World Cup Qualifiers

  • Scotland win ICC World Cup Qualifying tournament February 1, 2014

    Christchurch: Scotland captain Preston Mommsen made an unbeaten 139 on Saturday to set up a 41run win over the United Arab Emirates in the final of the International Cricket Council's World Cup qualifying tournament. Scotland made 285 for 5 batting first in Saturday's final and Swapnil Patel not out on 99...
  • ICC World Cup Qualifier: Smit steers Namibia to win over Kenya January 17, 2014

    Wellington: An allround effort from 18yearold JJ Smit saw Namibia record a nailbiting two wicket victory over Kenya on day four of the 2015 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in windy conditions at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, Friday. After restricting Kenya to 186 for eight, Namibia chased down the total with seven...
  • Uruguay book place at 2014 World Cup finals November 21, 2013

    MONTEVIDEO: Uruguay sealed their spot at the 2014 World Cup finals after a goalless draw at home to Jordan in the second leg of their intercontinental playoff on Wednesday saw them advance 50 on aggregate. Uruguay, the last of the 32 teams to book their place at the finals in Brazil,...
  • Peralta hattrick guides Mexico to World Cup November 20, 2013

    Oribe Peralta bagged a firsthalf hattrick to help Mexico book their passage to the 2014 World Cup finals with a 42 victory over New Zealand in the second leg of their intercontinental playoff at Wellington Regional Stadium on Wednesday. The CONCACAF heavyweights, who were fortunate to sneak into the playoff, won...
  • Watch: All the goals from Tuesday's football World Cup Qualifiers November 20, 2013

    A sublime secondhalf hattrick by Cristiano Ronaldo took Portugal to the World Cup finals, while France made a stunning comeback to beat Ukraine 30 and book their ticket to Brazil as well. Croatia hit top gear at crunch time to beat Iceland 20 in the return leg which helped them...
  • Stunning turnaround takes France to World Cup November 20, 2013

    Paris: France reached the World Cup against the odds after beating Ukraine 30 on Tuesday, overturning a firstleg deficit with a performance full of pride and confidence after most observers had written the team off. Backs to the wall after a 20 defeat last Friday, France started at a frenetic pace...
  • Ronaldo's hattrick sends Portugal to World Cup November 20, 2013

    The irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hattrick to send Portugal into the 2014 World Cup finals at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden on Tuesday, while France advanced by conjuring a remarkable turnaround against Ukraine. There was disappointment in the playoffs for Iceland, however, after the Nordic country failed in...
  • Ghana through to World Cup, Egypt misses out November 20, 2013

    Cairo: Ghana have qualified for the World Cup with a 73 aggregate win over Egypt in the playoffs to seize the fourth of five African places available at the finals. Egypt won Tuesday's second leg 21 in the first international in Cairo in two years, but Ghana progressed because of their...
  • Portugal aren't a oneman team, says coach Bento November 19, 2013

    Stockholm: If Sweden succeed in shackling Cristiano Ronaldo other players will step up and score, Portugal coach Paolo Bento said on the eve of the second leg of their World Cup playoff. Bento is confident his team, leading 10 from the first leg, can conjure goals from sources other than their...
  • Portugal look to seal World Cup spot in Sweden November 18, 2013

    Stockholm: Portugal are 10 up after the first leg of the World Cup playoff against Sweden but with the return match being held at a stadium dubbed the 'Zlatan Arena' the job is by no means done. Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic was relatively subdued in the first leg in Lisbon on...
  • France out to avoid missing first World Cup in 20 years November 18, 2013

    London: France needs an unprecedented comeback to avoid missing their first World Cup in 20 years. No European team has ever qualified for the World Cup through the playoffs after losing the first leg 20. Two decades after France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup following a shock home...
  • Cameroon beat Tunisia to qualify for World Cup November 18, 2013

    Yaounde, Cameroon: Cameroon qualified for the World Cup with a 41 win over Tunisia in the second leg of their playoff on Sunday. Cameroon won by the same score on aggregate after the teams drew 00 in the first leg in Tunisia. Pierre Webo scored after four minutes for Cameroon and Benjamin...
  • Ivory Coast qualify for third straight World Cup November 17, 2013

    Casablanca: Ivory Coast qualified for a third straight World Cup after surviving a nervous finish to draw 11 with Senegal for a 42 aggregate win in the African playoffs on Saturday. Didier Drogba gave away the penalty that put Senegal one goal away from a major upset, but the veteran striker...
  • Nigeria first African team to qualify for Football World Cup November 16, 2013

    CALABAR: Nigeria qualified for the World Cup on Saturday, continuing an outstanding year for the team after it won the African title for the first time in nearly a decade. Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 20 in the second leg of their playoff for a 41 aggregate victory. Victor Moses converted a...
  • Cristiano Ronaldo puts Portugal in sight of World Cup November 16, 2013

    London: Cristiano Ronaldo upstaged Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a showdown of superstar forwards Friday, sending Portugal past Sweden 10 in a World Cup playoff. France's hopes of qualifying took a big hit with a 20 loss in Ukraine. Ronaldo transferred his prolific scoring touch from Real Madrid to the international stage, diving...
  • Sweden cannot rely on Ibrahimovic alone, says coach November 15, 2013

    Lisbon: Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic can be the matchwinner in their World Cup playoff against Portugal if his team mates also rise to the challenge, coach Erik Hamren said on Thursday. He told a news conference on the eve of the first leg that it was hard to escape talking about...
  • Mexico thrash New Zealand 51 in World Cup playoff November 14, 2013

    Mexico thumped New Zealand 51 in the first leg of their qualifying playoff on Wednesday to take a massive step towards a place in next year's World Cup finals. After scoring just three goals in their last four CONCACAF qualifiers at home, Mexico rediscovered their scoring touch as they outclassed the...
  • It's not about me and Ronaldo, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic November 14, 2013

    Stockholm: Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic has dismissed talk of his nation's World Cup playoff with Portugal in Lisbon on Friday being just a contest between him and Cristiano Ronaldo. "I see two different players, two players who do things fantastically well and represent their countries in the best possible way," Ibrahimovic...
  • Fearless France looking to erase bad memories November 14, 2013

    France need to play without fear in their World Cup playoff against Ukraine to avoid the fate that befell the team 20 years ago when a lastgasp home defeat by Bulgaria cost them a place at the 1994 finals. That was the last time France failed to qualify for a major...
  • Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic: Only one man will play World Cup November 14, 2013

    Two of world football's biggest names will meet Friday in the playoffs to determine Europe's final four World Cup qualifiers. Ever since last month's draw pitted Portugal against Sweden, the matchup has been billed as a headtohead between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It will take something special to budge them...
  • Uruguay thrash Jordan 50 to close in on World Cup place November 13, 2013

    Amman: Twice champions Uruguay all but booked a place at next year's World Cup finals with a thumping 50 win away to outsiders Jordan in the first leg of their playoff on Wednesday. Maximiliano Pereira and Cristian Stuani scored first half goals for the visitors to stifle any chance of an...
  • World Cup drama beckons despite Blatter's reservations November 13, 2013

    London: FIFA president Sepp Blatter might want an end to the World Cup playoffs but the excitement, drama, tension, joy and despair they will generate over the next week are unrivalled in the twoyear qualifying process. The final 11 spots for next year's finals in Brazil are about to be filled...
  • France must not be scared, says inform Ribery November 12, 2013

    Franck Ribery believes he is having the best year of his career and says France should not be scared by the prospect of their twolegged World Cup playoff against Ukraine. The 30yearold Ribery, widely regarded as one of the main contenders for the FIFA Player of the Year award, is...
  • Lloris is fine after head injury scare, says Frace coach November 12, 2013

    Paris: France captain Hugo Lloris, left out of Tottenham's Premier League match with Newcastle United at the weekend due to medical concerns, trained normally on Monday and should be available for Friday's World Cup playoff in Ukraine. Spurs manager Andre VillasBoas was advised by his medical staff not to play goalkeeper...
  • Portugal face Sweden in World Cup playoff October 21, 2013

    Zurich: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal must beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden in a playoff to advance to the World Cup in Brazil. The two were drawn to face each other on Monday in a twoleg series scheduled for November 15 and 19. Also, France will play Ukraine, with the return match in...
  • Ronaldo, Portugal await World Cup playoff draw October 20, 2013

    Zurich: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will find out Monday who they must beat in a playoff to reach the World Cup in Brazil. France and Franck Ribery would be the toughest possible test for the Portuguese as the inform and highestranked of four unseeded nations in the draw at FIFA. Portugal, No....
  • Japan football coach's job is safe for now October 17, 2013

    Alberto Zaccheroni's job as Japan coach is not under threat ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil despite the Asian champions' recent insipid performances, the country's soccer association said on Thursday. In June, the Blue Samurai became the first team to qualify for the finals but the Italian's position has...
  • Croatia coach Igor Stimac fired October 16, 2013

    Zagreb: Croatia coach Igor Stimac was fired on Wednesday following his team's 20 loss to Scotland in a World Cup qualifier. Croatian Football Federation president Davor Suker said Niko Kovac, a former Croatia midfielder and coach of the junior national team, will be Stimac's temporary replacement. Despite the loss against Scotland on...
  • Poland fire coach Waldemar Fornalik after loss to England October 16, 2013

    Warsaw: Poland coach Waldemar Fornalik was fired on Wednesday following his team's 20 loss to England in a World Cup qualifying match. Poland lost to England at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, giving the English a spot in next year's tournament in Brazil. Poland lost their chance to qualify after losing to...
  • Bulgaria look for positives from another campaign failure October 16, 2013

    Sofia: Losing in Armenia was bad enough but a home defeat by the Czech Republic four days later gave Bulgaria the worst possible end to their World Cup qualifying campaign. They were second for most of the campaign but a 21 reverse against Armenia on Friday and 10 loss to the...