in a November playoff, but for everybody else tonight is it. No more wondering if the old "win at home, draw on the road" script is flipped.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Preview: Panama hosts Costa Rica, Mexico faces Honduras

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Two of CONCACAF's three and a half spots in Russia next summer are claimed, and the race is on for that final automatic place and a date with either Australia or Syria in a last-chance playoff for finishing fourth.

Costa Rica and Mexico are in for sure, and, as the U.S. Men's National Team looks to brush Trinidad and Tobago aside to earn the third qualifying spot, two more matches with implications for that crucial fourth place position will go down.

Poor training conditions among many obstacles USMNT face in T&T

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We all know the pitfalls of playing CONCACAF away matches in World Cup Qualifying.

Whether it's rowdy fans launching fireworks outside the team hotel in the dead of night or playing big matches on bumpy pitches in the blazing afternoon heat and humidity, this confederation is always throwing obstacles in the path of success for road teams.

United States Men's National Team

Landon Donovan: USMNT 'got what we deserved'

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U.S. Men's National Team legend Landon Donovan is the latest to sound off on the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup next summer.

"You can lose games, that's all part of it. But the lack of urgency to really understand what was at stake was really disheartening. Candidly, it was really hard to watch," Donovan told the Dan Patrick Show.

USMNT sees World Cup dream end with loss to T&T

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The U.S. Men's National Team's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup quickly turned into a nightmare on Tuesday night.

Two first half goals from Soca Warriors stunned the U.S., who fell 2-1 in T&T on Tuesday night. The loss eliminated the U.S. from World Cup qualifying due to wins from Panama and Honduras.

Preview: Trinidad & Tobago vs USMNT

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The USMNT plays Trinidad & Tobago at Ato Boldon Stadium (8pm ET - beIN Sport) in the final game of the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. For the USMNT, the stakes are clear. 3rd-place and avoiding an intercontinental playoff against Australia.

We learned earlier on Tuesday that it will be Australia waiting on the CONCACAF 4th-place finisher.

What the 1989 USMNT can teach the 2017 version

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By Clemente Lisi – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 9, 2017) US Soccer Players – Halloween may be just a few weeks away, but signs of the holiday are all around us. Pumpkins and skeletons adorn the outside of homes and stores have stocked the shelves with candy and costumes. Given this bewitching time of year, it seems fitting then that the USMNT has given a fright to everyone from soccer officials right on down to the fans.

AFP

Larsen returns injured from Denmark World Cup duty

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Milan (AFP) – Udinese’s Danish international defender Jens Stryger Larsen has returned injured from World Cup duty, the Serie A club said on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old limped off just before half-time with a hamstring injury in Tuesday’s shock 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat at home to Montenegro.

Larsen returns injured from Denmark World Cup duty

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Milan (AFP) – Udinese’s Danish international defender Jens Stryger Larsen has returned injured from World Cup duty, the Serie A club said on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old limped off just before half-time with a hamstring injury in Tuesday’s shock 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat at home to Montenegro.

Ronaldo, Portugal lock down World Cup spot

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Lisbon (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month’s play-offs.

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed Portugal the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as the hosts finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

Ronaldo, Portugal lock down World Cup spot

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Lisbon (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month’s play-offs.

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed Portugal the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as the hosts finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

2018 World Cup

World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Who's in after this international window

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The field for the 2018 World Cup is almost complete. We know 23 of the 32 teams that will be competing in Russia next summer, but there are still nine spots left to be filled.

Here's the rundown of how each confederation stands after this latest round of qualifiers:

CONCACAF

Qualified: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama

Playoffs: Honduras will play a home and home series with Australia.

Video: Mohamed Salah sends Egypt to first World Cup since 1990 with late penalty kick

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Impossible not to get chills listening to the commentary of Mohamed Salah's game-winning penalty that sent Egypt to the 2018 World Cup. pic.twitter.com/YFquwbgCpB

- Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) October 8, 2017


russia 2018

Tuesday WCQ Rewind: Portugal tops Switzerland, Netherlands edge Sweden, and more

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The UEFA World Cup Qualifying group-stage concluded on Tuesday with nine matches taking place all across Europe. France and Portugal clinched their places in next year's World Cup after home victories. The highlighted showdown on Tuesday came from Group B, as Portugal faced Switzerland in a winner take all match.

Tuesday WCQ Rewind: Portugal tops Switerland, Netherlands edge Sweden, and more

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TheUEFA World Cup Qualifying group-stage concluded on Tuesday with nine matches taking place all across Europe. France and Portugal clinched their places in next year's World Cup after home victories. The highlighted showdown on Tuesday came from Group B, as Portugal faced Switzerland in a winner take all match.

World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Who's in and scenarios ahead of final stages

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With December's official 2018 World Cup draw around the corner, the road to qualification keeps narrowing for those with aspirations intact while those that have booked their ticket join hosts Russia in a state of joy.

Throughout the board, the last stages of qualification are ongoing, and sooner rather than later, all 32 sides will be known.

The Rest

USA Fails to Qualify for World Cup

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

An Omar Gonzalez own goal set the stage for a massively disappointing night for the United States, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup following Wednesday's 2-1 loss at Trinidad & Tobago.

Gonzalez's wayward clearance found the back of the net in the 17th minute before a 37th minute Alvin Jones blast made it a two-goal deficit going into halftime.

CONMEBOL WCQ Preview: Chile travels to Brazil, Peru hosts Colombia, and more

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Coming into Tuesday's CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers, six countries will fight for three automatic qualification spots. Whoever finishes in fifth will have to face a playoff for the chance to make next year's FIFA World Cup.

Matchday 18's highlighted fixture comes from Sao Paulo as already-qualified Brazil hosts Chile.

Return to normal for the USMNT

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We start the soccer news with the quick takeaway from the USMNT's 4-0 shutout of Panama on Friday. This is how it's supposed to go at home in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The visiting team tries something that doesn't work and is unable to make the adjustments necessary to salvage a point. Only making things worse is when the home team turns the game into a major statement.