Mid-Day Ticker: Qatar advances in WC qualifying, Folan signs for Birmingham and more

Qatar getty

Qatar advanced to the final round of World Cup qualifying while Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were eliminated in a wild day of matches across the Asian continent.

The 2022 World Cup hosts, currently ranked 96th in the world, scored a late goal to draw 2-2 with Iran. The draw moved Qatar into second place in Group E at the expense of Bahrain. Bahrain routed Indonesia 10-0 in what turned out to be a meaningless game.

Saudi Arabia were eliminated after surrendering a late lead to Australia, eventually losing 4-2. The result opened the door for Oman to sneak into second place with a 2-0 win over lowly Thailand. South Korea advanced into the final round with a 2-0 win over Kuwait.

China finished up their campaign with a win over Jordan while North Korea drew with Tajikistan. Both teams had already been eliminated from qualifying.

Here are some more stories to keep your Wednesday going.


Former Colorado Rapids striker Caleb Folan has signed with Birmingham City of the English Championship on a short-term deal. The 29-year-old Ireland international has been training with the club since the beginning of February.

Folan played just one season in the MLS, appearing 26 times for the Rapids and scoring six goals. He joins a Birmingham side currently in fifth place in the Championship. The club has confirmed that if Birmingham finishes the season in a playoff position, Folan will be eligible to play.


Where Jose Mourinho goes, the headlines will follow.

The Real Madrid manager was seen looking at houses in the English capital during the international break, setting off a firestorm of speculation in the British press. The speculation coincides with Andres Villas-Boas, a former scout for Mourinho, facing increasing pressure as manager of Chelsea.

Mourinho is rumored to be leaving Real Madrid after the end of the season after repeated clashes with the ownership and veteran players. He has repeatedly said that England is the most likely destination for his next job.


Caretaker manager Stuart Pearce has named Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker as England captain for today's friendly with The Netherlands. He replaces former captain John Terry, who was stripped of the honor following his arrest for racial abuse, and jumps Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard as the likely replacement.

Pearce emphasized that this is a one-game decision and the yet-to-be-appointed permanent manager will select the long-term captain. Parker, 31, has 10 caps for England.


What did you think of today's stories? Surprised by the results in Asia? Will Folan be successful at Birmingham? Is the press overreacting to Mourinho looking at homes in London?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Msg24365

    I hate everything about Qatar. I’m sure they paid someone off for this win as well. I hope the US is fortunate enough to get to play them after Qatar buys their way into the WC.


  • Dinho

    Parker over Gerrard? Strange to me, but ok. I like Parker, he is the guy that will provide the hard work that doesn’t show up on the scoresheet…leading by example. Hope to see a good game today against The Netherlands.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    The English captaincy may be more overhyped than Tebow time, and that’s saying something. Heck, at least Tebow wins, when’s the last time England won anything?


  • ...

    Just a heads up to anyone interested in tonight’s U-23 US/Mexico match, it seems to have been moved from Univision at 10 PM to Telefutura (same time), according to my TV guide and Univision.com’s online schedule. So if anyone has set their DVR, you might want to double-check it.


  • Robin

    I also loved how FIFA saved Qatar’s FIFA Ranking over the summer after India (a team that was 67 places below them at the time) had beaten Qatar 2-1 in July in Qatar!


  • jakub

    Even better would be if Israel made the World Cup and played them, considering they don’t allow Jews in their country


  • Mitch

    Folan showed talent, but never was able to find his stride in America. He had his opportunities. He can be a nice spark for Birmingham City.


  • NC Jeff

    Been wondering, with FIFA’s supposed stance against racism, would they be willing to force AFC to allow Israel back in? I ask because AFC gets 4.5 teams to the WC and their 4th best team is 47th in the world (5th is 76th), and while UEFA does gets 13 teams, their 13th best is 18th in the world. Thus, it would appear that AFC would present Israel a better chance of passage, and geographically, they are in Asia to begin with (plus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and even Palestine are in AFC).


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