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Soccer Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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Win and you’re in.

That’s the situation that Roy Hodgson and the English National Team face on Tuesday when they face Poland at Wembley Stadium, with one of four automatic qualification places up for grabs Group H of UEFA World Cup qualifying.

In addition to England, Ukraine could take the top spot in that group with a win and an England loss or draw, making it crucially important for the Three Lions to take the three points. Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, France, and Russia, and also fighting for the other three automatic places remaining for Brazil 2014.

The busy day in international soccer begins in China with a friendly between Brazil and Zambia, includes exciting matches in Europe including Turkey vs. Netherlands and Sweden vs. Germany, with a great finish in the evening as Uruguay need a big win when they face Argentina and Costa Rica hope to send Mexico spiraling into the playoff round next month when the two meet in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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):

7:45am – Brazil vs. Zambia – beIN Sport Play (beIN Sport USA at 2pm)

11:30am – Ghana vs. Egypt – beIN Sport USA/beIN Sport en Español

1pm – Greece vs. Liechtenstein – ESPN3

1pm – Cyprus vs. Albania – ESPN3

1pm – Azerbaijan vs. Russia – ESPN3

1pm – Israel vs. Northern Ireland – ESPN3

1pm – Portugal vs. Luxembourg – ESPN Deportes/ESPN3

2pm – Lithuania vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina – ESPN3

2pm – Switzerland vs. Slovenia – ESPN3

2pm – Hungary vs. Andorra – ESPN3

2pm – Turkey vs. Netherlands – ESPN3

2pm – Romania vs. Estonia – ESPN3

2:10pm – Latvia vs. Slovakia – ESPN3

2:15pm – Bulgaria vs. Czech Republic – ESPN3

2:30pm – Serbia vs. Macedonia – ESPN3

2:45pm – Sweden vs. Germany – GolTV USA

2:45pm – Italy vs. Armenia – RAI Internazionale

3pm – Spain vs. Georgia – ESPN Deportes/ESPN3

3pm – San Marino vs. Ukraine – ESPN3

3pm – Montenegro vs. Moldova – ESPN3

3pm – England vs. Poland – Fox Sports 1

3pm – Belgium vs. Wales – ESPN3

3pm – Scotland vs. Croatia – ESPN3

4pm – France vs. Finland – ESPN3

7:30pm – Uruguay vs. Argentina – beIN Sport USA

7:30pm – Paraguay vs. Colombia – beIN Sport Play

7:30pm – Chile vs. Ecuador – beIN Sport en Español

9:30pm – Jamaica vs. Honduras – beIN Sport en Español

9:30pm – Panama vs. USA – beIN Sport USA

9:30pm – Costa Rica vs. Mexico – Telemundo

10:15pm – Peru vs. Bolivia – beIN Sport Play


    • keep your fingers crossed for Ghana fielding an ineligible player, drug tests coming back positive or a match-fixing scandal with the Singaporean underworld involved…

      • Well with this ref I wouldn’t be shocked, but realistically this is just a superior Ghana team. So talented going forward.

    • Should help, the starting GK was terrible. Seems 2 of Ghana’s goals he had a chance to stop but was late reacting. His backline hasnt helped him too much, but his reactions were very slow…..

  1. Well, the end of the Bob Bradley documentaries is either going to fizzle out or be EPIC from a comeback standpoint…

    Then again, maybe it’ll just be a valiant comeback by Egypt that falls short, which is sort of poetic…

  2. Help me out here. If Panama beats us, Mexico beats CR and Honduras tanks vs Jamaica, Mexico qualifies directly but who gets the 4th place playoff, Panama or Honduras?

    • I’d honestly be shocked if Mexico came out of San Jose with a win and while my bets on the US, I would not sit comfortably if I was Mexican tonight.

      • mexico has owned CR the way CR has owned USMNT-so i think Mexico wins comfortable, Honduras chokes in Jamaica and Mexico gets an automatic spot

  3. Egypt are unlucky to be down 3-1. They dominated for 20 minutes after going down 2-0, and then Ghana scores on their first opportunity on a set piece. Soccer is a devastating Shakespearean tragedy sometimes.

      • I’d argue it’s by far the most difficult region to qualify from. Both of these teams are world cup quality. It’s a shame one isn’t going to make it.

      • CAF is much, much worse. The 2 legged final round makes it easy for a deserving team to slip up. The reliance on FIFA rankings to seed the draw betrays the teams that have recently rounded into form. Plus, the order of the home-and-home games are randomly drawn, introducing more uncertainty.

    • CAF doesn’t play enough qualifying games. They play like 8-10 games total to qualify. In CONCACAF the Hex alone is 10 games. That’s why CAF ends up with the absurdity of the head to head final round. I’m guessing the teams are too poor to play many more games, but if that’s the case, FIFA really needs to subsidize CAF qualifying, because it hurts Africa and ultimately it hurts FIFA not to have the best African teams qualifying.

  4. Jozy currently has 21 goals in 63 NT matches and yes only 23.

    7th all time top scorer for the NT. If he scores 4 more he becomes the 5th top scorer which is most likely before the World Cup.

    do you guys think he can deliver at the World Cup? Is 4 goals out of reach? Could be step out of Wynalda/McBride’s shadow and become the best US striker ever?

  5. Also, it was an own goal, but the defender got unlucky. He’s trying to clear it behind for a corner, but the goalie is just slightly in the way, so it deflects off him.

  6. Ghana have skill, but what sets them apart is their speed and combustible strength. That’s what Egypt can’t contend with- they’ve got excellent team work and determination, but even their centerbacks aren’t as strong as their weakest player.

  7. The pitch in Egypt is muddy and slick – will definitely have some impact on the match.

    Egypt keeper is really bailing them out right now.

    • Lucky its not 2-0 at this point…..that defensive header back to the GK in the 2nd minute was madness. I will say Egypt is moving the ball around well when they get it, they just need some composure in the final 3rd and a little luck and they may be able to get something out of this leg.

  8. “KEVIN PIETERSEN let his country down — but Jack Wilshere hasn’t, say Ian Wright, who adds in his Sun column:

    The flak Jack copped for his views on foreign players representing England is outrageous. And I agree with everything Jack said. You MUST be English to play for England. KP can say whatever he wants but he was born in South Africa — it isn’t the same him having the Three Lions on his chest…

    It’s like cheating. Any victory that requires foreign help is hollow. If you’re English and not good enough to play for England you don’t just go and play for Ireland.

    • No, it’s not like cheating. It’s nothing like cheating.

      If you’re English you don’t just go ahead and play for Ireland — because you’re not Irish. But if you’re English and Irish, you have options. If you’re German and American, you have options. If you’re Brazilian and Spanish, you have options.

      And if you’re English and South African, you have options. Pietersen had every right to play (cricket) for England, even though he wanted to play for South Africa. His transition had nothing to do with not being good enough or letting South Africa down, but with South Africa and their system of racial quotas (as understandable as they may be in post-apartheid South Africa) letting him down.

      • you may have options due to your parents but that sh*^ don’t matter. it’s all on you. if you born in south africa represent south africa. if you born in south africa but raised in England, represent England. you raised there or represent SA. don’t go represent Peru because your mom is from there.

  9. Just read Roger Bennett’s interview with JK, great read. Even though he mentions 10 guys , it’s obvious that he is going to push and challenge people all the way up to the end to earn their spot on the 23.
    I also liked how he talked about Jozy and Deuce, throwing themselves into the Shark Tank and challenging themselves. For Jozy moving up and out of his comfort zone to a better league, and for Deuce going from being just one of many; to the face of the league and the guy who is surrounded by 3 players when he touches the ball, which is a different challenge for him.

    • And he also said nothing is set in stone or guaranteed… for anyone…
      So it may appear subtlety that if Deuce doesn’t catch up his Captaincy may be up for grabs….
      Great read… check it out…

  10. anyone else feel international football has lost its way in the past decade due to the dominance of the Champion’s League? Too many friendly matches between clubs and nations. Just seems too much. say Player X is world-class. 1 of the top 10 players in the world. Usually gives 90-95% of his talent in every club match. Maybe he’s more motivated by the money, prestige or the fact he’s surrounded by world class players. say he goes home to play for his country but he only gives 60-70% of his talent. Fans slag him because they feel he is underwhelming for the NT. Maybe he is. Maybe it’s because he doesnt want to be injured, maybe because he feels playing for his country is akin to playing for charity, maybe it’s due to the players alongside him.

  11. Players should have 2 options.

    Play for the country you born in or raised in. If you born in the USA but you raised in canada from age 5 to 20. then pick 1. I’d imagine u feel more Canadian so chose them. It shouldn’t matter if your mom is from Brazil or dad is from New Zealand. Or your grandparents on both sides were British. Players shouldn’t have like 5 possible countries to play for. Kinda makes citizenship some big laugh. It’s not xenophobic but honoring your culture. Yes if your dad/mom are American, that’s lovely but if you’re raised 20 years in Chile, i’d figure u feel more Chilean. Chilean should have the honor of your representation. Today FIFA makes international football into some GIANT fun selection. It should be easy and simple. They make it too easy for Player 1 to be from Japan but spend 5 years in Belgium and suddenly wants to play for Belgium. Say what? No wonder fans go crazy. Seem like a very mercenary move. Are they doing it for the money? for the advantage of playing for a better team? But it’s good to discuss these things. Representing your country/home is a high honor. To me it doesn’t matter where your parents are from. It’s all about you. If youre parents are from Brazil but you’re born/raised in the USA, i’d be honored if you play for our NT and you should as well good sir

    • Players should have the option of playing for the countries responsible for their development.
      Diego Costa was a nobody when he moved to Spain therefore, to a degree, he’s a product of Spanish football. They took him as a youngster and helped him become the players he’s today.
      Compare him to the Jermaine Jones et alii who never spent any time playing soccer in the US. The rules say they can represent the US but in reality, when they jump on the field, they’re representing Germany’s player development, not the US.
      The World Cup is a showcase of what you can do player development wise, not how well you can recruit.

    • You contradict yourself.

      If its all about you then your motives are a private matter and no else’s business.

      Personally, if AJ goes to Brazil and scores a hat trick in every game I could not care less why he chose to play for the US.

  12. Wonder if “Father Raul” will be able to forgive a lot of Mexico’s sins again tonight with another wonder goal, or if they’ll depend on Uncle Sam to save their day?

    Side question: After Mexico, who would have the better chance in the playoff vs. NZ … Honduras or Panama? For me, I’d like Panama’s chances a bit better.

    • I think Panama would match up better against NZ’s physical style, but Honduras’s technical passing may be something that could catch NZ off guard.
      I like whoever the CONCACAFs representitive may be to win out over NZ in the playoff. IMO our region will be sending 4 teams to Brazil….Only real question will be who the 4th team will be (Mexico, Honduras, Panama) as all 3 have a chance.
      I expect Honduras & Costa Rica to get a results in their matchs (Tie & Win respectfully) so basically comes down to if Panama can beat a less than full strength US Squad.

  13. Japan vs. Belarus is gonna start 8: 15 eastern. That’ll be the most entertaining game until Ghana v Egypt


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