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World Cup Qualifying: UEFA Rewind

England 1 (Reuters)


Seven games. Six shutouts. 22 goals.

Those are just some of the more interesting numbers that describe Wednesday's UEFA World Cup qualifiers. But the midweek action wasn't just about numbers as some intriguing story-lines developed, including England getting one step closer to South Africa, Sweden keeping themselves from the brink of elimination and a former American youth player scoring his first international goal.

Here is a recap of Wednesday's UEFA qualifiers:

Group 1 – Sweden 4-0 Malta

Sweden's slim hopes of reaching South Africa stayed alive as they got a much-needed victory. The Swedes currently sit in fourth with four games remaining and are just four points back of second place Hungary.

Group 4 – Finland 0-3 Russia

Andrei Arshavin and Russia further distanced themselves from third place Finland with a decisive victory. Alexander Kerzhakov's brace led the way for the visitors, who are now five points ahead of Finland and only one behind current leaders Germany.

Group 6 – Ukraine 2-1 Kazakhstan

It took a comeback victory for a Andriy Shevchenko-less Ukraine to stay level with Croatia for second place in the group. Croatia and Ukraine both currently sit on 11 points.

Group 6 – England 6-0 Andorra

England moved a win away from securing passage to South Africa 2010 with their demolition of Andorra at Wembley Stadium. Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Defoe each netted twice, while Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch each knocked in a goal of their own to keep England undefeated in qualifying.

Group 7 – Faroe Islands 0-2 Serbia

American fans might have cringed watching this game. Not only did defender Neven Subotic help Serbia remain in first place of the group with a clean-sheet victory, but he also scored his first international goal in the 62nd minute.

Group 9 – Macedonia 2-0 Iceland

With second place now the only way to qualify out of the group (Netherlands clinched first this past weekend), Macedonia kept its World Cup aspirations alive by defeating Iceland. Macedonia now has 7 points and is currently tied for second place with Scotland.

Group 9 – Netherlands 2-0 Norway

Netherlands already had their place in World Cup 2010 booked but that didn't stop them from bringing out their plethora of talent to defeat Norway, who surprisingly still has a shot to qualify despite sitting at the bottom of the table with three points.


Which result did you most enjoy on Wednesday? Glad to see England a step closer to qualifying? Think Sweden can edge out Portugal and Hungary for second place in Group 1? Still angered by Subotic's decision to play for Serbia?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hats off to Denmark. They tearing it up. Defeated Portugal and Sweden in very tense matches. They truly deserve to be heading to the World Cup. Gooo Daniel Agger.

    Zlatan is 1 of the top3 strikers in the world but is complete crap for Sweden. Torres is also 1 of the top strikers in the world, but is quite lame for Spain although he’s done more than say Zlatan. He scored at a World Cup and Euro championship.

  2. England is pretty damn good of late. All players in form. But they could still do better, but thats to be debated. I’d say they get to the quarter-finals of the WC. Semi-finals would be amazing.

    I see Spain, England, Australia, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Paraguay all in the quarter-finals of the WC. I know it’s way too early to say anything, but those are my quarter-finals.

  3. @John

    England is in a group with Croatia, Ukraine and Belarus. Also runs are Andorra and Kazakhstan. Last time around England was burned by the same Croatia and did not qualify. Ukraine was a quarter-finalist in Germany and Belarus is giving all of them a run for their money.

    England has a better form lately. But any slip can be punished. A constant force in Europe such as Czechs is only 4th in their group. Hungary is back in business. Portuguese are struggling. Flying Dutchmen were stopped by Huddink’s Russia back in the last Euro. France is only second in the group and will face play-offs with somebody. There is no guarantee that they will get through to the World Cup.

    Minus about a dozen teams there, everybody else is good to spoil hopes of any favorite, some more often than not.

  4. Guys, Nevin Subotic is spilled milk. He’s a non-issue. We should just leave it alone at this point. It irritates me too, and everybody knows he learned the game and developed his skills in the US, NOT Serbia, but whatever. Guys like Aco will NEVER acknowledge that FACT.

  5. and he scored on the Faroe Islands. the Faroe Islands, which Serbia managed to beat only 2-0. population of the Faroe Islands? 48,000. sheesh.

  6. John:

    There are no early rounds designed to weed out weaker teams like Andorra, the way that there are early rounds in CONCACAF to eliminate, for example, a Belize.

    Also, Europe may have groups of five or six, but only the winner qualifies automatically, and the 2nd place teams have to do a home and home versus another 2nd place team to choose one to go to the World Cup. Though the teams are seeded based on past performance, one or two teams in a group outplaying what they’ve shown in recent qualifying campaigns (for example Denmark and Hungary) can leave a recent WC Semifinalist like Portugal scrambling to survive.

  7. how is it that all the powerhouses in europe are in easy groups? i mean, england beating andora 6- 0 is really nothing special. how are they even in the same group together?

  8. Portugal in poor form and near elimination from qualifying, can’t beat Estonia or even score, in a friendly.

    Their golden generation and golden boy have disappeared.

  9. @ Matt

    Thanks Matt! I am from Macedonia and the country technically is known as the Republic of Macedonia.

    127 countries call it that, the US being one of them, so need to to FYROM.

  10. And aco – Everyone is pissed at Neven because of his contradictory statements, not because of his footballing. I think everyone on these chats would agree that he is a great prospect and I have never seen any posts that suggest otherwise.

    What you have seen are posters hoping to sway his opinion. You never know who reads these posts.

    I’d be willing to bet that more than half of the national team members look on a more than casual basis. Its just human nature to be curious about what the fans are thinking and saying…

  11. Matt:

    Besides the whole Youth USMNT stint and the “backstabber” comment he made, you seem to forget that he has spent ZERO, and, I mean ZEEEERRRROOOOO time in Serbia before somehow qualifying for that team based on his ancestry.

    Know that facts before you open your mouth and stick your foot in it.

  12. Neven looked just like a US defender (in Costa Rica) at times in the Austria game over the weekend. He was torched a bit and missed timed a few balls that led to attacks. They got lucky Austria hit the post twice i think and for some reason had a very dangerous group of guys on the bench to begin the game. Not sure if he replaces Gooch or Boca. He is young sure but not as composed as our two starters I think. Ok feel the bitterness.

  13. For y’all Freddy Adu fans, according to his twitter, Adu’s agent gave him good news on possible destinations next season. He’s hoping for a team in Spain.

  14. Good job Neven, nice way to shut the mouth of those who were saying that you’ll never achieve anything with Serbia and that usa is a better option! Don’t blame them, they don’t know what is football, they’re playing something named soccer or whatever.

  15. Does anyone think that the soccer blogs in Ghana are cursing out Adu for playing for the US? Do you think Haiti is rueing the day that they could not lock up Jozy? For the players that we have lost to other countries, I think we have had our fair share that put on the USMNT jersey.

  16. Guys, Subotic was in the country for like five minutes!

    Why would you think he would play for us?

    I don’t even think he was a citizen.

    Leave the kid be.

  17. Man could you imagine our lineup if we had Subotic and Rossi!?







  18. Ironically, England can clinch a spot in the World Cup with a win against Croatia, who kicked them out of the European Championships two years ago.

  19. Would love to see FYROM (Macedonia) in the WC.. just for the sheer oddity of it.

    Does Croatia & Ukraine still have a match against eachother? If so, where is it played?


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