Sunday, June 07, 2009

Going to the World Cup

The weekend has been full of World Cup qualifying action, and we now have some of the first teams who can book their tickets to South Africa: Australia and Japan have won their group 2 of Asia with points against Qatar and Uzbekistan respectively. In UEFA Group 9 the Netherlands 1-2 victory over Iceland means that they are sure to win the group.

In the meantime, other teams took gigantic steps towards South Africa. In group 1 Denmark defeated Sweden, and is now all but certain to be in South Africa. England, under Fabio Capello also looks udefeatable, and took its 6th victory in a row in UEFA group 6.
In the Asian Confederations' Group II, North Corea, who is trailing their southern neighbors in first place, only managed a 0-0 against Iran, and may be looking worried at Saudi Arabia behind them by one point.

In South America the top four teams have taken a solid lead over the fifth team. Brazil took over first place from Paraguay after trashing Uruguay 0-4 in Montevideo, while Paraguay lost at home to Chile. In the meantime, Chile is increasingly looking like a team to watch; with the victory over Paraguay they are solidly on third place, ahead of Maradona's Argentina, who managed a hard-fought and important 1-0 victory over Colombia in Buenos Aires.
The fifth place gives a play-off match against the fourth placed of the CONCACAF region, and is currently held by Uruguay, but closely followed by Venezuela and Ecuador.

In the CONCACAF region Costa Rica and USA (who played last week, with Costa Rica winning 3-1) have taken the lead on first and second place respectively, and seem like the sure teams to make it to South Africa. In the meantime Honduras and El Salvador are fighting for 3rd and 4th places, with Mexico increasingly facing one of its most disappointing qualifications ever after losing to El Salvador 1-2.

The World Cup is underway. Can you feel it?

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