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Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

ZlatanIbrahimovicSweden2-FaroeIslands (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The final international break of the year continues on Friday with the commencement of the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff round.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal take on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden in the highest-profile game of the day, though Greece vs. Romania and Ukraine vs. France both carry plenty of story lines as well. Iceland, which has never made the World Cup and would be the smallest nation to do so, hosts Croatia in the first leg in a game expected to played in near-freezing temperatures.

Also in action on Friday, Germany faces a recent international nemesis with a trip to play Italy in Milan. The Italian side defeated the Germans in the Euro 2012 semifinals, a loss that the Germans haven’t forgotten. Other friendly matches on tap on Friday include England hosting an attack-minded Chile squad and Argentina facing Ecuador from New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

2pm – Turkey vs. Northern Ireland – ESPN3

2:15pm – Italy vs. Germany – Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Portugal vs. Sweden – ESPN Deportes/ESPN3

2:45pm – Ukraine vs. France – ESPN3

2:45pm – Greece vs. Romania – ESPN3

3pm – Scotland vs. USA – ESPN2/UniMas

3pm – England vs. Chile – Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes

8pm – Ecuador vs. Argentina – beIN Sport USA/beIN Sport en Español

38 comments
  • Bird

    Iceland is looking VERY dangerous vs Croatia. If I was a betting man I’d put money on them to score first…..

    Like

    • Increase

      Both teams are playing it pretty safe right now. Croatia is clearly calmer, that’s one advantage of not being at home.

      Like

      • Bird

        Croatia has def settled in a bit now, seeing a lot more of the ball. Modric looks really bad today though…..

        Like

    • TheFrenchOne

      bummer. was really hoping to see AJ instead of EJ… I’m ok with the rest of the starting lineup

      Like

    • Arkie

      I can see either Sacha playing great or being completely lost in this lineup. Should be interesting. I just hope we have enough possession to have some decent attacks, regardless of how our backline holds up (hopefully well)

      Like

      • Bird

        I’m actually happy to see Sacha getting a run at the attacking mid spot. He deserves it after his play vs PSG in the champs league. Agreed on EJ starting though, I thought AJ for sure…..

        Like

  • Ted in MN

    Be nice to see Iceland do this. Croatian fans have a tendency to make a complete ass of themselves at events.

    Like

  • Marcroi

    How many subs in a friendly? I am hoping for Lichaj, Brooks, Johannsson at the half and Diskerud as well.

    Like

  • Ted in MN

    Icelandic crowd has a good feel to it. Very rowdy and involved. Everybody in the country is probably in there.

    Like

  • Bac

    My guess is that Sasha has earned this start, which puts either EJ or AJ on that left side spot. Since we have never seen AJ there, JK going with the known player in Eddie.

    Like

  • biff

    Sacha’s fate is now in his own hands. Will he seize the opportunity, or fail and quietly fade into history never to be heard from again?

    And central striker Eddie Johnson at left wing. I wonder who we are going to see subbed in at left wing early in the second half. Yep. That’s who.

    Like

  • shawn wallace

    i hate klisman’s linups, perfect time to play cameron at rb, and start brooks/gonzo, also AJ should be at lw

    Like

  • ben

    Too much soccer! what to do!

    Iceland game is entertaining

    sweden portugal is a great match up

    but i dont know whens the last time i just chose to miss a USMNT Team!!
    ahhhh!

    Like

  • sven

    This POR vs SWE announcer is amazing in a Scandinavian(?) Ray Hudson way.

    “All the Portuguese towers are in the box!”

    “Cristiano Ronaldo now … steps up to kick ball”

    “A very, very dangerous free-kick for yellow team”

    Like

  • Neruda

    Chile handles England. Chile looked good and are a team that should not be underestimated in Brazil next summer. Great win.

    Like

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