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World Cup Qualifying: Midweek Rewind


You can call Wednesday the day of the qualifying upset.

The loaded schedule of World Cup qualifiers didn’t figure to have too many surprising results, but by the end of the night, there were countless results to leave fans scratching their heads.

Such as? Try these results on for size:

  • Chile 1, Argentina 0
  • Brazil 0, Colombia 0
  • Cuba 2, Guatemala 1
  • Portugal 0, Albania 0
  • Slovakia 2, Poland 1
  • Estonia 0, Turkey 0
  • Canada 2, Mexico 2
  • Trinidad & Tobago 2, USA 1
  • Japan 1, Uzbekistan 1

Like I said. It was a day full of surprises.

Here is a closer look at how the results have impacted the races for World Cup qualifying:


Jamaica kept its qualifying hopes alive with a 1-0 victory against Honduras. That win puts some pressure on both Mexico and Honduras heading into their final group match. Jamaica can advance to the final Hexagonal Round of qualifying with a win vs. Canada and a Honduras loss to Mexico in the final round of qualifying.

Mexico squeezed out a tie against Canada on Wednesday and needs just a tie to progress to the Hexagonal. A loss to Honduras coupled with a Jamaica win would leave the two sides even on points, but Mexico is extremely likely to have the edge on goal difference.

Trinidad & Tobago all but locked up its own place in the Hexagonal with its 2-1 win against the USA. That win, coupled with Guatemala’s shock loss to Cuba in stoppage time means that Trinidad can progress with a tie against Cuba or a USA win or tie against Guatemala in the final group stage.

Costa Rica and El Salvador have their places in the Hexagonal after both posted wins on Wednesday.


Shocks galore in South America as Argentina fell to Chile and Brazil settled for a draw at home to Colombia. CONMEBOL leaders Paraguay continued its amazing qualifying run with a win against lowly Peru while Venezuela rejuvenated its own qualifying campaign with a win against Ecuador. Here is how the standings look after 10 of 18 matches (top four qualify, fifth place team faces fourth place CONCACAF team for World Cup berth):

  • Paraguay……….23 pts
  • Brazil…………..17 pts
  • Argentina………16 pts
  • Chile……………16 pts
  • Uruguay………..13 pts
  • Ecuador………..12 pts
  • Colombia……….11 pts
  • Venezuela………10 pts
  • Bolivia…………..9 pts
  • Peru……………..7 pts


Portugal is starting to feel the heat. Cristiano Ronaldo’s boys thoroughly dominated Albania but couldn’t find the net and settled for a scoreless draw to drop to three-way tie for third place in a very tough qualifying group one:

  • Denmark……..7 pts
  • Hungary………7 pts
  • Portugal………5 pts
  • Albania……….5 pts
  • Sweden……….5 pts
  • Malta…………0 pts

Know anybody on the Slovakia national team? You might want to learn after the upstarts knocked off Poland, 2-1, to move into first place in qualifying group 3. Stuck near the bottom of the group (with a game in hand) is none other than the Czech Republic):

  • Slovakia…………9 pts
  • Poland…………..7 pts
  • Slovenia…………7 pts
  • Northern Ireland…4 pts
  • Czech Republic…..4 pts
  • San Marino……….0 pts

England pulled five points clear of Croatia in Group Six with its fourth straight qualifying win. Croatia and Ukraine look poised to battle for that second place playoff spot:

  • England…………12 pts
  • Croatia………….7 pts
  • Ukraine………….7 pts
  • Belarus…………..3 pts
  • Kazakhstan………3 pts
  • Andorra………….0 pts

These are just some of the results from World Cup qualifying around the world.

What do you think of the results? What was the most shocking upset? (Hello Cuba) Which team do you see making a move? (I say the Czech Republic) Which superpower is disappointing you the most these days? (I say Portugal) Which upstart is impressing you the most? (I say Chile)

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’ve been following Asian soccer for a while, and the Uzbekistan-Japan result isn’t that much of a shocker. the Uzbek FA has been making a lot of progress at both the club and international levels. I wouldn’t bee too shocked to see them end up qualifying for the WC.

  2. I only saw about 30 minutes of the US game, But Jesus Frankie Hejduk, please retire from international soccer… I was surprised at how good Torres was defensively, He looks very good. I wouldn’t pay attention to the result, it was a bunch of young kids who haven’t played together much, if at all. Very exciting though, give credit to bradley, hopefully he’ll do the same next game

  3. Danny,

    They always play dirty.

    Those Mcain Palin ads dont make me half as sick as thinking about a country run by a man who has never run so much as a lemonade stand and won his first election unoppossed by having his opponnents thrown off the ballott because of signatures.

  4. I agree with Kyle on the upset – this was a HUGE upset. No matter how much Chile dominated I still expected Argentina to pull it out somehow but it wasn’t in the cards this time. Chile played an amazing game. I haven’t seen any team on any tourney play as well as Chile played last night in a very long time.

  5. I should clarify, I live in Chile and obviously after the U.S., Chile is my adopted country/team.

    Robert, you should get your facts straight before attacking Ives — this WAS a huge upset. Chile has not even scored a single goal on Argentina in 11 years and in the HISTORY of soccer has never won on points. The last time they beat them was 37 years ago on pks.

    HomeyBoehme, you’re definitely right. The younger players were key last night.Jean Beausejour played out of his mind good. He’s been with the team for a while now but this is the first time he’s seen any serious time on the field because Alexi Sanchez was out injured. Needless to say, he kicked serious ass.

  6. I know Chile is a good team, but wow…they played an amazing game. They should’ve won 3-0, if the bald striker hadn’t whiffed two great setups. I’m friends w/ a lot of Chileans, and I called/texted them afterwards to let them know of the result. They were all as shocked as I was. They were all incredibly fast and would fight tirelessly for the ball. Very impressive stuff. I thought maybe they had the same training regimen as South Korea under Guus Hiddink because they were so damn fast.

  7. Ha Ha Guatemala! That’s what you get for playing dirty against the U.S. I look forward to the match in Commerce City. It should be a physical, fun game.

    Also, I know you’re trying to make a buck Ives, but please dump those stupid McCain-Palin adds. They make me sick.

  8. I would say the “superpowers” Argentina and Brazil are the most disappointing. The shocking result would probably be cuba but not 100% on that as Guatemala is not been looking great.

  9. “anyone with a passing knowledge in EUROPEAN soccer should know marek hamsik (one of the best young players in serie a) and martin skrtel the liverpool defender. Both slovakian.”

    Fixed your comment Alex, even though I would disagree about Skrtel. He is hardly a household name. Nice try though.

  10. at Roberto:

    Chile hasn’t beaten Argentina in a competitive match in 37 years. Yes it’s an upset but not as dramatic as it may seem considering how well Chile has been playing under Bielsa.

  11. anyone with a passing knowledge in soccer should know marek hamsik (one of the best young players in serie a) and martin skrtel the liverpool defender. Both slovakian.

  12. Kyle,

    I wouldn’t normally say this, but I actually thought Hejduk was one of the “less underwhelming” spots last night. It was nice seeing him get forward and deliver (semi-respectable) corsses. Not bad for a “locker-room guy.”

    On the result as a whole, I was dissappointed, and I think a draw would have been justified. Interesting to see how the youth movement that so many fans were calling for handled themselves when gievn the opportunity.

    On a positive note, when T&T advances to the next round, its a team we have to worry less about troubling our true starters, a group of 11 that maybe displayed that they deserve a little more respect after last night’s performance.

  13. I’m incredibly surprised at what ES has been able to accomplish. Sure they haven’t played CR yet and yes they’re probably in the weakest group but they’ve only allowed 1 goal. That’s the fewest goals allowed in the concacaf qualifiers. When I saw them play in Foxboro last year their defense was shameful, couldn’t even clear balls. Definitely interested to see how they fare in the next round.

  14. ives.. chile an upset, I guess you are misinformed.

    both chile and Argentina are teams with huge history.. Argentina we all know. Chile was organizer of WC 62 and finished 3rd.

    do you know who was



    caszely in the 70s

    elias figureoa?? (passarella & beckenbauers favorite defender?

    leonel sanchez??

    Roberto rojas??

    the list goes on….

    inform yourself

  15. I gotta admit, I wasn’t too disappointed seeing the Soca Warriors get their lifeline last night. They played hard, and made a good showing in WC ’06. Good luck to them.

    And Ives, do you have a say in those ads in the sidebar? “” Exclusionary politics on a soccer site? Don’t we get enough of that everywhere else?

  16. I don’t think people are taking the right viewpoint on this T&T victory last night. Most of us have been asking for Altidore and Adu to see time with the older players. I personally haven’t been begging for a total youth movement. I’ve been looking to see a lineup consisting of Altidore instead of Ching and Adu coming on for Beasley in the 60th or so minute. To think that a team of youngsters and useless Hejduk were going to go on the road and beat a team fighting for its WCQ lives is just crazy. This lineup has never played together before like our usual starters do. Calm down people.

  17. I was dissapointed with the US outcome but it was still great to see these young kids get the experience of playing a world cup qualifier on the road. It will hopefully give them a good perspective of what is it to play a world cup qualifier on the road and help them for years to come. It is always great when you can help develop these young players since they are the future of US Soccer.

    GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Take away the naturalized Argie Vuoso and Canada wins 2-1.

    It will be interesting to see which players Mex naturalizes for the hexagaon.

    Go Honduras!! Go Jamaica!!!

  19. This is an attacking lineup that a lot of folks have been pusing for, including me. It is sad to think that Bradley might never have the balls to go with a number of young players again. Hopefully this did not ruin his confidence in the thinking.

  20. Check that Jamaica would need to win 4-0 since Mexico has more goals scored… that being said… I hope the Catrachos smack Sven’s men around in the jungle…

  21. I’m not sure Chile is that shocking of an upset, especially after seeing the way their young players played in the Toulon Tournament. They were runners up this year. I’m assuming several from that squad are playing for the current qualifiers.

  22. Actually Christian… Canada played very well considering they did not have their best two players and had nothing to play for… also… a 4-0 drubbing by Honduras and 3-0 win by Jamaica is not completely impossible. Mexico was average last night considering they had a chance to wrap up a spot in the hex.

  23. I’m actually a little bit disappointed in the U.S. kids. T&T played a great game, at least I thought so. But I still think our youngins, even though it wasn’t our strongest team by a long shot, should beat them every time. Congrats to T&T on a huge win.

  24. I really hope that Mexico gets blown out by Honduras and Canada can turn the other way on those 7 goal lol. I am just glad that both the US and El Salvador got into the next round.

  25. Don’t know what game you saw Andy but Mexico missed two clear scoring chances in the first half alone.

    You could say that if it wasn’t for Oswaldo Sanchez, Mexico would’ve walked out of Jamaica with a tie and taken 3 points out of Canada.

    There is no such thing as deserving in soccer.

    With that said, Mexico can lose in Honduras and still qualify unless Jamaica puts seven past Canada.

    Highly unlikely but anything can happen.

    btw, Julio, you’re a tool. You’re just like all the other bitter salvies that root against Mexico. Have some pride for your country.

    El Salvador needs you.

  26. El Tri were very lucky not to lose last night. Canada would have deserved the 3 pts had Paul Stalteris drive off the bar or Radzinski’s 1 on 1 with the keeper not slid past the post. I just wish that they were going to need a result in the jungle. the sweat on Sven’s brow would have been so fun to watch.

    Also Portugal… seriously… Albania was down to 10 men for the entire 2nd half… Ronaldo, Nani, Queresma… you had everyone and you can’t score… I would have put bags of money on the US to break down a 10 man team of Albanians…

  27. Why is Slovakia beating poland such an upset, Slovaks have a lot of good players, and poland isn’t anything impressive. I think poland beating the czechs on sunday was much bigger news. Also I’d say the US loss to Trinidad was a pretty remarkable upset, granted it was not the strongest US squad, but the US should be beating all opponents in Concacaf every single game with the exception of Mexico away games.


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