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World Cup qualifying resumes worldwide

France's Franck Ribery (R), Patrice Evra, William Gallas and Yoann Gourcuff celebrate scoring during their 2010 World Cup qualifying soccer match with Lithuania in Kaunas March 28, 2009.


Venezuela's exciting 2-0 victory over Colombia on Tuesday night kicked off another round of World Cup qualifying this week. With the majority of qualifiers set to take place today, there are plenty of games to look forward to and numerous story lines to follow.

You have France facing Lithuania in a crucial qualifier in Europe's stacked Group 7, there is England returning to qualifying action against Ukraine, and there is Mexico traveling to Honduras to take on a struggling Honduran squad.

These are just some of the key World Cup qualifiers on tap today. Here is a look at some of today's more important matches (followed by the entire slate of qualifiers and TV schedule):

Turkey v Spain

After the 1-0 defeat to Spain, Turkey looks to have a role reversal in Istanbul today. The Turks, who fell to third place due to the loss, need a victory or they will risk dropping even further down the table as both Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina are eying a second-place finish in Group Five.

It took the Spaniards an hour to find its only goal against Turkey on Saturday, as Gerard Pique netted his first international goal from close range in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Spain would not mind more of the same, as a victory would push them one step closer to a 2010 World Cup berth

England v. Ukraine

England remains undefeated in Group Six and will look to extend that streak to five games when they take on Ukraine at historic Wembley Stadium today. The English are fresh off a 4-0 win over Slovakia in a friendly on Saturday and they will look to carry over their successes to their World Cup qualifying campaign. Wayne Rooney, who leads the team with five goals, will lead head coach Fabio Capello's attack.

Ukraine will look to stun Capello and the English, especially considering that a positive result could push them into second place ahead of Croatia, which visits Andorra. England captain John Terry has warned his teammates to not sleep on striker Andriy Shevchenko, who has the ability to push Ukraine's offense to another level. And that could be a necessity if the AC Milan forward and his team plan on obtaining at least a point in England.

France v. Lithuania

It took a Franck Ribery wonder strike from 20 yards away for France to beat Lithuania in their weekend qualifier. A repeat result today in France would allow the French to climb into second place in Group Seven's standings, which would complete an impressive turnaround after their dismal start in qualifying. France will be without midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who is serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation after having picked up a booking in the 1-0 victory on Saturday.

Lithuania will look to give Les Bleus a taste of its own medicine as they attempt to take three points as visitors in Stade de France. Another loss to France would push Lithuania to third place behind the French and first-place Serbia.

Italy vs. Ireland

Giovanni Trapattoni is a mastermind of a coach, and he will need all his tactical genius to help Ireland pull off the upset today against Italy in Bari. The Irish are coming off a disappointing 1-1 tie vs. Bulgaria and will be looking to record at least a point on the road to stay within striking distance of Group 8 leaders Italy. These sides meet again on Oct. 10th and a win today by Ireland could make that return meeting a battle for an automatic place in World Cup 2010.

Italy is coming off a pair of qualifying wins against Montenegro and has yet to thoroughly dominate an opponent in group play, but a win today would put the Azzurri in the driver's seat in the group with four matches to play.

Honduras v. Mexico

Sven-Goran Eriksson has lifted some of the burden that had fallen on his shoulders with Saturday's 2-0 victory over Costa Rica. But the criticism from the media could return if Mexico falls to Honduras, which is a real possibility considering that the Mexicans lost away at Honduras in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying.  

However, Honduras, who many consider to be the third best team in CONCACAF, has found itself in a hole heading into their third game of the Hexagonal. Los Catrachos have just one point and sit last in the standings after falling to Costa Rica, 2-0, and tying 1-1 with Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday. A loss at home against Mexico and Honduras' World Cup hopes might be over before they ever really got started.

Here is the entire slate of matches scheduled for later today (and where you can watch them):

  • Hungary v. Malta
  • Denmark v. Albania
  • Latvia v. Luxembourg
  • Switzerland v. Moldova
  • Greece v. Israel (4pm, Setanta USA-delayed)
  • Czech Republic v. Slovakia (2:30pm, FSC)
  • Northern Ireland v. Slovenia
  • Poland v. San Marino
  • Liectenstein v. Russia
  • Wales v. Germany (2:45pm, GolTV/ESPN360)
  • Estonia v. Armenia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina v. Belgium
  • Turkey v. Spain (2pm, Setanta USA)
  • Kazakhstan v. Belarus
  • England v. Ukraine
  • Andorra v. Croatia
  • Austria v. Romania
  • France v. Lithuania (5:45pm, Setanta USA)
  • Bulgaria v. Cyprus
  • Italy v. Ireland (2:30pm, RAI)
  • Georgia v. Montenegro
  • Netherlands v. Macedonia (2:45pm, ESPN360)
  • Scotland v. Iceland (2:30pm, ESPN360)
  • Bolivia v. Argentina
  • Chile v. Uruguay
  • Ecuador v. Paraguay
  • Brazil v. Peru
  • United States v. Trinidad and Tobago (7:30pm, ESPN2/Galavision)
  • Costa Rica v. El Salvador
  • Honduras v. Mexico (9:30pm, Telemundo)
  • Australia v. Uzbekistan
  • Bahrain v. Qatar
  • South Korea v. Korea DPR (8pm, FSC-delayed)
  • Saudi Arabia v. United Arab Emirates


What do you think of these matches? Can Spain continuing its unbeaten streak? Will France enjoy a repeat performance against Lithuania? Is Rooney going to lead England to victory? Do you see the U.S. bouncing back from their 2-2 draw with El Salvador?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Erwin “Jimmy” Hoffer with 2 goals for Austria to beat Romania…if you all recall he was the kid that came on late and knocked Altidore, Adu and Bradley’s U20 crew out of the youth tournament back in 2007…

  2. why does setanta get all the sick internationals? i’ve got the sports package with my cable providor, which means that i get fsc and gol tv (both nice) and then another 5 channels worth a crap. no rugby. just nascar. b/s. i want setanta!

  3. north Korea has had decent teams in both men’s and women’s soccer for a few years now. Yes, they don’t get a lot of experience, but they do give new meaning to the idea of playing for their lives.

  4. Paul: lucky bar on Connecticut south of dupont. Marx Cafe in mt. Pleasant. Fado in gallery place or the Pour House at Capitol South/eastern market are your best bets.

  5. USA needs to rebound strong here on home soil. I am curious to see how Mexico fares against Honduras. They lost there last match they played but the momentum is different. I want to see if beating the Ticos at home gives them added mo’ on the road or if the same Mexico as of late will drop points. These are all good matchups in the CONCACAF. I think that if the US can get an early lead on the rest of the pack, it will be huge and pressure Sven and the gang quite a bit down the road.

    Let’s go YAAAANNNNNKSSSS!!!!!!

  6. Sheva is one for England to look out for? Umm, the guy has played as many times in Serie A this season as I have. If anyone, they should be watchin for Andriy Voronin going back to England who has a point to prove to Rafa and the Reds that they missed the boat on him. The guy has his unfancied Hertha berlin team top of the bundesliga. The only thing they need to worry about Sheva is whether he might bolt midgame to join MLS

  7. I say the US will rebound strongly against T&T. Bradley is a stickler for the details, and you can bet money he thoroughly addressed the defensive marking issues. I also think with Oneywu back in the line up the defense will be much stronger.

    Another match that will be interesting is Northern Ireland and Solvenia. NI sits atop that group now, and a win over Slovenia would be huge. I want to see the GAWA back in the WC…it’s been too long!

    Ukraine will be a good test for England. I think England needs a strong showing or they could easily lose that.

  8. France v. Lithuania and England v. Ukraine sound so good. Too bad I don’t get Setanta.

    Will the internationals be back for tomorrow’s Columbus game? They’ll all surely be around for this weekend’s MLS match-ups, yes?

  9. I watched the South Korea vs North Korea game this morning. I’m actually pretty surprised at how well North Korea plays…as I don’t see their players getting a lot of experience.


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