Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Group Standings

Spain’s forward Rodrigo vies with Faroe Islands’ defender Rogvi Baldvinsson (L) beside Spain’s midfielder Mikel Oyarzabal (R) during their Group F qualifier at the El Molinon stadium in Gijon on September 8, 2019. Miguel RIOPA / AFP

 

The battle for spots in Euro 2020 continued on Sunday with matches played in Groups D, F, and J.

Below is a look at the group tables after the matches:

Group A

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

England: 3 3 0 0 14 1 9

Kosovo: 4 2 2 0 7 5 8

Czech Rep: 4 2 0 2 6 8 6

Montenegro 4 0 2 2 3 10 2

Bulgaria 5 0 2 3 5 11 2

Group B

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Ukraine 5 4 1 0 11 1 13

Portugal 3 1 2 0 5 3 5

Luxembourg 4 1 1 2 4 5 4

Serbia 4 1 1 2 7 11 4

Lithuania 4 0 1 3 3 10 1

Group C

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Northern Ireland 4 4 0 0 7 2 12

Germany 4 3 0 1 15 6 9

Netherlands 3 2 0 1 10 5 6

Belarus 5 1 0 4 3 10 3

Estonia 4 0 0 4 2 14 0

 

Group D

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Rep. Ireland 5 3 2 0 6 2 11

Denmark 5 2 3 0 15 5 9

Switzerland 4 2 2 0 10 4 8

Georgia 5 1 1 3 4 8 4

Gibraltar 5 0 0 5 0 16 0

Group E

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Hungary 4 3 0 1 6 4 9

Croatia 4 3 0 1 9 4 9

Wales 4 2 0 2 4 4 6

Slovakia 4 2 0 2 7 6 6

Azerbaijan 4 0 0 4 4 12 0

Group F

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Spain 6 6 0 0 17 3 18

Sweden 6 3 2 1 13 8 11

Romania 6 3 1 2 13 7 10

Norway 6 2 3 1 11 8 9

Malta 6 1 0 5 2 13 3

Faroes 6 0 0 6 3 20 0

Group G

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Poland 5 4 0 1 8 2 12

Austria 5 3 0 2 13 6 9

Israel 5 2 2 1 9 8 8

Slovenia 5 2 2 1 9 3 8

North Macedonia 5 1 2 2 6 8 5

Latvia 5 0 0 5 1 19 0

Group H

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

France 5 4 0 1 16 3 12

Turkey 5 4 0 1 10 2 12

Iceland 5 4 0 1 8 5 12

Albania 5 2 0 3 6 7 6

Moldova 5 1 0 4 2 13 3

Andorra 5 0 0 5 0 11 0

Group I

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Belgium 5 5 0 0 15 1 15

Russia 5 4 0 1 17 4 12

Kazakhstan 5 2 1 2 8 8 7

Scotland 5 2 0 3 5 9 6

Cyprus 5 1 1 3 7 6 4

San Marino 5 0 0 5 0 24 0

Group J

(played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Italy 6 6 0 0 18 3 18

Finland 6 4 0 2 8 4 12

Armenia 6 3 0 3 12 11 9

Bosnia-Herzegovina 6 2 1 3 12 11 7

Greece 6 1 2 3 7 10 5

Liechtenstein 6 0 1 5 1 19 1

 

AFP

FIFA To Release Special Seeding For Russia 2018

Fifa, Russia 2018World football governing body FIFA have confirmed that another seeding will be done for African teams in the final qualifier for 2018 World Cup.

Egypt had complained about the seeding which put them in pot 2 along with Nigeria despite being ranked 5th in Africa.

They argued that they deserve to be in pot 1 which is reserved for the top seeds.

A new special ranking will be released on June 21, which is three days before the draw for the World Cup qualifiers.

Twenty teams will be drawn into five groups of four teams with the overall group winners qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

ASAMOAH GYAN: Ghana Can Take On Anyone

asamoahAfter reaching the quarter -final of the Africa Cup of Nations, the Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan said his team is not afraid of any other.

Ghana pulled through after defeating South Africa 2-1 and will meet the Group D runners-up in the quarter-finals on Sunday evening.

Confident of his team’s performance, Gyan said “with this team we can take on anyone in this competition.”

The Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff said: “It was not easy to get out of this group,” as the team qualified as Group C runners-up.

Gyan scored Ghana’s late winner in their second game against Algeria which ultimately helped them finish top of the table on head-to-head record.

“I have played at five cups of nations, but this group was the hardest,” he added.

“We were very strong mentally, even after conceding the first goal. We kept believing and fought to the end knowing that we could win.”

Ghana manager Avram Grant said: “We deserve it because South Africa were not better than us.

Grant also said “We have finished first in the group of death, which is not bad.  After losing the first match we showed great attitude in the second and continued along the same lines today , we started the match very well with two or three good chances. We had the match in our hands. I am very happy that the players showed, just as in their last match, a good spirit and good attitude.”

 

Nigeria To Play Mexico, Jamaica Ahead Of Kenya Return Leg Clash

The Super Eagles will train in Germany ahead of a return leg World Cup clash against Kenya with warm-up games against Mexico and Jamaica confirmed.

The Super Eagles will be hosted by Kenya in Nairobi on June 5 in a crunch World Cup qualifier return leg after the Harambee Stars snatched a draw in Calabar at the weekend. They will also face hosts Namibia a week later in continuation of the qualifying series.

The Nigeria Football Federation have now concluded plans for the African champions to set up a training camp in Germany ahead of a hectic month of June, when they are also to feature at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Super Eagles spokesman, Ben Alaiya, says the team will regroup at the Adidas camp site in Germany in the middle of May to prepare for  the two crucial World Cup qualifiers and the friendlies against Mexico and Jamaica.

The Eagles must win their next two World Cup qualifiers away to Kenya and Namibia to stay in contention for a place in the final round of the qualifying tournament for Brazil 2014 after they laboured to a 1 all draw with Kenya at home.

Nigeria Settles For Draw Against Kenya

Nigeria’s Super Eagles survived a major upset to force Kenya’s Harambee stars to a 1-1 draw in the World Cup qualifier match for Brazil 2014.

Francis Nyambura shot the Kenyans into lead 9 minutes before the break.

Nyambura struck a fantastic free kick that threw Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama off balance.

The Kenyans were on the verge of handing Nigeria a first home defeat until substitute Nnamdi Oduamadi crafted an equalizer to save Nigeria who is African Champions from recording a disgraceful one in the injury time.

Before the Nigeria –Kenya match which took place at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar a lot of bad blood has been generated between the two African countries with accusation and counter accusation.

It went further with the involvement of fans of both countries on the social media network Twitter; however with the way it stands a return match will square things between the countries as to who conquers who.

Keshi To Play 2014 World Cup Qualifiers With Lean Squad

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi is to maintain a small squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, just as he prepares to tackle the Harambee Stars of Kenya

The Nigeria Football Federation said this is due to the financial constraint plaguing the federation even though the chief coach of the Super Eagles had earlier declared his interest to add more quality players to the team that claimed the Afcon 2013 trophy.

Keshi had shown interest in players such as Shola Ameobi, Obafemi Martins and others.

According to Punch Newspaper, an official of the federation said: “Of course we will look at the list from Keshi as in the past but the key thing may not be the type of players he needs but largely on how the Federation can also accommodate his plans. In this time of lean purse, we don’t expect to see 35 players called up for the game.

“The encouragement now is that Keshi already has his core players and so he is zeroing in on exactly those he wants for this game and a few others he wants to give another opportunity to prove their worth,” the official said.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will host the Harambee Stars of Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match on March 23.

Ben Alaiya, an official of the Federation also claimed that Stephen Keshi will be releasing his list of the squad to face the Harambee Stars soonest.

 

Super Eagles recall not my focus right now – Victor Anichebe

Everton striker and Nigerian International Victor Anichebe has been in fine form for his English club and has opened up that to keep this recent form which he has found is his priority and Super Eagles recall as many may be thinking.

Known to be going in and out of the injury list in club football, Anichebe has confirmed his high fitness this season, proving his worth to his Toffees team as he has already bagged three goal this season for the club.

As at last week before the Super Eagles victory against Liberia in the AFCON 2013 qualifiers, Coach Stephen Keshi said for Anichebe he is in the cooler that he’s got plans for the striker ahead of African Nations Cup.

And in response to this statement the Nigerian international insists that he owes his allegiance right now to his Everton manager David Moyes has he has stood by him and had a lot of faith in his game so he wants to repay that back first.

Anichebe said the National team aspect of football has not struck him right now as he prays for them to do well because there are a bunch of very talented players ready to move the Super Eagles forward.

He said further on his decision that he owes Everton so much for the team actually stuck by him during his trying times which made him get back on his present fitness level so he needs to claim a permanent spot on the squad this time.

Everton face struggling QPR at the weekend and Anichebe has warned about a possible backlash from the bottom-placed Londoners.

Messi leads Argentina to thrash Uruguay 3-0

Lionel Messi guided Argentina past a tough Uruguay side in the final half hour with two brilliant goals for a 3-0 win on Friday that keeps them top of South America’s World Cup qualifiers.

Argentina leads the nine-nation South American group with 17 points from eight matches at the halfway stage. Colombia and Ecuador are one point behind, Uruguay and Chile five behind.

Messi created and finished his first goal in the 66th minute, playing the ball to Angel Di Maria and racing through to tap the rebound past Fernando Muslera.

Argentina went two up nine minutes later with another move on the left, Messi again feeding Di Maria who returned the ball with his first touch where Sergio Aguero touched it into the net.

The third goal in the 80th minute came from a cheeky free kick by Messi, who deceived the Uruguay wall by sliding the ball underneath them and inside the base of the near post when they jumped expecting a shot to one of the upper corners.

It was sweet revenge for Messi, who has now scored 12 goals in his last seven internationals, and Argentina after they were eliminated by Uruguay on penalties in the 2011 Copa America and which the 2010 World Cup semi-finalists went on to win

Argentina’s Coach Alejandro Sabella couldn’t hide his excitement as he admitted it was a “Great match by the players against an experienced team like Uruguay who for a good reason finished fourth at the recent World Cup.”

Argentina enjoyed far more possession and territory than Uruguay in the first half but could not find a way through a well organised defence and when they did, they were caught offside.

Uruguay was a latent threat on the counter-attack with forwards of the calibre of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan.

Messi created a good chance for himself with a dribbling run past several defenders towards the end of the first half in Mendoza but his final, left-footed shot went over the top and hit the far stanchion.

He was also close with a free kick from the left which would have gone in if Muslera had not punched the ball over.

There was fighting among players from both sides early in the second half when Uruguay captain Diego Lugano chased a loose ball with Sergio Romero and stamped on the Argentina goalkeeper’s hand as he went for it, earning a booking.

Messi’s first goal came during a spell of total Argentine dominance but soon after there was a scare for Argentina with defender Pablo Zabaleta clearing off the line.

It was an expensive outing for the Uruguayans with Lugano, who came off injured, and fellow central defender Diego Godin suspended for Tuesday’s visit to Bolivia after both were booked.

Mourinho’s Madrid on fire ahead of El Clasico

Real Madrid were looking asleep going into the season as they slipped with every game while their arch rival Barcelona were picking up massive points with speed like there’s no tomorrow as Real Madrid could only manage a win from its first four games  in the Primera Division season.

But as if something triggered the Bernabeu boys and their manager ‘The One’ Jose Mourinho to wake from their slumber,

Real Madrid clicked into gear at just the right time as it will be facing arch rival Barcelona hoping to reduce the sizeable gap that has opened up between the two clubs.

Now from 11 points to 8 points lead for Barcelona, playing the seventh round of fixtures by this weekend, Real Madrid has stepped up its game to wake to serious challenge against the Villanova boys and the goal is to keep reducing the points.

And to assure fans that Jose Mourinho is back with its magic wand, Real Madrid walloped Ajax  4-1 in the Champions League challenge in the midweek as Madrid recorded its fourth successive win in all competitions, while last week it also thrashed Millonarios 8-0 in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said winning these consecutive matches is important for Real Madrid’s aims and confidence; this was coming after the Portuguese questioned some of his players’ commitment a few weeks ago.

Mourinho said the team was full of concentration against Ajax and they played at their best with good individual movement and as a team, he admitted it was a very good match and he is hoping that the momentum will not drop again.

“We cannot win every match but with this attitude, commitment, and approach to matches, individual quality becomes collective quality and it is normal that the results start to come and that the team improves.”

While Madrid is just finding its form, Barca has started life under new coach Vilanova in magnificent fashion with nine wins from 10 games in total, with its only setback being a defeat to Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Supercopa.

Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who netted twice in last weekend’s comeback win over Sevilla and then again in the Champions League triumph over Benfica, sounded an ominous warning to Madrid by claiming: “We’re playing better each time we play.”

Villanova is now battling with some injury headache going into the El Clasico Barcelona captain, Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique will not be available for the clash against Real.

 

Keshi recalls Ideye and Emenike

Super Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi has recalled Ideye Brown who plays for Dynamo Kyiv and Emenike Emmanuel also in Moscow playing for Spartak Moscow to the squad to come and do battle against Liberia in the African Nations Cup qualifier next month.

With the recall handed down to the duo they will be merging with other Europe-based players to bring the total number of the team to 12.

The Super Eagle’s list drafted by Keshi has been approved by the National Football Federation (NFF) Technical committee.

Ideye Brown and Emmanuel Emenike are both top-rated players in their various clubs.

Their achievements in the Russian league drew the interest of the Super Eagles’ coach and prompted him to consider a recall as he has been monitoring the progress of the young Nigerians.