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World Cup Qualifiers

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5 hours ago, Shocker said:

Fair enough, I really dont think the Netherlands are that great right now.  I do think they'll make the field, barely.

I agree they are definitely down right now.  Barring Sweden dropping points at home to Luxembourg the only way they even get to the playoff round is likely by beating Sweden by 3+

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AFC Third Round ended today and their four automatic berths have been awarded thanks to some subpar performances by those already in.

The top four teams in Group A were all playing each other.  Iran had already qualified and was hosting Syria.  Meanwhile South Korea led both Syria and their opponent Uzbekistan by two points for the second spot.  A loss would have relegated them to a playoff or could have sent them packing had Syria won as well.

South Korea managed a 0-0 draw, guaranteeing them at least a playoff berth.  Uzbekistan then needed Iran to defeat Syria to reach the playoff.

Syria led 1-0 on the road before Iran closed the first half with a goal and took the lead in the sixty-fourth minute.  Syria equalized at 90'+3, sending Korea to the World Cup and reaching the AFC playoff, sending Uzbekistan home.

Their opponent would be Australia or Saudi Arabia (Japan was already qualified).  The two were even on points with Australia two goals down in GD.  They were hosting group worst Thailand (no wins and two draws) while Saudi Arabia hosted league best Japan.  Australia won but was unable to take care of the weaker side to improve their GD.  After the 2-1 victory they needed help from Japan.  It did not come as a goal in the 63' sent Saudi Arabia to the WC with a 1-0 victory.

Aussies have their two matches against Thailand to blame, a win and a draw with only a +1 GD.  

Australia and Syria will face off for a spot in the Continental playoff against CONCACAF #4.  Too bad, I really wanted to see Syria/Saudi Arabia.  If I had a third favorite team it would be Aussies but I cannot help but root for Syria here.

Either way, those games today had to be incredibly exciting and nerve-wrecking.  

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CAF had their fourth of six match days this round and things have really come into focus.

Group A: Tunisia (10 points) is in great shape with only DR Congo (7) within striking distance and no head-to-head remaining.  As long as they gain four points against the bottom two (@Guinea and Libya) then they are home

Group B: Nigeria (10 points) and Zambia (7) are the only two with a shot.  They do have a head-to-head in Nigeria up next and Nigeria leads GD by five (+7 against +2).  Zambia would still get by with a one goal victory but would need help from bottom of the group Algeria on the final weekend.  Their best chance is to beat Nigeria on Oct 7 by 3+

Group C:  Much more competitive.  Ivory Coast (7 points, +4), Morocco (6, +6) and the team I am rooting for, Gabon (5, -2) are all right there.  Morocco does control their own destiny with head-to-head against both while the other two get to play Mali, who is still technically alive at two points, but not really

Group D: Best competition by far.  Personal favorite Burkina Faso (6, +2) lead Cape Verde (6, -2) on GD and both Senegal (5, +1) and South Africa (4, -1) are very much alive.  Burkina Faso is done with Senegal, same for Cape Verde and South Africa

Group E: Egypt (9, +3) is in control here and while Uganda (7, +1) and Ghana (5, +2) are still breathing, neither control their own destiny.  Egypt has Ghana and Congo (one point) to close qualification

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