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World Cup Qualifying

From a USA standpoint, the two big matches today will take place this evening as Trinidad and Tobago, on the verge of falling out of CONCACAF contention, visits Azteca to face a Mexican side under immense pressure to finish the first half of the calendar with a victory (9:30 p.m. ET, Telemundo) and host Honduras (four points) attempts to overtake El Salvador (five points) for third place in the six-team table.

In Europe, Wayne Rooney and reserve Jermain DeFoe scored twice each as England rolled to a 6-0 victory over Andorra to move to the brink of a World Cup berth. Serbia's 2-0 win at Faroe Islands stretched its advantage over France to eight points, though Les Bleus has played two fewer games and must play in Belgrade in September. Netherlands, which has already secured passage to the World Cup, defeated Norway, 2-0, to open up a startling 14-point lead in a weak group. Russia's 3-0 win at Finland pulled it within a point of first-place Germany and created a five-point advantage over the Finland.

In South America, Ecuador scored twice in the second half after Carlos Tevez missed a penalty kick before the break in a 2-0 home victory over Argentina. Ecuador is now just two points behind fourth-place Argentina. The top four receive automatic berths, while the fifth-place team goes into a playoff vs. CONCACAF's No. 4 side.

In Asia, North Korea (11 points), Saudi Arabia (10) and Iran (10) remain in contention for the final automatic berth with one matchday remaining next week.

Your qualifying observations, as well as Mexico discussion tonight, are welcome in the comments section.

By Steve Goff  |  June 10, 2009; 7:20 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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Comments

"advantage over the Finland"

???

Have you been to The Finland? I hear The Finland is beautiful at this time of year!

Posted by: arswift24 | June 10, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Viva ECUADOR!!! I'm sure Argentina will blame the altitude.

Posted by: Mig18 | June 10, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

ECUADOR!!! Sí se pudo! Llora, Maradona, llora...

Posted by: SSMD1 | June 10, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Beckham goes the full 90. Good news for Areana, he has a fit D-Mid.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 10, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else thrilled that the new Messi commercial they just showed in pregame of the mls game is obviously against Mexico?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 10, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

After watching the game, the Argentine side looked awful. They may blame the altitude (I get winded in Quito after 15 minutes playing with 12 year olds...so I can appreciate the perspective), but that won't explain how miserable their passing was, their defense, and their inability to capitalize on open net and penalty situations. Messi never seemed on his game, and his teammates never seemed very interested in the game.

On the other hand, Ecuador actually played pretty poorly themselves (I say as I dodge a swing from my Ecuadorian wife). They held the ball too long in the center above the box, failed to run overlapping plays, and crossed over the box rather than in the box. But, what they did do well was control possession the entire game, and then took two well-timed (and beautiful) shots to gain the result. All Maradona could do was shrug...an attitude that will help him when he's packing his bags.

Posted by: figgy_va | June 10, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Beckham goes the full 90. Good news for Areana, he has a fit D-Mid.

Posted by: I-270Exit1

--------------------------------

And here I thought Dema Kovalenko had finally answered that question. I mean, he hasn't been red carded in like a month.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 10, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Dwight Yorke finds his form, hits 3 for T&T.

Or so I hope.

Posted by: Modibo | June 10, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Also, I watched the Holland-Norway game, and man, the dutch just treat those games like total parties. It instantly made my list of "places to attend a game".

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 10, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I watched a couple minutes of the Houston-Chivas match, and Dellacamera reminded me that the imoportant Mexico match is on. So I switched and probably won't go back. Nice scheduling MLS/ESPN!

Posted by: Kev29 | June 10, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

If you're looking for updates -- Mexico scored 3 minutes in. Honduras also struck first in the renewal of the Soccer War, 40 years on.

Blanco also was just denied by the goalie (surprise shot, as the goalie was defending a cross) after putting on a heckuva move and showing he can still accelerate.

Posted by: fischy | June 10, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Mexico's goal was very well worked. Nice goal, bastardos ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | June 10, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Mexico vs. Argentina in the playoff?

Posted by: mfrahm | June 10, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

trinidad just tied mexico 1-1. wow!

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 10, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Damn, missed the Soca goal. They'd been threatening. But they also look fragile in the back. Good match so far

Posted by: Kev29 | June 10, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

... But they also look fragile in the back....

Funny you should say that. The T&T goal came off a lazy back pass from a CDM to CB about 30 yards out in the middle of the field. If that ain't fragile, I don't know what is.

Posted by: mason08 | June 10, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Saw the replay of the Trinidad goal - hilarious. Terrible giveaway in the Mexican defense, then they don't close down the Soca forward - walks into the 18 and rips it into the corner.

Mexico just aren't very good. And they'll have to retake the lead without Castillo, who was subbed off in the first (injury Im guessing)

Posted by: Kev29 | June 10, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Just switched over to el Tri after the MLS game (I'm recording this one). Any updated from Honduras?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice shot from well outside the area from fullback Oscar Rojas to give Mexico the lead back.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

2-1 mexico retake the lead. honduras still winning 1-0 (come on ES!)

Posted by: birdynumnum | June 10, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Honduras 1-nil up at HT - latest Ive seen

Brazil now 2-1 up

Posted by: Kev29 | June 10, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Good to see some young talent on display as Dwight Yorke tightly marks Cuauhtemoc Blanco...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Mexico dominating but T&T hanging on. Alberto Medina made a nice run up the right and fed it to Sabah who was in 1v1 but one timed it just wide.

68'

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Blanco, of all people, just beat a T&T offside trap pretty badly but since he had to start his run at midfield he was closed down. Still forced a good save by the keeper though.

Gio dos Santos coming on for Guille Franco in 78'. Still 2-1 Mexico.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Medina cuts in from the right and shoots lefty shot over crossbar. 88'

Mexico still dominating but T&T is still in it at 2-1. See if they ever send numbers forward in the dying minutes.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

What I wouldn't give for a full wind up kick to Blanco's ribs while he's rolling on the turf. I have no idea how players can hold back.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 10, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

After 3 minutes of stoppage time, Mexico wins 2-1 at Azteca. I'm not sure of the roar from the crowd at the final whistle was a boo or a loud sigh of relief but El Tri gets the 3 points.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say that Saudi Arabia and NK are tied at 11, SA doesn't have 10 pts.

Posted by: AshburnUnited | June 10, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Teefutura just showed some Honduras - el Salvador highlights. Pavon knocked in a rebound early on for the only goal as Honduras won 1-0. Looked like ES had some chances but couldn't score.

Hex standings at midway stage (5 games played):

Costa Rica 12
USA 10
Honduras 7
Mexico 6
El Salvador 5
T & T 2

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that's about what we all expected out of that game. Oh well, let's go down there and take three since T&T didn't.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 10, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Good to see some young talent on display as Dwight Yorke tightly marks Cuauhtemoc Blanco...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 10, 2009 10:47 PM |
-----------------------------------------------

Funny, but that's the best I've seen Blanco play in a long time. He was all over the field, and I'm sure he was sucking wind at the Azteca... and, until the last 10 minutes, he was creative and accurate with his passes.

Dos Santos showed some serious skill as a late sub -- hard to believe he's not in the starting lineup, but I guess it's the Freddy Adu syndrome.

You could drive a tank through the T&T defense, but the Mexicans weren't exactly impenetrable. Some reason there to hope that the USA could steal a point -- or three -- in August.

Posted by: fischy | June 10, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

brazil 2x paraguai 1 finish.brazil is the best in soccer.

Posted by: seletiva04 | June 11, 2009 4:55 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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