Mexico took hold of the Hex with a controversial 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Mexico had opportunities to add to their total, but the Soca Warriors will be aggrieved to have had a first half goal incorrectly chalked off for offside.
In La Paz, Bolivia, more than 10,000 feet above sea level, the air is so thin you can almost see Argentina's World Cup qualification hopes floating away.
It's not over yet, of course, but after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bolivia and with Lionel Messi suspended for three of Argentina's four remaining qualifiers, it's not looking good.
We still don't know what Messi said to the assistant referee after Argentina's 1-0 win over Chile Thursday, but whatever it was got him a four-match suspension, curiously announced just six hours before the Bolivia match.
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.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has handed Lionel Messi a suspension of four games for his altercation with an assistant referee following Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Chile on Thursday. The ban goes into effect immediately, ruling Messi out of Argentina’s match against Bolivia in La Paz later today.
If everything continues the way it is, the 2018 World Cup will be a 48-team tournament instead of the 32-team format we have now.
Now, how exactly will this expanded world cup tournament work?
Obviously the addition of all of these teams will have to result in reformatting the World Cup process, so the group stage will have 16 groups of three teams each, with the top team moving on from each group. From there on out, the knockout stage will be the same.
We know what Bruce Arena thinks of Jermaine Jones. He thinks that he’s got an engine, that he’s experienced and that he’s the type of player that can help the United States qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The 35-year-old was arguably America’s best player at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Copa America Centenario.
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.
There are a few positions which you can get away with playing a 17-year-old in a high-level soccer game: winger, for instance, or even fullback. Center back, however, is a different story. Center back relies almost entirely on guile and experience. This is why players tend to move back there as they age and cannot run like a midfielder anymore.