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COUNTDOWN FOR THE BRAZIL 2014 WORLD CUP!!


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PLAY-OFF LATEST - Ukraine 2-0 France

 

Ukraine have never qualified for a major tournament via the play-offs but the hosts look likely to be taking a handsome 2-0 lead into the second leg. They double their advantage thanks to Andriy Yarmolenko's spot kick. Laurent Koscielny the offender, bringing down Roman Zozulya as he prepared to fire at goal.

 

Elsewhere, four minutes of the 90 remaining in Greece and the hosts are still 3-1 ahead of Romania.

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World Cup 2014: Nigeria beat Ethiopia to book berth in Brazil

 

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World Cup 2014: Nigeria beat Ethiopia to book berth in Brazil

 

Continental champions Nigeria became the first African side to qualify for the 2014 World Cup after beating Ethiopia 2-0 in Calabar on Saturday.

 

Goals from Victor Moses and Victor Obinna sealed a comfortable victory and a 4-1 aggregate win. Moses converted from the penalty spot after Aynalem Hailu was harshly adjudged to have handled in the area. Substitute Obinna cemented a place in Brazil when his free-kick deceived Sisay Bancha in the Ethiopia goal.

 

Nigeria are through to their fifth finals, having previously qualified in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010, and they will travel to Brazil with their eye on reaching the knock-out stages for the first time since France 1998.

 

Stephen Keshi, who captained Nigeria at their first World Cup appearance, will now coach his nation at the World Cup following a triumphant 2013.

 

Having won the Africa Cup of Nations in February, the former defender - overlooked for Fifa's Coach of the Year award - masterminded an unbeaten World Cup qualifying campaign.

 

The Super Eagles conceded only four goals in their eight World Cup qualifiers and they were rarely threatened in Calabar where Ethiopia struggled to make any impact on Vincent Enyeama's goal.

 

After Bancha pushed out an early effort from Emmanuel Emenike, whose second-half goals in Addis Ababa had turned the tide Nigeria's way, the game turned on a refereeing decision.

 

Continue reading the main story“This is one of the greatest achievements in my career”

Ogenyi Onazi

Nigeria midfielderGambian official Bakary Papa Gassama ruled that defender Aynalem Hailu had deliberately handled a speculative strike even though the ball ricocheted onto his arm a split-second after hitting his midriff.

 

Moses, who had scored two penalties against Ethiopia at this year's Nations Cup, duly netted a third as he coolly sent Bancha the wrong way.

 

The goal gave Nigeria a two-goal cushion, which Moses almost extended with a low drive from distance before Ideye Brown missed a better chance when heading wide from just six yards with the goal at his mercy.

 

Ogenyi Onazi then forced Bancha into another smart save with a well-struck effort as the first half drew to a close.

 

As the weather turned from bright sunshine to grey clouds, little could dampen the mood of euphoria filling the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.

 

The lack of action prompted a surge of Mexican waves until Obinna flighted home a 25-yard free-kick which somehow deceived Bancha.

 

The goal killed off a tie that was already on its last legs, but Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw can reflect with satisfaction on a campaign that defied all expectations.

 

The Walya Antelopes' previous ranking had been so low they started World Cup qualification in Africa's preliminary stage, beating Somalia, prior to stunning South Africa in the group stage to reach the play-offs.

 

Yet Saturday's win was all about Nigeria, who will travel to Brazil with the expectations of its 165 million inhabitants and the hopes of a continent.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24974606

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World Cup 2014: Ivory Coast stumble over finish line

 

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World Cup 2014: Ivory Coast stumble over finish line

 

Ivory Coast qualified for their third World Cup in a row by drawing 1-1 with Senegal in Casablanca, Morocco.

 

The Ivorians emerged as 4-2 aggregate winners, but it took a Salomon Kalou goal deep into stoppage time to make sure of their place in Brazil. A Moussa Sow penalty late in the game had put Senegal within one strike of taking the place themselves. The 2002 World Cup quarter-finalists missed a golden chance seconds before Kalou struck on the counter-attack.

 

The equaliser was barely deserved but Ivorians will give that little thought as they begin to make plans for next summer's tournament in Brazil.

 

In both 2006 and 2010, the Elephants were placed in tough groups so they will be hoping for kinder opposition when the draw for the finals is made on 6 December.

 

They qualify unbeaten but that record was in serious danger after a largely lifeless display by Sabri Lamouchi's side. The match was played in Morocco after Senegal werebarred from playing in Dakar following a riot at a Nations Cup qualifier against the Ivorians last year.

 

Denied home advantage, the 2002 World Cup quarter-finalists nevertheless forced much of the play, after coach Alain Giresse made five changes to the side that lost 3-1 in last month's opening leg in Abidjan.

 

Having overlooked Chelsea striker Demba Ba for the tie, the Frenchman continued to surprise by dropping regular captain Mohamed Diame.

 

But it was one of those who retained his starting place, Dame Ndoye, who had the first chance, his header goalwards acrobatically cleared by Didier Drogba.

 

Denmark-based Ndoye further troubled Ivorian goalkeeper Boubacar Barry with a clever free-kick from a tight angle, before the Senegalese appealed in vain for a penalty after Salif Sane's overhead kick hit the hands of Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso.

 

Senegal almost led moments into the second half when Papiss Cisse pounced on some sloppy defending from Sol Bamba only to see his close-range effort hit Barry's standing foot - more by luck than design for the Ivorian.

 

Just as it seemed the 'hosts' were never going to get a break, they were handed a lifeline when Drogba was adjudged to have hauled down Sadio Mane, the Senegalese falling easily after a tug on his shoulder.

 

Substitute Sow was the designated penalty taker and, despite the enormous pressure, the Fenerbahce striker sent Barry the wrong way from the spot.

 

That left Senegal needing just one more goal to qualify on the away goals rule and they set up camp in the final third as they sought to exploit a rare lethargy from the Ivorians.

 

As the game entered stoppage time, they had the chance to go 2-0 up and reach the World Cup but a goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared.

 

Seconds later, the Elephants went route one and after Yaya Toure teed up Kalou, the veteran international made no mistake as he drilled past Bouna Coundoul for a goal that was celebrated across Ivory Coast.

 

The Ivorians joined Saturday's earlier qualifiers Nigeria, who eased past Ethiopia, and there are three African places still to be decided.

 

On Sunday, Cameroon host Tunisia while Tuesday's final day of action sees Burkina Faso take a narrow lead to Algeria while Egypt need to overturn five goals to overcome 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24976509

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Poor Ukraine

 

I caught the highlights without audio. The 2nd goal definitely looked offside, while the 3rd had material for debate. I wouldn't have bet against France getting a 3rd in extra-time, but wondering if there was any reaction or sense of injustice.

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I caught the highlights without audio. The 2nd goal definitely looked offside, while the 3rd had material for debate. I wouldn't have bet against France getting a 3rd in extra-time, but wondering if there was any reaction or sense of injustice.

From what I've read, a goal was refused for being offside, when it actually wasn't. The 2nd "official" goal arrived right after that. It was offside, but it kind of balances things out, considering the one that should have been counted....

 

YAY We're going to Brazil! Let's hope they get out of the bus this time :lol:

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I went to Wembley for the first time last Friday for England v Chile. The first thing I heard when I got off the tube and walked down the steps on to Wembley Way was All You Good Good People blasting from a nearby bar, which, as a massive Embrace fan, got me even more pumped up! The match wasn't great, but it was an amazing experience :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Group A

1 Brazil

4 Cameroon

 

Group B

1 Spain

3 Chile

 

Group C

1 Colombia

3 Ivory Coast

 

Group D

1 Uruguay

4 Italy

 

Group E

1 Switzerland

2 Ecuador

 

Group F

1 Argentina

4 Nigeria

 

Group G

1 Germany

3 Ghana

 

Group H

1 Belgium

2 Algeria

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Group A

1 Brazil

3 Mexico

4 Cameroon

 

Group B

1 Spain

3 Chile

4 Australia

 

Group C

1 Colombia

3 Ivory Coast

4 Japan

 

Group D

1 Uruguay

2 Costa Rica

4 Italy

 

Group E

1 Switzerland

2 Ecuador

4 Honduras

 

Group F

1 Argentina

3 Iran

4 Nigeria

 

Group G

1 Germany

3 Ghana

4 USA

 

Group H

1 Belgium

2 Algeria

4 South Korea

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Group A

1 Brazil

2 Croatia

3 Mexico

4 Cameroon

 

Group B

1 Spain

2 Netherlands

3 Chile

4 Australia

 

Group C

1 Colombia

2 Greece

3 Ivory Coast

4 Japan

 

Group D

1 Uruguay

2 Costa Rica

3 England

4 Italy

 

Group E

1 Switzerland

2 Ecuador

3 France

4 Honduras

 

Group F

1 Argentina

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina

3 Iran

4 Nigeria

 

Group G

1 Germany

2 Portugal

3 Ghana

4 USA

 

Group H

1 Belgium

2 Algeria

3 Russia

4 South Korea

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