It’s getting harder and harder to deny the hype of Christian Pulisic; it’s getting harder and harder to find new superlatives for the teenager. Pulisic, who recently turned 19, was brilliant for 55 minutes but that was all he needed to inspire the United States to a crucial 4-0 rout of Panama in World Cup qualifying on Friday in Orlando.
Tiny little Iceland, which thrilled neutrals across the world in the 2016 Euros, has nearly qualified for the 2018 World Cup, which would be the first for the island nation. A nation of 334,000, Iceland traveled to Turkey, a nation of nearly 80 million, and pummeled the hosts 3-0 on Friday to climb to the top of the Group I standings with one match left to play in UEFA World Cup qualifying.
Spain secured automatic qualification to the 2018 World Cup on Friday by virtue of finishing top of UEFA’s tricky Group G. La Furia Roja’s 3-0 victory over Albania confirmed their position while dooming Italy to the playoff round. Rodrigo scored the opener, Isco added a sumptuous second and Thiago grabbed Spain’s third on a celebratory night in Alicante.
Sometimes you need a hero. Yesterday, Peru got one. In a vital qualifying match facing no less than Argentina in Buenos Aires, Pedro Gallese was the hero for his national team and has over 30 million Peruvians dreaming of getting to the World Cup after 32 years.
An already qualified Brazil played to a 0-0 draw with already eliminated Bolivia at the legendary Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz on Thursday, something of a complete non story. But not when the gregariously self-entitled Neymar is involved!
“For me, the national team is over. I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion…It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over.” These are the words Lionel Messi uttered following Argentina’s Copa America final defeat to Chile, and once again, the significance and truth behind the sentiment rings loud and clear.
Scotland’s dreams of qualifying for their first major international tournament since the 1998 World Cup were given a major shot in the arm following a dramatic 1-0 victory over Slovakia before a bonkers crowd at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Argentina vs Peru is certainly today’s international soccer highlight as Messi risks getting left out of the World Cup. The game is massive because it also involves Peru’s illusion of making it to the world championship after 35 years. It is a match that has paralyzed both countries. Over 4,000 Peruvians are cheering for Peru in Buenos Aires alone.
In a move that’s been coming for some months, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay officially announced their bid to host the 2030 World Cup on Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina and Uruguay have been indicating a joint bid since July and Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez wore jerseys promoting the bid before recent World Cup qualifiers. Paraguay only recently hitched onto the bid process.