Thursday, October 18, 2007

Autumn leaves Europe guessing

Two international fixture days in mid October gave Europe some answers and South America the start to the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. The Czech Republic qualified after an emphatic 3-0 win in Germany, with the Irish Republic only managing a 1-1 home draw against Cyprus who had disposed of Wales 3-1 in Nicosia 4 days earlier. Greece earned the right to defend their title after a 1-0 victory in Turkey, while a 1-1 draw for Northern Ireland in Sweden keeps the Scandinavians waiting as their next opponents Spain enjoyed a vital 3-1 win in Denmark. Scotland had mixed fortunes winning 3-1 at home to Ukraine, but losing 2-0 in Georgia 4 days later, whereas Iceland will wish to forget these days after a 4-2 home defeat to Latvia and a humiliating 3-0 loss in Liechtenstein. Belarus also suffered an embarrassment losing 1-0 at home to Luxembourg. With Romania also making the finals there are still 10 places to be decided in November.

Mali qualified for the 2008 African Cup of Nations with a decisive 2-0 win in Togo, but South America had their eyes on the 2010 World Cup with the qualifiers getting under way.

A solitary goal in Ecuador for the recent Copa America hosts Venezuela gave them a good start to the campaign, but they were defeated 2-0 at home 4 days later by Argentina who are the only team with a 100% record after 2 matches.

The latest rankings can be seen at: