World Cup

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the World Cup, the best international tournament in world football.

Tickets, World Cup

Premier League And FIFA Dispute Rumbles On

The impact of COVID and travel restrictions is beginning to impact Premier League sides as nine clubs refused to allow players to travel to South America for the recent World Cup qualifiers. A clear violation of FIFA guidelines.

Fifa can ban players not released in an international window for a period of five days after the window ends and Wolves, Newcastle, Watford and Blackburn will all lose players this weekend after complaints from the Chilean, Mexican and Paraguayan associations.

The big issue is what happens to the six Premier League clubs who refused to release players for Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Scotland In Dire Need Of A Goalscorer

Scotland’s win at home against Moldova was their first in five games, taking them up to third in their World Cup qualifying group as rivals for second place Austria lost in Israel.

Sounds like a good night’s work, so why all the pessimism?

Pre-match, Scotland boss Steve Clarke asked for his side to “be on the front foot, be positive and get the goals needed to win”.

The head coach got his wish, but it could have been so much more comfortable for the hosts against the world’s 175th-ranked nation after a flurry of clear-cut chances were squandered.

Europe, Serie A, Tickets, World Cup

Italy Held By Switzerland In World Cup Qualifying

Italy Euro 2020 Winners

Italy’s slow start to life since winning Euro 2020 continued as they followed their 1-1 draw at home to Bulgaria with a goalless draw in Basel.

Roberto Mancini’s side had their chances early on against a Switzerland side that with key figures missing through injury and COVID and new management bedding in needed time to settle into the game. Their slow start should have been punished, not least by Domenico Berardi. One on one with the Swiss goalkeeper he somehow contrived to roll the ball at his arms.

Tickets, World Cup

Brazil v Argentina Abandoned Due To Covid Violations

Brazil v Argentina

I have seen a lot of crazy things take place on a football pitch, but today’s incident in Brazil during a World Cup qualifier between the host nation and their biggest rivals Argentina was a first for everyone in attendance.

Five minutes into the game the match was abandoned after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they believe broke quarantine rules.

The visitors walked off the pitch at the Corinthians Arena after the officials came out to stop the game.

The dramatic intervention came hours after Brazil’s health authorities had said four England-based players for Argentina had to quarantine.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Impressive Spain Win World Cup Qualifer

luis enrique spain

Luis Enrique’s Spain picked up a vital 4-0 win against Georgia in Badajoz to keep alive their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.

La Roja produced a dominant display in Extremadura following their 2-1 defeat in Sweden last time out.

The home side were in cruise control as Valencia pair Jose Luis Gaya and Carlos Soler put them 2-0 in front inside the first 30 minutes.

Manchester City winger Ferran Torres added a third goal before the break to kill off any potential chance of a Georgia fight back.

Afterwards, Spain boss Luis Enrique was full of praise for his players saying:

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Belgium Reach Euro 2020 Knockout Stages

Lukaku Belgium

Romelu Lukaku celebrated his 100th Belgium cap with his 67th international goal in a comfortable win over the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying.

The Chelsea striker raced onto a Hans Vanaken through ball to score with a first-time finish from the edge of the box. Timing his run to a tee, he darted down the inside right channel to collect Vanaken’s pass. Opening up his body he shaped to bend the ball inside Tomas Vaclik’s far post but instead lifted it high into the top corner

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Anthony Martial Rescues France In World Cup Qualifier

France drew for the fifth game in a row in all competitions as their stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign continued with an entertaining draw in Ukraine.

Mykola Shaparenko put the hosts ahead with an excellent 44th-minute strike into the top corner from 20 yards. But Manchester United striker Anthony Martial bundled in a close-range equalizer for only his second international goal, and first since 2016.

Moussa Diaby almost won the game for France, but hit the post from Karim Benzema’s pass.

Speaking after the match Martial rued the dropped points but was happy to see his side come back and at least get something from a losing position.

Europe, Tickets, World Cup

Germany With Impressive Start To World Cup Campaign

German Football Players

Germany thumped Armenia 6-0 in Stuttgart in World Cup qualifying. That made it two wins from two under new manager Hansi Flick.

Serge Gnabry got Germany off to a flying start with two goals in the first 15 minutes before Marco Reus and Timo Werner took the scoreline to 4-0 before the interval, the latter netting his second in as many international games.

Jonas Hofmann had performed impressively in a full back role for Flick and was rewarded with a goal before two of the great young hopes of German football combined for the sixth in added time, Florian Wirtz giving the ball to Karim Adeyemi, darting on for the pass back to him before teeing up the Red Bull Salzburg striker for a goal on his international debut.

Tickets, World Cup

Premier League clubs will not release players for international games in red-list countries

World Cup Trophy

The Premier League says its clubs have “reluctantly but unanimously” decided not to release players for matches in red-list countries during September’s international break.

Under current UK government rules, players would be forced to miss several games because of the 10-day isolation period required on return to the UK.

The Premier League said “extensive talks” had taken place with the Football Association and government “to find a solution” but that “no exemption had been granted”.

It added that it “strongly supported” the move made by top-flight sides, which “will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries”.

Major League Soccer, News, Tickets, World Cup

USA Beats Mexico To Lift Gold Cup

USMNT Gold Cup Winners

U.S. men’s national team boss Gregg Berhalter admitted that he really wanted to see his players rewarded by winning Sunday’s Gold Cup as he hailed his “relentless” young team for finding a way to take down Mexico.

A late goal from Miles Robinson in extra time earned the 1-0 victory, giving the USMNT its second statement win over its top rivals this summer.

Having called in a squad without many of the program’s European stars, the USMNT wasn’t expected to go toe-to-toe with El Tri, but Berhalter said he always knew his young squad had what it took to emerge with a trophy.