There’s easy goals and then there is this abnormal, ghostly goal Chile scored in the 1973 World Cup Intercontinental Playoffs against the Soviet Union.
But why ghostly? Some context is required in order to understand how this came to pass. In the 1970s, the Cold War was in full swing. The USA and the Soviet Union were competing to achieve world hegemony in terms of political and economical influence.
Northern Ireland's World Cup hopes were all but dashed Thursday as the hosts lost 1-0 to Switzerland in the first leg of their World Cup playoff. The goal came via a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty in the 56th minute. Ricardo Rodriguez should not have scored that goal because a penalty should not have been called. Take a look for yourself:
Taylor Twellman is adamant that this is a penalty and you know what, reader? Taylor Twellman is wrong.
Of the four UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs, few would have expected this sort of entertainment from the Croatia vs. Greece match. Greece, a team that once turned winning while attacking as little as possible into an art form, were away to a resolute Croatia with its star striker on the bench in what is usually a cagey first leg. But the match was refreshingly exciting.
Qatar actually won some soccer and all it took was a field player making an impressive save in a penalty shootout. After the goalie was sent off with a second yellow card for coming off his line during the shootout, a field player came in and saved the retaken shot to lift Qatar’s U-19 team over Iraq.
For almost an entire year, Argentina’s national team refused to speak with the press. The boycott was the result of a terrible run in qualifying which led to extremely harsh criticism from the media, including an unfounded substantiation that Ezequiel Lavezzi had been dropped for smoking pot after training.
Christian Pulisic was not included in the U.S. Men's National Team roster for their friendly against Portugal next Tuesday. This is cause for debate, so let's have at it.
FIFA’s international breaks can be full of thrilling competition between the world’s best. This break will see some of the most intense matches outside of a major competition you’ll ever see in the UEFA and intercontinental playoffs to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.