Lost in all the column inches about Lionel Messi’s four-match ban, Argentina’s horrific performance in their 2-0 defeat to Bolivia and their subsequent falling to fifth-place in CONMEBOL qualifying was the passing of the belt to Bolivia in the Unofficial Football World Championships.
Lionel Messi has been suspended from four Argentina World Cup qualifiers (one has already been played) for saying something really bad, either (if FIFA is to be believed) to an assistant referee or (if Messi is to be believed) to the air. Argentina's World Cup qualification may hinge on Messi's excuse holding water.
Well, here's the video, so you can decide for yourself:
After three straight World Cups of the “Brazilian way” appearing to be nothing more than a fabricated lie engineered by Nike to sell more shoes or a conveniently easy Brazil pregame special for Fox Sports’ Rob Stone, the Brazilian creed of joga bonito is suddenly back in its full glory.
Brazil have become the second side to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, alongside hosts Russia. A team in the CONMEBOL region punching their ticket with over a year to go before the finals, and with four matches still remaining in qualifying, is heinous.
Oman and Bhutan played an Asian Cup qualifier Tuesday, with Oman winning 14-0. This is about as bad a beatdown as you can get in soccer, and we spent some time thinking about what went through the minds of the losing team.
The 14 Stages Of Losing 14-0
1. Oh no! The other team has scored! We must try to score also and tie the game!
2. Ah well, 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer. We can do this boys!
3. We can still come back. Stranger things have happened.
Matchday seven has passed in Asian 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, and the usual suspects have emerged as favorites to gain passage to Russia. Iran and South Korea control their own destinies in securing Group A’s automatic qualification spots, while Japan, Saudi Arabia and Australia are vying for the top two positions in Group B.
The only real surprise is Uzbekistan’s standing of third in Group A, meaning that a country that’s never been to a World Cup before is on course for the playoff against Group B’s third place side.
Back on October 13, 2013, Panama were on the verge of their first-ever World Cup finals. Needing Costa Rica to defeat Mexico in San Jose was the first part of the equation, but the more daunting task was the one facing them — they’d have to defeat the United States in Panama City.
With the United States having already qualified as Hexagonal winners, a largely second-string American team gave Panama the conviction that history could be made on the day. Panama took an early lead through Gabriel Torres, only to be pegged back by American defender Michael Orozco.
The two most successful international matches in Andorra's recent history were a 0-0 draw with Finland in 2005 and a 0-0 draw with the Faroe Islands Saturday. In between, they lost 58 games in a row.
Andorra's population is roughly 80,000, and the stadium in which the Faroe Islands match was played, the Esatdi Nacional, holds just over 3,000.
Here are some highlights from the Faroe Islands match. I don't know why I'm showing them to you, or why you would want to watch them, but here they are.