Friday, March 29, 2024

Springboard to the summer


The early days of spring saw the last European teams qualify for the 2024 Euros through play-off matches while in Asia second-round matches were played in World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers.

Iceland thumped Israel 4-1 in Hungary with a hat-trick from Albert Gudmundsson but lost out 2-1 to Ukraine having taken the lead in Poland. Georgia and Poland joined Ukraine after penalty-shootout triumphs at home to Greece and away to Wales respectively.

In Asia Afghanistan moved up in the rankings after upsetting their Indian host 2-1 having held them to a goalless draw in Saudi Arabia while South Korea who could only draw 1-1 at home to Thailand bounced back with 3 goals in Bangkok and Vietnam were shocked 3-0 by their Indonesian visitors. Myanmar earned a 1-1 draw at home to Syria while Oman scored twice in Malaysia and in the Nations League in the USA, Mexico defeated Panama 3-0 but lost 2-0 to their hosts in the final.

In the Africa Cup of Nations preliminary round in Morocco, Somalia drew 2-2 with Eswatini and Djibouti played a goalless match with Liberia while in a friendly tournament in Malawi, Kenya humbled their hosts with 4 unanswered goals. In a World Cup qualifier Anguilla knocked hosts the Turks and Caicos Islands out in a penalty shootout while in a friendly match Germany silenced France 2-0 in Lyon.

No comments: