Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday Night World Cup Qualifiers Review + Analysis:

Another international break for all you football fans to enjoy (sarcasm evident) and on a Friday night there are 29 World Cup Qualifying matches across the world being played. 

Here are the games being played LIVE tonight:

Group A:

Croatia 1 Belgium 2:
Belgium sealed their place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a 2-1 away win against Croatia, their first qualification for a European tournament since 2002. A double from Everton's loanee striker Romelu Lukaku gave the dark horses a much needed win despite a late challenge thanks to midfielder Niko Krancjar's consolation goal in the 83rd minute. 

Powerhouse: Lukaku clinically finishes his chance after getting past the Croatia defence.

Breakthrough: Lukaku celebrates his first of two goals for Belgium earlier tonight
Mourinho, are you watching? Loans out one of the best young strikers in the world, makes perfect sense. 

Wales 1 Macedonia 0:
Wales moved off the bottom of Group A with a 1-0 home win against Macedonia thanks to a goal by young Reading striker Simon Church, which pushes Wales to 4th place in their World Cup qualifying group..

They cannot qualify for the World Cup next year however, with the leaders of the group Belgium and Croatia leading by a comfortable margin. 

Group B:

Armenia 2 Bulgaria 1
Armenia won a crucial game in Group B on Friday night, with a 2-1 win over Bulgaria thanks to goals from right-winger Aras Ozbiliz and striker Yura Movsisyan. They still need to win their last game, but have a slim chance of qualifying for the World Cup by winning a play-off match closer to the finals. 

Malta 1 Czech Republic 4
A 4-1 rout by The Czechs thanks to goals by Hubschman, Lafata, Kadlec and Pekhart makes sure they keep 4th place in their group, however they will need to win their last game and ensure that results go their way to move onto the play-off's. They are level on points with Armenia and one point behind both Bulgaria and Denmark.

Denmark 2 Italy 2
The top two sides (in terms of quality) in Group B faced off against each other, with many EPL players in action for both international sides. 

Arsenal's underfire striker Nicklas Bendtner (who always seems to do well for his country in comparison to his club) scored a double on either side of half-time, after Southampton striker Pablo Osvaldo opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a tap-in finish. 

Danish double: Bendtner scored twice past Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Bendtner got booked for taking off his shirt but he doesn't seem to care in this picture.
Deadlock broken: Southampton's record signing and striker Pablo Osvaldo made it 1-0.

1-0: Osvaldo cannot believe his luck after tapping the ball across the box into the net. 

Italy were very close to a shock loss against their hosts, but thanks to former Liverpool midfieder Alberto Aquilani's late 91st minute strike made it a dramatic 2-2 draw between a world-class Italian side and Denmark, with The Danes desperate to follow Italy's footsteps and secure their place in Brazil next Summer. 

Italy have qualified, while Denmark need to win their last game and hope results go their way to play in the play-off round. 

England 4 Montenegro 1:
The Three Lions' World Cup qualification hopes are still up for grabs after a comfortable 4-1 dominating victory at home against Montenegro at Wembley. 

Goals from (new debutant) Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge (last-minute penalty) as well as an own goal from their visitors helped England to take a vital three points in the race for qualification for next year's World Cup. 

Perfect debut: Townsend made it 3-1 to England with a stinging drive from 25 yards out. 

Great debut: Tottenham winger Andros Townsend stole the show with a stunning strike. 

England play against Poland on Tuesday night in their final game of their World Cup Qualification group - with only a win needed for the hosts to top their group, however it will not be easy against a tough Poland side who are dangerous on the counter attack with Kuba and Lewandowski. 

On the whole, England dominated but were unable to take their goal-scoring chances clinically enough to impress at a high level, (the Rooney and Sturridge goals show this)

Silly: Walker was booked after a push on Jovetic, which means he is banned for the game against Poland. 

If they want to get far in the World Cup next year, they are going to have to start off every game quickly and with purpose while taking every chance they have or else they will get punished by the likes of Spain, Germany, Italy and Portgual. 

Rooney missed a great chance in the first half, hitting the post with a strike he should have buried.

Here are all the teams that have already qualified for the World Cup in June 2014: 

Brazil - hosts
Japan - AFC Group B Winners
Australia - AFC Group B Runners-Up
Iran - AFC Group A Winners 
South Korea - AFC Group A Runners-Up
Netherlands - Group D Winners
Italy - Group B Winners
Costa Rica - CONCACAF Fourth Round Winners
United States - CONCACAF Fourth Round Winners
Argentina - CONMEBOL Round Robin Winners
Belgium - Group A Winners
Switzerland - Group E Winners
Germany - Group C Winners
Colombia - CONMEBOL Round Robin Winners


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