Saturday, October 18, 2008

An early winter break

After a busy week in October, Europe and South America took a winter break from World Cup qualifiers with Spain, England and the Netherlands maintaining their unblemished records. Serbia followed their 3-0 home win against Lithuania with a 3-1 victory in Austria while Switzerland enjoyed a 2-1 triumph in Greece and ten-man Albania returned from Portugal with a creditable goalless draw.
A thunderbolt from Robinho helped Brazil destroy Venezuela 4-0, but on their return home a few days later the Brazilians could only draw 0-0 with Colombia while Venezuela bounced back to treat their crowd to a 3-1 win over Ecuador. Chile recorded a rare victory over Argentina winning 1-0 at home and Bolivia were unbeaten in La Paz after beating Peru 3-0 and sharing 4 goals with Uruguay.
In North America the top guns found the going tough as Mexico lost 1-0 in Jamaica while Trinidad and Tobago defeated their American visitors 2-1 and Cuba sent Guatemala back with the same result.
Senegal reached the end of the road after a dismal 1-1 draw at home to Gambia. In other African matches Burkina Faso finished top of their group after a 3-1 win in Burundi and Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor scored 4 times as Togo thrashed Swaziland 6-0 in Ghana. Zimbabwe suffered a 4-2 loss away to Namibia.
In Asia Japan dropped points at home with a 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan. Matches in Asia and North America will continue in November. The full rankings can be seen at