Friday, September 02, 2005

Full list of World Cup Qualifiers

AFC WCQ (Asia)
Saturday (3 Sept)
Uzbekistan - Bahrain

This is the first match in the Asian playoff. The winner of the home and away series will face the fourth place CONCACAF team.

OFC WCQ (Oceania)
Saturday (3 Sept)
Australia - Soloman Islands

This is the first match in the Oceania playoff. The winner of the home and away series will face the fifth place CONMEBOL team.

CAF WCQ (Africa)
Friday (2 Sept)
Libya - Sudan

Saturday (3 Sept)
Burkina Faso - South Africa
Kenya - Tunisia
Mali - Congo
Morocco - Botswana
Zambia - Senegal

Sunday (4 Sept)
Algeria - Nigeria
Angola - Gabon
Congo DR - Cape Verde Islands
Egypt - Benin
Ghana - Uganda
Guinea - Malawi
Ivory Coast - Cameroon
Togo - Liberia
Zimbabwe - Rwanda

There are a great many important matches to be played in Africa, but only one of them puts the top two teams in a group against one another. Cameroon needs to win against Ivory Coast if they want a chance at going to Germany. Ivory Coast could make it by with a tie, but they hit a KO with a win. They are very strong at home, so odds are in their favor, but with so much on the line, expect everything to be thrown at them.

South Africa will be looking for a win on Saturday followed by a surprise defeat or tie for Ghana on Sunday. If SA win and Ghana go down, SA will all but have their ticket punch for the Cup.

There is something very interesting in Group 1 with Togo, Zambia and Senegal all having a chance to win the group. Zambia and Senegal will place one another and both need a win. A tie all but gives Togo the spot. However, even with a win, Togo will probably still be one top of the chart come Monday due to what should be an easy match against Liberia.

Other games of interest: Morocco - Botswana & Kenya - Tunisia; Algeria - Nigeria & Angola - Gabon

UEFA (Europe)
Saturday (3 Sept)
Andorra - Finland
Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan
Wales - England
Estonia - Latvia
Russia - Liechtenstein

Georgia - Ukraine
Sweden - Bulgaria
Switzerland - Israel
Moldova - Belarus
Scotland - Italy

Albania - Kazakhstan
Armenia - Netherlands
Romania - Czech Republic
Turkey - Denmark
Iceland - Croatia

Bosnia-Herzegovina - Belgium
Poland - Austria
Serbia & Montenegro - Lithuania
Hungary - Malta
Slovenia - Norway

France - Faroe Islands
Portugal - Luxembourg

As with Africa, no number 1 and 2 teams from a group are meeting, however, a couple 2 & 3 sides are. In Group One, the Czech Republic will face off against Romania. Romania in currently in third, but they have played two more games then anybody except Macedonia, so don't let the numbers fool you. The Czechs should walk away happy from this one as should first place Netherlands who take on the much easier Armenian side.

In the "oh so tight" Group Four, second place Switzerland will try to move into first by beating Israel while France looks to start their come back with a game against basement dwellers Faroe Islands. Poor Ireland will have to watch from home to find out if they stay on top of the heap or move down to a possible third position.

Slovenia hosts Norway in a game that might decide the number 2 for Group Five. Since Italy is well on their way to first, these two have to fight for the playoff spot, but Belarus might sneak in to it if the two sides tie.

Finally, in Group Seven, Serbia & Montenegro will be hoping for victory over visitors Lithuania so they can move into the penthouse ahead of Spain.

Some other fun matches will be Wales - England to see if England can keep up with Poland who face a difficult Austrian team. Ukraine will probably win their first trip to a World Cup with a win in an empty stadium in Georgia while Turkey will be fighting for their soccer life against Denmark.

CONMEBOL (South America)
Saturday (3 Sept)
Bolivia - Ecuador
Paraguay - Argentina
Venezuela - Peru

Sunday (4 Sept)
Brazil - Chile
Uruguay - Colombia

With Argentina locked into Germany, Paraguay has a chance of getting the three points they need to stay ahead of the big race happening for fourth and fifth spot. With a win, Uruguay might move from "also-ran" to fifth if Brazil does in Chile. Look for Ecuador to keep a lock on third with a win over last place Bolivia.

September (3 Sept)
Trinidad & Tobago - Guatemala
United States - Mexico
Panama - Costa Rica

Of course the big match is the US and Mexico. If someone walks out a winner, they are going to the finals, but the other matches are a lot of fun as well. The big fight is for the third direct spot, but I'm sure any club would accept a fourth place playoff birth against Asia over going home. If Panama loses, any hope they have is gone since two of their last three games are against Mexico and America. Guatemala needs to win for the same reason as Panama. If T&T come out ahead, they have a real shot at making it to Germany.



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