Greece’s 3-1 defeat in Zenica back in March made all the difference as Bosnia topped Group G by a hair’s breadth. FIFA approved the new rule in March for an additional substitute in extra time at the World Cup, but had earlier used it at youth tournaments and the 2016 Olympic football tournaments. The Swedes have a long and proud World Cup tradition and their failure to reach South Africa in 2010 was a surprise for a side that always seem to qualify for big tournaments. A defeat in Russia early on and dropped points against Israel (twice) and Northern Ireland meant Fabio Capello’s side edged the contest by a single point. On the same day, Ronaldo claims yet another piece of silverware when they defeat Argentine side San Lorenzo to win the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco. He refereed Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco and Germany’s 2-0 loss to South Korea, which eliminated the defending champions.
Marathon’s 3 appearances (2002, 2006, 2014) have all been with Ecuador and Rapido’s 2 appearances (1990, 1994) were with South Korea. Getafe frontman Ciprian Marica has 24 goals in 66 appearances for Romania over the last decade. Romania haven’t qualified for the finals since 1998. You may remember that they beat England in that tournament before losing to Croatia in the last 16. Their best performance came at USA ’94 when they stunned Argentina before losing in the quarter-finals to Sweden on penalties. In the end, Romania claimed a play-off spot after winning a three-way tussle with Hungary and Turkey. The latter scored the crucial goal in Norway that led to a 1-1 draw and won this play-off place. We will see the full range of emotions in the Africa over the coming days as the 10 remaining combatants play the second legs of their play-off ties. The attacking thrust has already been mentioned, so if Senegal are to give it a go, the experience of Yaya (30), Kolo Toure (32) and former Spurs man Didier Zokora (32), now at Trabzonspor in Turkey, will be very useful. Bringing all his experience from nine years with the Swedish national team, Lagerback transformed a team who are usually push-overs in qualification campaigns to the brink of a place in Brazil.
Five of them came in this qualification campaign. Marko Devic and Andriy Yarmolenko scored four apiece though only two came against the minnows. Mathias Jorgensen scored for Denmark in the 1st minute, getting the goal after a scramble in the area with the shot deflecting off Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. Made few attempts to attack into the Russian penalty area. Lloyd put the Americans ahead with a header in the ninth minute and Morgan added to the lead with a low shot from inside the area less than a minute into the second half at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the second half and Rose Lavelle added a goal in the championship game, kicking off a party that carried over to the tarmac in Newark. Some of the fans were indeed yelling the slur early in the game, but later the majority of the crowd started with the “Zika” chant, which was also repeated after the final whistle. He played all but one of the qualifiers and has started to feel his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans since moving from Werder Bremen in the summer for £8.3million. Established their reputation as one of Africa’s foremost teams.
Since the 1974 tournament, Umbro has had one or more teams at every tournament except for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The competition is as fierce among the major sports brands off the field as it is for the national teams that compete on the field every four years. He is now on 75 goals in the competition. Top scorers: Greece’s 12 goals in qualifying were shared fairly evenly around the team, though PAOK striker Dimitris Salpingidis scored a quarter of them. Top scorers: Tottenham’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigborsson of Ajax have pushed them along the track towards qualification with four goals apiece. It’s been a mixed bag for Didier Deschamps since he took over in the wake of Euro 2012. The qualification results have been fine but friendly defeats against Germany, Brazil and Uruguay have reminded everyone this is a work in progress. Croatia’s stuttering qualification group saw the end of Igor Stimac. France had brought their dream of a first final to an end. The Swedes edged out Austria in the end to give themselves this second opportunity. But in another heartbreak for Belgium fans, France took them out with a 3-2 win in the semifinals.