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World Cup Qualifying Weekend

On a huge weekend of qualifiers around the planet, here's how things look:

South America
*The guay showdown goes down in Montevideo: first-place Paraguay (7-1-2) vs. fifth-place Uruguay (3-3-4).
*Second-place Brazil (4-1-5), which has played three straight scoreless ties at home, faces sixth-place Ecuador (3-4-3) in Quito.

Africa
*The five-group final round begins with 10 matches. Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast are the favorites to earn berths in South Africa next year.

CONCACAF
*While the USA would be disappointed with a tie or loss at El Salvador, Mexico needs to hold off Costa Rica at Azteca and Honduras visits Port of Spain to face T&T's Soca Warriors.

Oceania
*New Zealand has already clinched the hearty group and will face the fifth-place team from Asia in a playoff later this year.

Keep reading.....

Asia
*At the midway point, Australia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea are the front-runners, but an Iranian home victory over Saudi Arabia would tighten things.

Europe
*Group 1 favorites Portugal and Sweden are back in the pack and face each other in Porto.

*Israel, trailing Group 2 leader Greece by a point, hosts the Greeks.

*Two points separate the top five teams in Group 3 (San Marino is hopeless) with Northern Ireland hosting Poland and the Czech Republic visiting Slovenia. All have seven points, two behind leader Slovakia.

*Germany seems poised to begin pulling away in Group 4 with a home match against Liechtenstein.

*The Group 5 showdown has Turkey (2-0-2) playing Spain (4-0-0) in Madrid.

*With a five-point lead in Group 6, England awaits Ukraine on Wednesday in London.

*France (1-1-1) needs to win at Lithuania (3-1-0) in Group 7 to keep pace with Serbia (3-1-0), which visits Romania (1-1-1).

*Italy and Ireland (3-0-1 apiece) are running away in Group 8, and after playing Montenegro and Bulgaria respectively, they'll meet each other Wednesday in Bari.

*In Group 9, Netherlands (3-0-0) looks to put further distance between itself and second-place Scotland (1-1-1) with a match in Amsterdam.

FIFA has the full list of matches.

By Steve Goff  |  March 27, 2009; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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Comments

Guay = cool
jajajajaja

I would expect Domenech to be fired if he doesn't have a good result.

Posted by: Reignking | March 27, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Africa is the hardest region to qualify from.

Posted by: Pedalada | March 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Would love to see Costa Rica sneak out of Mexico with a point

Posted by: Kev29 | March 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

As usual, Africa is the hardest region to qualify from.

Posted by: Pedalada | March 27, 2009 4:14 PM
-------------------------------------------

That would only be true if the best team to fail to qualify is from Africa. I'm not sure that's ever been true.

Posted by: fischy | March 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Soooo why is MLS playing games this weekend?????

Posted by: DadRyan | March 27, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Soooo why is MLS playing games this weekend?????

Posted by: DadRyan | March 27, 2009 4:33 PM

Should the season start a month earlier or a month later, to accommodate the international dates?

Posted by: fischy | March 27, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I meant: "Or END a month later"

Posted by: fischy | March 27, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I meant: "Or END a month later"

Posted by: fischy | March 27, 2009 4:36 PM

A good point. I bet what it comes down to for Garber and MLS owners - play on intl dates or have a few more midweek matches? Decision: Midweek matches would be worse for attendance than reduced squad intl dates.

But this scheduling blunder makes me think that MLS and US Soccer just aren't paying attention to each other or aren't getting along.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 27, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Didn't they start a little earlier this year?What for?
If any thing is bush league about MLS it is this. At the very least MLS games should start a little earlier tomorrow to allow folks to enjoy football for club AND country.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 27, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

At least for us US fans:-)

Posted by: DadRyan | March 27, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

MLS has to do a better job thinking things through. It's a Saturday, have earlier games so that people can be back home to root for the USMNT! There is only one early game! Every other game is at 7:30 or later.
I'll be at RFK tomorrow, but I'm not going to be happy about it... (well maybe just a little happy - it is the home season opener after all).

Posted by: silverrey | March 27, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey reminder that Chris Pontius is supposed to be live in the studio on NBCChannel4...@545 I think..

Posted by: DadRyan | March 27, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

RE: Didn't they start a little earlier this year?What for?
---------
They did start earlier this year to give teams a chance to have some weeks off during the busier national team schedules later this year. World Cup Qualifying, the US in the Confederations Cup in June and the Gold Cup going on in July. Every team got to pick some off weekends during that busy period. United for instance has breaks between 6/20 and 7/4 and then again from 7/4 to 7/18.

It's a small step at least, but they need to go a lot further towards being in synch with the international calendar. Ideally they need to go to the fall to spring calendar most leagues follow. But that's a long way off I think. A bigger question will be what they do for 2010. Will they play through the World Cup like they have in the past?

Posted by: thrh1 | March 27, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I am not trying to make some stiff here but why MLS and US Soccer don't communicate? It's the EGO man something that covers your eyes and don't see or hear anything. That's why we have this american football thing call football and completely ignores football as soccer yet it claims it's a nick name from Association Football. Like how?
And the low attendance for the United game, I blame United ticket sales for not advertising enough. Oh well.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 27, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Due the International schedule MLS is about to experience their worst weekend for attendance in a few years and it serves them right. No top league in the world is playing this weekend and if MLS ever wnats to be taken seriously they need to hope on board. The world views the league as something like college soccer not world football.

Posted by: euroman | March 28, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

How stupid is MLS?

Scheduling games during WCQ's?

I'm not driving to RFK and missing the US game.

Posted by: Stoprunning | March 28, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

That's why we have this american football thing call football and completely ignores football as soccer yet it claims it's a nick name from Association Football. Like how?

====

Not this, again. Anything but this. Do some research, please.

Posted by: mason08 | March 28, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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