While many countries were taking a winter break, Trinidad & Tobago hosted the Caribbean Cup in January losing to Haiti in the final. Cuba and Guadeloupe were the other 2 teams to qualify by virtue of their positions in this tournament for the Gold Cup which will be held in the USA in June this year.
Early in February the first big bulk of friendly matches was played. Portugal gained a satisfying 2-0 win over Brazil in London. Spain and Argentina returned from England and France respectively with 1-0 victories. Egypt beat Sweden 2-0 while another African team Mali, registered an impressive 3-1 win against Lithuania in France. Uruguay achieved the same result away to Colombia and overtook their South American rivals in the World Rankings. In the only competitive match on Wednesday San Marino almost pulled off a shock 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland, but a stoppage time goal gave the Irish all 3 points with a 2-1 win.