Friday, July 28, 2017

Reggae Boys halted by Americans

Jamaica rose sharply in the football rankings after reaching the final of the 2017 Gold Cup where they lost 2-1 to a late goal against hosts USA. The Americans began their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Panama who also went through from a group that saw Martinique shock Nicaragua 2-0 while Canada progressed from group A behind Costa Rica thanks to a 4-2 victory over French Guiana. The Jamaicans, who had put 2 past Curacao, held Mexico to a goalless draw and after a 2-1 quarter-final win against Canada defeated Mexico 1-0 to set up the final against their American hosts.  

Friday, July 07, 2017

Quiet summer

Despite several competitions, the summer of 2017 passed with very few major shocks. In World Cup qualifiers around the world, where Iran became only the 2nd country after Brazil to join hosts Russia in the 2018 World Cup, the biggest shock occurred in Europe where Israel slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Albania while Hungary were humiliated 1-0 in Andorra and the Republic of Ireland needed a late goal to earn a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Austria. In Asia Afghanistan lost 1-0 in Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan were beaten 1-0 in India while the Philippines triumphed 4-3 in Tajikistan and Yemen were held to a goalless draw in Nepal. In North America could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to the USA while in Oceania Papua New Guinea lost 2-1 at home to the Solomon Islands and in an Asian Cup qualifier Singapore were stunned 2-1 by their visitors from Taiwan. The Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers produced several unexpected away wins affecting the rankings. Nigeria suffered a 2-0 loss at home to South Africa and Zambia lost by a single goal at home to Mozambique while Madagascar were victorious 3-1 in Sudan and Guinea shocked the Ivory Coast 3-2 on their travels.
In the Confederations Cup in Russia, Chile, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Australia, reached the final where a single goal gave Germany the Cup while in the Caribbean Cup in Martinique, Curacao who defeated the hosts 2-1 enjoyed the same result against Jamaica in the final to lift the cup.