31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016

With less than 45 minutes to go, have a healthy 2017, plenty of love, lots of success and always smile. Happy New Year to everyone, wherever you are!!!

Refusing to participate

Most players are gladly accepting the call to play FRIENDLY games, while some are being too 'lazy' to even participate in the OFFICIAL ones.
Although they have been put on the preliminary list of 35 players for the African cup of nations, last week seven footballers from Cameroon are avoiding the call. The competition is starting on 14 January and is lasting three weeks, so the association, if they wish, can 'ask' FIFA to suspend them due to disobedience while the tournament is on. All these defiant footballers are playing in European clubs: Joel Matip (Liverpool), Allan Nyom (West Bromwich Albion), Guy Roland Ndy Assembe (Nancy), Maxime Poundje (Bordeaux), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Marseille), Ibrahim Amadou (Lille) and Andre Onana (Ajax). In the end, Cameroonian coach Hugo Broos, has told the real reason of why this is happening: 'These players have put personal interest above those of the national team'.

30 December 2016

New Asian transfer record (most likely) and expensive world's player

Besides limitation of foreign players, PR China is becoming like a 'magnet' for famous world footballers. Last week Oscar's transfer to Shanghai SIPG with 60 million euros (announced by the club, as first numbers were 70.5 million) became the highest Asian transfer record. But today another South American star erased that digit like a joke...
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua has signed Argentinian international Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors for an undisclosed transfer fee, who is believed to be 84 million euros. With this move the 32 year old will receive weekly payment of 718.645 euros, which makes him most expensive player in the world.

29 December 2016

Tragedy on a lake

Last Sunday members from a village football team with their fans have drowned in lake Albert in Uganda. Police on Monday police confirmed that 30 people have died from Buliisa district from the western part of the country. All jubilant, they went to Hoima district on a Christmas football match. At the overcrowded boat was 45 people and lots of cargo on it, and it had been capsized when all of them were on one side. Local fishermen rescued the remaining 15.

28 December 2016

Latest Italian futuristic stadium

Roma's chief executive Umberto Gandini has revealed in Dubai press conference on Tuesday building of a new stadium for the club in the southwestern part of Rome. 'Della Roma' is projected to have 56.000 seats with lots of restaurants and shopping malls. This project worth 1.3 billion euros has been postponed many times due to needed documents from the town, but Gandini has said that the team is at the last step to finally start the cornerstone next year. He hopes that the club will play its first matches from 2020/21 season or even earlier.
Currently Roma is sharing Stadio Olimpico (Olympic stadium) with city rivals Lazio, and both clubs rents the stadium from the city itself (Rome).

27 December 2016

Disobedient associations

Exactly seven days ago, last Monday, the world football organization have penalized plenty of FAs. Most of them are punished due to their stubbornness for the World Cup qualifying matches for Russia 2018.
The poppies saga is (finally) over. For the game England - Scotland both countries were fined. The hosts have to pay 45.000 Swiss francs (41.920 euros) and the Scots with 20.000 Swiss francs (18.631 euros). Welsh FA was also fined with 20.000 Swiss francs for the match Wales - Serbia, while 5.000 less (13.973 euros) has to pay Northern Ireland for their match against Azerbaijan. All these four nations introduced political symbols, which is opposite to FIFA standards. In some cases crowd trouble was involved as well.
For unsporting manner, discrimination and political messages by their supporters FIFA has punished 11 more nations. Romania took the highest fine with 95.000 Swiss francs (88.498 euros) for their game versus Poland. Because of that Arena Nationala in Bucharest will be out of play for two matches. With 80.000 Swiss francs (74.525 euros) Greece is punished because of political banner in the game against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Halved than that amount (37.262 euros) and with closure of Olympic stadium in San Pedro Sula for one game, Honduras is sanctioned for several incidents. Those happened against Panama. Polish FA is fined with 35.000 Swiss francs (32.605 euros), Argentina and Chile has to pay 30.000 Swiss francs each (27.947 euros). Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez in Santiago is banned for two matches. Five thousand Swiss francs less (23.289 euros) will pay Bosnia and Herzegovina, Panama and Colombia each. Mexico and Venezuela are punished each with 20.000 Swiss francs (18.631 euros).
Fielding an ineligible player against Tahiti, Solomon Islands received a 6.000 Swiss francs fine (5.589 euros). Because of that omission, the hosts (Tahiti) has been awarded the game with 3:0. The 'new' forfeited winner has also won 1:0 in 90 minutes.
In addition, Republic of Ireland and Ukraine who played friendly matches with other countries were also penalized.

26 December 2016

'This is my area! Why you cannot see that?'

A comical situation, not knowing the rules or something third (call it however you want) happened on Sunday to one of the best referee from Turkey (and worlds), Cuneyt Cakir.
Match Rizespor - Osmanlispor from the Super Lig, week 16, minute 65. The world class referee gave a penalty to the hosts because Osmanlispor goalkeeper, Zydrunas Karcemarskas in his box touched the ball with his - hand. The visiting players protested strongly after this 'incident', but Cakir's mind was already made up. To be more amazed Bahattin Duran, referees assistant which was on that side on the pitch was speechless. Luckily a minute later, 'the guilty man that made the penalty' was the hero by saving it.
The whole situation, with the 'bad day' from the man in yellow can be seen on the youtube service.

United against terrorism

Just one week before Christmas the city of Berlin was hit with terror attack that left many people dead and injured.
Every year, fans from second Bundesliga team Union Berlin gather in the stands to celebrate the upcoming holiday, by singing Christmas carols. The tradition is almost 13 years long, but this year it had totally different meaning.
Around 30.000 supporters get-together at the stadium and with minute silence and candles respected the victims from this weeks deadly attack. Main slogans were 'Be strong Berlin' and 'Football against terrorism'. Video from this touching move is posted on the youtube service.

25 December 2016

Limited number of foreigners

Chinese Football Association (CFA) today gave a proposal to limit the number of foreign players in the domestic Chinese Super league (CSL) from five to four. Although it may have four players on the pay list, the clubs at the same time can have at least three foreign footballers onto the pitch. With these new rules CFA wants to protect local players, so that they actively play in the games. These regulations are expected to be enacted and the new changes will be into effect from next season in PR China, which starts from March. However, the teams have the final say who must respond by 29 December.
Statement published by CFA reads that 'for the sake of long-term development of professional clubs in China, the association would like to set up a system based on the financial requirements for clubs and also implement the adjustment of foreign-player quota. High-level foreign players have brought energy to the CSL and made CSL games more enjoyable, but they have created financial burdens for clubs and reduced opportunities for mainland players'.

24 December 2016

Vanishing of a great football name

In the presents it is Steaua, however in the future it might be FC Sports Becali.
The Romanian famously football team from Bucharest is experiencing lots of troubles lately and on Thursday the defence ministry of the country has won in court against Steaua. Main reason: the name is being illegally used since 2004 as that brand already belongs to the army. After that decision, the ministry is suing the team for 40 million euros, which the owner George Becali will now go to the Supreme court. According to him, if the sentence remain the same the club will be insolvent and will be demoted into the fourth amateur division. Thus the 26 championship title record club in Romanian football could make a 'forced' change into FC Sports Becali.
'The fans will follow me. They will say there was a huge injustice and will follow me.' disappointed Becali said.

23 December 2016

Two out - three in in Africa

Nearly at the end of November ten names, from two lists, were introduced to be best footballers in Africa for 2016. Today that was shortened to just three players each.
Votes from 54 African coaches, media committee, technical and football committee with media experts have decided to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon / Borussia Dortmund), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria / Leicester) and Sadio Mane (Senegal / Liverpool) in contention for the best African player award. Unfortunately there was no space for Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Roma) and Islam Slimani (Algeria / Leicester).
Same people have been voted for the other list: the best player of the year - based in Africa. 'Surplus' were both South African footballers Hlompho Kekana and Keegan Dolly, which means that the following trio is still with a chance to be named domestic player of 2016: Denis Onyango (Uganda), Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe) and Rainford Kalaba (Zambia).
All winners, along with the other categories, will be presented on 05 January in Abuja, Nigeria.

22 December 2016

Reducing the sentence

Just one day after winning the world club title in Real Madrid came one more good news (well...partially). The European champions were forbidden to sign new players by FIFA until 2018, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday bring down the ban to one year. This means that new signings the club will be able to produce next summer instead of January transfer window.

21 December 2016

List of 14 stadiums and seeds has been revealed

Next year North America will enjoy one of the biggest football tournament festivity in the region: the Gold cup. Fourteenth edition will be held United States of America from 07 until 26 July, and on Monday all locations and seeds were known.
Alamodome in San Antonio, FirstEnergy stadium in Cleveland, Levi's stadium in Santa Clara and Nissan stadium in Nashville will be hosts for the first time. Along with these four debutants, fans will be welcomed also at: AT&T stadium in Arlington, BBVA Compas stadium in Houston, Lincoln financial field in Philadelphia, Qualcomm stadium in San Diego, Raymond James stadium in Tampa, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, Rose bowl in Pasadena, Sports authority field at mile high in Denver, Toyota stadium in Frisco and University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale. United States of America and Mexico have been determined as seeds in groups B and C.
So far 7 teams have made it to the event. In January 4 teams from central American group will join the party. Twelfth and final finalist will be uncovered at a later date.

19 December 2016

Club World Cup through numbers

The thirteenth edition of Club World Cup may be over yesterday, but FIFA must take the blame for the dreadful choice of referee that has been awarded for the final who maybe decided the winner. After 23 yellow cards we should have seen at least another one i.e. first direct red card at the competition. However, the inexperienced 'man in black' Janny Sikazwe from Zambia showed mercy in the eighty-ninth minute for Sergio Ramos who clearly escape the punishment after shirt pulling rivals player. Although Kashima Antlers players wanted it, the video assistant help for this case was NOT shown. This clearly shows how the world football organization put some insignificant people to officiate main games. This 'overshadowed win' was Real Madrid's second title after 2014. Thus, Spain completed a hat trick because Barcelona won last year in Japan.
As for the finished tournament 7 clubs have scored 26 goals plus 2 which were given in additional time or 3.25 per game. From those 11 were scored in the first half and 15 in the second. We also saw 2 own goals and 3 penalties. For the first time in football history video assistant referee system was used for a penalty decision. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) in the final game scored 3 goals and collects the Adidas golden ball. Gaku Shibasaki (Kashima Antlers) and Silvio Romero (Club Futbol America) both give 2. The heroic team from Japan, Kashima Antlers played 4 matches and have scored at every game giving more goals than others: 9 versus 5 received. Deservedly so the J-league winners have won the fair play award. At the end here is the classification of all teams at the 2016 FIFA club World cup Alibaba YunOS Auto event:
Real MadridSpain
Kashima AntlersJapan
Atletico NacionalColombia
Club Futbol AmericaMexico
Jeonbuk Hyundai     MotorsSouth Korea
Mamelodi SundownsSouth Africa
Auckland CityNew Zealand

18 December 2016

'Little' help from Zambian referee for the European champions

Classification for third / fourth place:

Club Futbol America - Atletico Nacional 2:2, on penalties: 3-4

Scorers: 0:1 06-own goal Miguel Samudio
              0:2 26 Alejandro Guerra
              1:2 38 Michael Arroyo
              2:2 65-pen Oribe Peralta


Real Madrid - Kashima Antlers 2:2, 4:2 after extra time

Scorers: 1:0 08 Karim Benzema
              1:1 44 Gaku Shibasaki
              1:2 52 Gaku Shibasaki
              2:2 59-pen Cristiano Ronaldo
              3:2 97 Cristiano Ronaldo
              4:2 104 Cristiano Ronaldo

Final two official international pairs

At the international scene we will conclude 2016 with last two matches playing in Yokohama. On Sunday (finally) it will be answered which region plays the best football.

- Atletico Nacional, who for many supposed to play in the final, will play for third / fourth place play off match. In their only game so far the Colombians did not score a goal, but that can be changed on Sunday. Their rival is Club Futbol America who once beat them in Copa Sudamericana competition. On a neutral ground the rivalry can be quite different, however it may easily be our first draw in the event.
- And speaking of that final, the surprised team who made it scored incredible seven goals from just three games. Plus they are having strong support from their home crowd which equals that Kashima Antlers will not give up without a fight. On the other hand sloppy Real Madrid surely cannot repeat their game from Thursday where they easily won and yet did not show anything in particular. So it will be interesting to see how they will approach the game versus the Japanese 'hosts' who will be very determined to win. Because of that this may lightly be another draw, but due to the stars the European champions should get the match.

17 December 2016

Not giving up that easily

After losing its right to appear as a name before the African football championship, Orange 'retaliates' with eight year extension contract. From 2017 until 2024 the telecommunication company will be present in five major African tournaments. New deal will include: final tournaments in TOTAL Africa cup of nations (2017 in Gabon, 2019 in Cameroon, 2021 in Ivory Coast and 2023 in Guinea), TOTAL U-20 Africa cup of nations (2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023), TOTAL Women African cup of nations (2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024) and annually competitions of the CAF Champions league together with CAF Super cup (both from 2017 to 2024).

15 December 2016

Two stoppage time goals - poor performance overall from both semi finalists

Club Futbol America - Real Madrid 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 45+1 Karim Benzema
              0:2 90+3 Cristiano Ronaldo

Yokohama's only duel

Last team that is going to debut at this years club World cup event is Real Madrid. The European champion are absolute favorites for the game against their Mexican counterparts Club Futbol America. Lately, the Spaniards are not very confident for a win as they are struggling to keep victory at the back. On the other hand, CONCACAF champions are little bit better in terms of play, but the club is also having problems to maintain the lead. In their only match so far Real Madrid won an interesting game with a goal difference. Knowing their 'strength' it would be a real surprise if Club Futbol America holds them to a draw in normal time, however Real Madrid is still expected to take victory with lots and lots of sweating (if they do not want to be humiliated (again)).

14 December 2016

First high scoring game

Classification for fifth /sixth place:

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors - Mamelodi Sundown 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 17 Kim Bo-Kyung
              2:0 29 Lee Jong-Ho
              3:0 41-own goal Ricardo Nascimento
              3:1 48 Percy Tau
              4:1 89 Kim Shin-Wook

Semifinal 1:

Atletico Nacional - Kashima Antlers 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 32-pen Shoma Doi
              0:2 82 Yasushi Endo
              0:3 85 Yuma Suzuki

Additional information: Japanese penalty was triggered by the video assistant help for the first time in football history.

Last two Osaka pairs

At the club World cup this will be the penultimate day that two matches will be playing today: one classification game and the first semi-final. For the last time this year Osaka will host the following two duels:

- Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors - Mamelodi Sundowns. Maybe players will be demotivated for this game, but it is certainly not a bad thing to be fifth or sixth in the world. However, if players will be in happy mood good thrill will not be absent. In the last match we saw that Mamelodi Sundowns is a tough team to beat and the South Africans will certainly want to be ranked higher. Same goes for South Koreans, who apparently have defence problems after they take the lead for much of the game. If they fix that (in time) Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors would easily be winners.
- Atletico Nacional - Kashima Antlers. For the first time in this event CONMEBOL champion is stepping into action. Before getting here the Colombians are having mixed results unlike their opponents. In the first semi final game Atletico Nacional must play against 12 men today (or the whole stadium), as Japanese league winners will surely get the home crowd with them. Kashima Antlers will do everything they can to go one step further in their debut appearance. Knowing rival's strength 'the hosts of the competition' will try to hold the South Americans back, however Atletico Nacional's knowledge will turn it into victory.

Nominees for other African best categories

Beside the main award - best player of 2016 (which was revealed last month), the Confederation of African Football (CAF) also discovered best awards in other categories for the current year.

- Five females will battle for the Women's player of the year: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria), Elizabeth Addo (Ghana), Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (Cameroon), Janine van Wyk (South Africa), Raissa Feudjio Tchuanyo (Cameroon).
- One of these players will be named the most promising talent: Elia Meschak (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria), Naby Keita (Guinea), Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria), Ramadan Sobhi (Egypt).
- Alex Iwobi (Nigeria), Eric Ayiah (Ghana U 17), Franck Kessie (Ivory Coast), Sandra Owusu-Ansah (Ghana) or Sidiki Maiga (Mali U 20) will win the Youth player of the year award.
- Who will take the best trainer title in Coach of the year: Florent Ibenge (Democratic Republic of Congo), Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic (Uganda), Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Nacer Sandjak (MO Bejaia), Florence Omagbemi (Nigeria women's national team).
- Club of the year will be between Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), MO Bejaia (Algeria), TP Mazembe (Democratic Republic of Congo), Zamalek (Egypt) or Zesco United (Zambia).
- Who will be the best National team of the year: Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria U 23, Senegal or Uganda?
- Female counterparts have its own award in Women's national team of the year: Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

Beside these, there are six more other categories (Referee of the year, football leader of the year, fair play award, African legend, platinum award and Africa finest XI). Twenty experts (reporters, TV consultants) together with media committees and CAF technical and development members will give their vote to one of these names (except in some cases). The victors will be announced at the presentation ceremony 05 January in Abuja, Nigeria.

13 December 2016

Afraid to coach his new club

On Saturday evening twin bombs exploded in the center of Istanbul, Turkey. Unfortunately many dead and injuries were reported and now one trainer is frightened to go there.
After agreeing all the terms to lead Gaziantepspor Marius Sumudica, now ex-coach of Romanian champions Astra Giurgiu, has now fears to go to Turkey. He was due to fly in the country late Saturday to sign the agreement, but because of recent events the 45 year old trainer cancelled his trip. 'I am not going to Gaziantep' said Sumudica for Digi Sport.

12 December 2016

Excitements are continuing from February

In never thrilled Europa league the action will boil up from last 32. Sixteen games are promising to be entertaining, but unfortunately we must wait for winter break to be over. Two months void will end 16 February, when fist leg will be played, while return legs are scheduled for seven days later.

Athletic Bilbao - APOEL Nicosia.

Legia - Ajax.

Anderlecht - Zenit St. Petersburg.

Astra - Genk.

Manchester United - St. Etienne.

Villarreal - Roma.

Ludogorets Razgrad - FC Copenhagen.

Celta Vigo - Shakhtar Donetsk.

Olympiacos - Osmanlispor.

Gent - Tottenham.

Rostov - Sparta Prague.

Krasnodar - Fenerbahce.

Borussia Moenchengladbach - Fiorentina.

AZ Alkmaar - Lyon.

Hapoel Beer Sheva - Besiktas.

PAOK - Schalke.

First knockout round pairs

Four months group phase games are over and now it is time to find out who will play who in the first knockout round from the Champions league. Last 16 duels are known and they are drawn in this order:

Manchester City - Monaco.

Real Madrid - Napoli.

Benfica - Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern Munich - Arsenal.

Porto - Juventus.

Bayer Leverkusen - Atletico Madrid.

PSG - Barcelona.

Sevilla - Leicester.

Two leg matches will be played throughout February and March.

Final week of the last tournament for 2016

We came to the only full and final week of the Club World Cup. Semi-final game will be in focus next week. Two new teams (and favorites to take the title) will be introduced, while the other two 'smaller teams' will make everything to stop them from meeting each other.

Wednesday, 14 December at 08.30 CET: To help classification of all clubs, fifth place game will be played between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors - Mamelodi Sundowns.
Wednesday, 14 December at 11.30 CET: First semifinal are going to play Copa Libertadores winners from CONMEBOL region - Atletico Nacional (Colombia) against the hosts of the event Kashima Antlers.

Thursday, 15 December at 11.30 CET: The only game from this date is Club Futbol America playing European champions Real Madrid (Spain) at the second semifinal game.

Sunday, 18 December at 08.00 CET: Losing semi-finalists will meet first on the closing day.
Sunday, 18 December at 11.30 CET: Semi-finals' winners are going to face each other for the FIFA Club World Cup Alibaba YunOS Auto 2016 edition.

11 December 2016

Second half is a winning half

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors - Club America 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 22 Kim Bo-Kyung
              1:1 58 Silvio Romero
              1:2 73 Silvio Romero

Mamelodi Sundowns - Kashima Antlers 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 62 Yasushi Endo
              0:2 87 Mu Kanazaki

Day two in new stadium

From Yokohama we are moving to Osaka where matches two and three will be played for the club world cup. For the first time we are going to see three new clubs.
- Quarter final game one will be early morning European time. South Korean and Asian Champions league winners Jeonbuk Motors entertain CONCACAF counterparts Club America. Recent results shows that the Mexicans are having little bit of trouble to record a win, unlike their 'hosts' who are doing well by improving their form. South Koreans seems to be dangerous enough but certainly their rival is not going to give up (that easily). Different from the opener, in this game plenty of actions needs to be seen where in normal time no winner will decide this duel. From then, on anything can happen.
- In the second quarter final of the day we will see again Kashima Antlers playing against African confederation champions Mamelodi Sundowns. The Japanese team looks very confident after their debut win in the tournament and this time they are playing against a team who does not know what loss is. Except in some cases, South Africa title winner knows only for victories and it will be like a real test for the 'real' hosts. This seems to look like like an hard win for the home team, but with lots of sweating.

Stars on a badge

Footballing world was shocked when nearly all Chapecoense players have lost their lives in the airplane crash at the end of last month. Later, it was agreed that the team will be Copa Sudamericana champions. For that on Thursday the winners have announced on its Twitter account that it will append two additional stars on the official club badge.
According to the caption, one star has been added above the crest and that symbolizes 'the conquest of Copa Sudamericana 2016'. The other one is placed inside the badge on the letter F for 'those who dedicated their lives to Chapecoense'.

New name and badge from next season

From 2017/18 footballing season, Atletico Madrid will shift to a new stadium and have a new badge. At yesterday's presentation it was announced that it will abandon 'Vicente Calderon' who was their stadium 50 years and move to 'Wanda Metropolitano'. Former La Peineta stadium have 70.000 seats and, by the look of it, aspires to be host of the Champions or Europa league final.

In addition to the new arena the club did a redesign on their badge as well.

09 December 2016

Visitors' win for first place

Sassuolo - Genk 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 58 Bryan Heynen
              0:2 80 Leandro Trossard

Additional information: This duel was rescheduled today due to poor visibility from Thursday evening. As Belgians took the first place in group F, they will get an easiest opponent (second placed teams) in the next phase.
All 32 teams are now known for the third and final part of the competition. The winners: Fenerbahce, APOEL Nicosia, St. Etienne, Zenit St. Petersburg, Roma, Genk, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, Schalke, Fiorentina, Sparta Prague and Osmanlispor could get Manchester United, Olympiacos, Anderlecht, AZ Alkmaar, Astra, Athletic Bilbao, Celta Vigo, Gent, Krasnodar, PAOK, Hapoel Beer Sheva and Villarreal. Joining the fun are Champions league third place 'guests': Ludogorets Razgrad, Besiktas, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Rostov, Tottenham, Legia, FC Copenhagen, and Lyon.
Pairings for the first knockout round will be known after the draw on Monday 12 December from 13.00 CET.

Unfinished round

Braga - Shakhtar Donetsk 2:4

Scorers: 0:1 21 Sergey Kryvtsov
              0:2 39 Taison
              1:2 42 Nikola Stojiljkovic
              1:3 62 Sergey Kryvtsov
              1:4 65 Taison
              2:4 90 Nikola Vukcevic

Konyaspor - Gent 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 90+4 Kalifa Coulibaly

Osmanlispor - Zurich 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 73 Dzon Delarge
              2:0 89 Erdal Kilicaslan

PAOK - Slovan Liberec 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 29 Garry Rodrigues
              2:0 67 Dimitrios Pelkas

Qarabag - Fiorentina 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 60 Matias Vecino
              1:1 73 Reynaldo
              1:2 76 Federico Chiesa

Villarreal - Steaua 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 15 Nicola Sansone
              1:1 55 Vlad Achim
              2:1 88 Manuel Trigueros

Anderlecht - St. Etienne 2:3

Scorers: 1:0 21 Alexandru Chipciu
              2:0 30 Nicolae Claudiu Stanciu
              2:1 62 Alexander Soderlund
              2:2 67 Alexander Soderlund
              2:3 74 Kevin Monnet-Paquet

APOEL Nicosia - Olympiacos 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 19-own goal Manuel da Costa
              2:0 83 Igor de Camargo

AZ Alkmaar - Zenit St. Petersburg 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 06 Ben Rienstra
              2:0 43 Ridgeciano Haps
              2:1 58 Giuliano
              3:1 67 Muamer Tankovic
              3:2 80-own goal Stijn Wuytens

Feyenoord - Fenerbahce 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 21 Moussa Sow

Maccabi Tel Aviv - Dundalk 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 21 Tal Ben Haim II
              1:1 26-own goal Elazar Dasa
              2:1 37 Dor Micha

Mainz - Qabala 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 30 Alexander Hack
              2:0 40 Pablo de Blasis

apid Vienna - Athletic Bilbao 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 72 Joelinton
              1:1 84 Enric Saborit

Sassuolo - Genk SUSPENDED => This game did not even begun due to thick fog. A new                                                   start is scheduled for Friday 09 December from 12.30 CET.

Viktoria Plzen - Austria Vienna 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 19-pen Raphael Holzhauser
              0:2 40 Lukas Rotpuller
              1:2 43 Tomas Horava
              2:2 72 Michal Duris
              3:2 83 Michal Duris

Young Boys - Astana 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 62 Michael Frey
              2:0 66 Guillaume Hoarau
              3:0 71 Thorsten Schick

Zorya Luhansk - Manchester United 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 48 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
              0:2 88 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Inter - Sparta Prague 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 23 Eder
              1:1 53 Lukas Marecek
              2:1 90 Eder

Nice - Krasnodar 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 51 Fedor Smolov
              1:1 64-pen Alexy Bosetti
              2:1 77 Maxime le Marchand

Panathinaikos - Celta Vigo 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 04 John Guidetti
              0:2 76-pen Fabian Orellana

Red Bull Salzburg - Schalke 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 21 Xavier Schlager
              2:0 90+3 Josip Radosevic

Southampton - Hapoel Beer Sheva 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 78 Maor Buzaglo
              1:1 90+1 Virgil van Dijk

Standard Liege - Ajax 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 27 Anwar el-Ghazi
              1:1 84 Benito Raman

Additional information: Despite poor visibility in Italy, all 32 finalists are known for the knockout stages in the Europa league. Athletic Bilbao and Genk from group F are through, but some changes may happen at the top spot. Final list will be presented on Friday after the rescheduled match.

08 December 2016

Japanese turnaround

Kashima Antlers - Auckland City 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 50 Kim Dae-Wook
              1:1 67 Shuhei Akasaki
              2:1 87 Mu Kanazaki

Historical opening

It has been a fantastic 2016 with outstanding goals and some superb assists. But before we end it, we need to ask the most frequently question of which club plays the best and attractive football. In the next ten days Japan will try to give us an answer and in the east Asian country are gathered six confederation's Champions league winners that will try to take the title: the best club in the world. As always the competition starts with the J-League champions.
Fresh winners from last weekend Kashima Antlers starts its campaign with the Oceania champion Auckland City. Not having accessibility seeing the OFC Champions league for most football lovers New Zealand team is an unknown club. At the moment their form its a real mystery and only at tournaments like these we are watching how they play. On the other hand Japanese league is one of the famous throughout the world, so Kashima Antlers will have no trouble to write its first win. Some oscillations in their game are visible, but it would not stop them to record first win before their own crowd at home in normal time.
And some history numbers for the end. This duel is the 100 game in the FIFA Club World Cup, which was introduced from 1999. Seventeen years later, for the first time VARs (Video Assistant Referees) technology will be used.

07 December 2016

Total destruction of the English champion with two beautiful goals in the game

Club Brugge - FC Copenhagen 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 08-own goal Brandon Mechele
              0:2 15 Mathias Jorgensen

Legia - Sporting 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 30 Guilherme

Lyon - Sevilla 0:0

Porto - Leicester 5:0

Scorers: 1:0 06 Andre Silva
              2:0 25 Jesus Manuel Corona
              3:0 44 Yacine Brahimi
              4:0 64-pen Andre Silva
              5:0 77 Diogo Jota

Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund 2:2

Scorers: 1:0 28 Karim Benzema
              2:0 53 Karim Benzema
              2:1 60 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
              2:2 88 Marco Reus

Tottenham - CSKA Moscow 3:1

Scorers: 0:1 33 Alan Dzagoev
              1:1 38 Dele Alli
              2:1 45+1 Harry Kane
              3:1 77-own goal Igor Akinfeev

Additional information: Arsenal, PSG, Napoli, Benfica, Barcelona, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Leicester, Porto, Juventus and Sevilla have qualified for the knockout stages. Draw for the last 16 will be performed on Monday.

Last Champions league games in 2016

Tonight we will know last teams that will go into the last 16 in the Champions and 32 for the Europa league. Like yesterday, one group will be interesting to watch as two teams are battling for that second magical place. Also there will be two clashes for the Europa league spot - both of them direct.

- Club Brugge - FC Copenhagen. Imperative match for FC Copenhagen. The Danish side is in search of a win in Belgium, where Club Brugge have a awful record in the group this season. Apart from that, Belgium champions have a very good form at home, so the team will be a big challenge for the visitors who are chasing that second place. However, since both are very good, a draw is much more likely to happen.
- Legia - Sporting. Suddenly Legia is in position to fight for the Europa league. In order to accomplish that Polish champions need win over Sporting, who also are troubling with the form. The visitors who are in a better position from their rivals, are slight favorites to steal all three points. It will be hard - but doable.
- Lyon - Sevilla. Lyon is having oscillations in their play, but the team is not quite confident for a win. Sevilla on the other hand is doing the same, so it will be a real mystery of who is going to win the game. As both clubs are not into their high expectations another share of points may happen.
- Porto - Leicester. Top two clash in table G. Porto should take advantage of Leicester's dreadful away form. The English club has not receive any goal as guests, which means they have strong defence, but Porto's determination of win is very likely. And the reason for that is FC Copenhagen's match in Belgium.
- Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund. From the mixed results that Borussia Dortmund is making that can trigger Real Madrid to re-take the top spot. However, Spaniards are not into top form either, so this can go either way. Germans have never won in Madrid (against this same rival), tough game is expected and a win for the hosts.
- Tottenham - CSKA Moscow. Winless Tottenham takes on winless CSKA Moscow (as guests) on a direct encounter for the third place. As the hosts have the advantage of one point than their rival, Russian champions have to find strength to go for a win. Attacking for three points will be difficult tonight knowing that the club is on a very low form at the moment. This is a very big opportunity for the hosts, so the win will not be questioned.

One unpopular result, two hat tricks, three draws...

Barcelona - Borussia Moenchengladbach 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 15 Lionel Messi
              2:0 50 Arda Turan
              3:0 53 Arda Turan
              4:0 67 Arda Turan

Basel - Arsenal 1:4

Scorers: 0:1 08 Lucas Perez
              0:2 16 Lucas Perez
              0:3 47 Lucas Perez
              0:4 53 Alex Iwobi
              1:4 78 Seydou Doumbia

Bayern Munich - Atletico Madrid 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 28 Robert Lewandowski

Benfica - Napoli 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 60 Jose Maria Callejon
              0:2 79 Dries Mertens
              1:2 87 Raul Jimenez

Dynamo Kyiv - Besiktas 6:0

Scorers: 1:0 09 Artem Besedin
              2:0 30-pen Andriy Yarmolenko
              3:0 32 Vitaliy Buyalskiy
              4:0 45+2 Derlis Gonzalez
              5:0 60 Serhiy Sydorchuk
              6:0 77 Junior Moraes

Manchester City - Celtic 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 04 Patrick Roberts
              1:1 08 Kelechi Iheanacho

PSG - Ludogorets Razgrad 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 15 Virgil Misidjan
              1:1 61 Edinson Cavani
              1:2 69 Wanderson
              2:2 90+2 Angel di Maria

PSV Eindhoven - Rostov 0:0

06 December 2016

First four groups are finishing tonight

Groups A to D are ending this evening for 2016. The most interesting matches will be in group B where three teams have a chance to go through, but in the end only two will progress to the knockout stages.

- Barcelona - Borussia Moenchengladbach. After two consecutive draws at Camp Nou, the leaders awaits Borussia Moenchengladbach, who has an awful results as visitors (in general). Although they are experiencing problems in the championship, Barcelona should not be tormenting with the visitors.
- Bayern Munich - Atletico Madrid. In this other German - Spanish clash, the top two teams are playing just for fun as they already qualified for the next stage. Bayen Munich are favorites to take the game and retaliate for the Vicente Calderon minimal loss. Atletico Madrid will surely like to continue with perfect sixth win out of six, but whole points will stay at home.
- Benfica - Napoli. Despite what is happening in the other game this is the one to watch: both can go through or only one. Their fate is being decided in the last round as Benfica and Napoli are having similar numbers in (almost) everything. The visiting team are in a better position because if Italians draw we will see them from February. On the other hand Portuguese champions from game to game are playing very confident, and as draw is out of the question, they will attack only for three points.
- Dynamo Kyiv - Besiktas. That other game means everything for the Turkish champions. Only with a win Besiktas will secure, at least, two more games, and it looks like from now they will succeed it. Regardless of the last place Dynamo Kyiv is a tough team to beat, so a new draw for them will come at the end.
- Manchester City - Celtic. Etihad stadium brings this 'friendly' game between Manchester City and Celtic. The hosts are absolute favorites taking the game which means the Scottish champions will remain winless in the group stage.
- PSV Eindhoven - Rostov. PSV Eindhoven have lost both games at home while Rostov did the same as visitors, thus the real question is: can someone write first victory? After the surprise win last round the Russian side can repeat those 90+ minutes away here also. However, few last games shows that the Dutch champions have a slight quality and should grab the whole prey.

Chapecoense are Copa Sudamericana winners!

Their opponents suggested it and CONMEBOL accepted to give the Copa Sudamericana title to Chapecoense. The Brazilian club, who lost 19 players in the terrifying airplane crash last Monday, was on the way to play the final with Atletico Nacional from Colombia. For this good gesture Atletico Nacional receive the Centennial CONMEBOL fair play award with 1 million dollars (937.093 euros) prize money, while the champions got million more (1.9 million euros).
Meanwhile help for re-building the club, Chapecoense is receiving from all sides. From next season lots of footballing stars are offering its services. Legendary Brazilian Ronaldinho and Argentinian Juan Roman Riquelme are one of them and the latest is Eidur Gudjohnsen. The Icelandic footballer expressed his solidarity and was looking forward to play with the remarkable 36 year old Brazilian star. 'Out of respect I would play for Chapecoense if they have a place for me! If not just to play with Ronaldinho again' wrote Gudjohnsen on his Twitter account.

05 December 2016

Unsuccessful attempt to overturn punishment

Sepp Blatter's saga has ended today as he failed to convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judges to annul his sentence. In August the 80 year old announced that he was confident to win the case, but with 'lowering shoulders' accepted the decision.
So, the ex-FIFA president will be out from all football activities on six years, plus he has to pay the 'unavoidable' fine from CAS of 50.000 Swiss francs (46.367 euros).

Which region plays quality football?

It is that time of the year where we will have an answer to the question: which club, from all six regions, is playing attractive football. Yesterday the line up was completed, and now we are only eight games away from that answer. Japan will once again be the hosts of all six confederations' champions. For next week three matches are scheduled.

Thursday, 08 December at 11.30 CET: Kashima Antlers (Japan, host of the competition) - Auckland City (New Zealand, OFC champions).

Sunday, 11 December at 08.00 CET: Jeonbuk Hyundai (South Korea, AFC champions) - Club America (Mexico, CONCACAF champions).
Sunday, 11 December at 11.30 CET: Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa, CAF champions) - the opening winners.

Very cold ending

December in Europe knows to be extremely cold, so we will have freezing temperatures last round in most parts throughout the continent. The first full week of the last month in 2016 is reserved for matchday 6 from both cup competitions. Some teams will remain in the cold (as they will be thrown out from further participation), but some will feel warm (to continue playing from February).

All games will start from 20.45 CET in the Champions league. There are some derbies in the process so plenty more excitement have to follow. Third place teams will be transferring into the 'lower', but most thrilling tournament (from this one).

Tuesday, 06 December: Barcelona - Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Tuesday, 06 December: Basel - Arsenal.
Tuesday, 06 December: Bayern Munich - Atletico Madrid.
Tuesday, 06 December: Benfica - Napoli.
Tuesday, 06 December: Dynamo Kyiv - Besiktas.
Tuesday, 06 December: Manchester City - Celtic.
Tuesday, 06 December: PSG - Ludogorets Razgrad.
Tuesday, 06 December: PSV Eindhoven - Rostov.

Wednesday, 07 December: Bayer Leverkusen - Monaco.
Wednesday, 07 December: Club Brugge - FC Copenhagen.
Wednesday, 07 December: Juventus - Dinamo Zagreb.
Wednesday, 07 December: Legia - Sporting.
Wednesday, 07 December: Lyon - Sevilla.
Wednesday, 07 December: Porto - Leicester.
Wednesday, 07 December: Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund.
Wednesday, 07 December: Tottenham - CSKA Moscow.

And that 'lower' competition will have three time slots for the end of 2016. Here only two team survives while the other half will face disappointments. Some intriguing matches lie ahead at the Europa league. The real 'fun' starts in February, when Champion's 'guests' joins them in the knockout phase.

Thursday, 08 December at 17.00 CET: Braga - Shakhtar Donetsk.
Thursday, 08 December at 17.00 CET: Konyaspor - Gent.
Thursday, 08 December at 17.00 CET: Osmanlispor - Zurich.
Thursday, 08 December at 17.00 CET: PAOK - Slovan Liberec.
Thursday, 08 December at 17.00 CET: Qarabag - Fiorentina.
Thursday, 08 December at 17.00 CET: Villarreal - Steaua.

Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Anderlecht - St. Etienne.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: APOEL Nicosia - Olympiacos.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Astra - Roma.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: AZ Alkmaar - Zenit St. Petersburg.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Feyenoord - Fenerbahce.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Maccabi Tel Aviv - Dundalk.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Mainz - Qabala.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Rapid Vienna - Athletic Bilbao.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Sassuolo - Genk.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Viktoria Plzen - Austria Vienna.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Young Boys - Astana.
Thursday, 08 December at 19.00 CET: Zorya Luhansk - Manchester United.

Thursday, 08 December at 21.05 CET: Inter - Sparta Prague.
Thursday, 08 December at 21.05 CET: Nice - Krasnodar.
Thursday, 08 December at 21.05 CET: Panathinaikos - Celta Vigo.
Thursday, 08 December at 21.05 CET: Red Bull Salzburg - Schalke.
Thursday, 08 December at 21.05 CET: Southampton - Hapoel Beer Sheva.
Thursday, 08 December at 21.05 CET: Standard Liege - Ajax.

03 December 2016

Portuguese names on tax evading list

After Lionel Messi, his teammate Neymar Jr. and Samuel Eto'o, couple of new footballing names have tried to evade money from tax authorities. Until now, it was not common for a manager to escape payment, but its certainly the first case. According to reports, Jose Mourinho along with famously Cristiano Ronaldo were trying to avoid tax payments. Both these two Portuguese icons are allegedly hiding their money in British Virgin islands: with the sum of 12 million euros - from 2010 until 2013 when he was trainer at Real Madrid while the nominee for FIFA Best men's player moved 63.5 million euros to the island by the end of 2014.

One last task awaits the J-League winners

In an exciting second leg final game and after winning the J(apanese)-League title this morning, the world will see their strength next week in the last official tournament of the year. The hosts and freshest champions Kashima Antlers will open FIFA Club World Cup campaign on Thursday against OFC Champions league winners Auckland City from 11.30 CET.

Final trio for 'The Best' awards

On a global level FIFA has issued three names that will contest for the prizes in each category. The 2016 winners will be announced in a special ceremony gala programe 09 January, but until then combined votes (from captains and coaches from all national teams, selected media representatives, worldwide fans) has to be added for the following names:

- Jill Ellis (Unites States of America), Pia Sundhage (Sweden) and Silvia Neid (Germany) will contest for the FIFA Best women's coach award.
- FIFA Best men's coach prize will be battling between Claudio Ranieri (Leicester), Fernando Santos (Portugal) and Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid).
- For the most beautiful goal of the season will fight Daniuska Rodriguez (Venezuela U-17 women's team), Marlone (Corinthians) and Mohd Faiz Subri (Penang). The winner will get FIFA's Puskas award.
- In FIFA Best men's player the title race will be determined amongst Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) and Lionel Messi (Barcelona).
- One of these females will get FIFA Best women's player prize: Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Marta (FC Rosengard) and Melanie Behringer (Bayern Munich).

02 December 2016

First continent to name its best footballers

Asia is the first region to name its best players for the current year. For men and women, the confederation gave 19 prizes in total and here we are naming the most significant ones.

Men's coach of the year: Choi Kang-hee is the best coach for the current year. The South Korean trainer did not defended the title with his Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from 2015 (as it came in second place), but with the same team has won the AFC Champions league this season.
- Women's coach of the year: Manager Chan Yuen-ting from Hong Kong has won the 2016 prize. The 28 year old talent may easily become first female coach in AFC Champions league in 2017.
- Asian international player of the year: Leicester's and Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki took the Asian international player award for 2016. He beat his national teammate Shinji Kagawa (playing for Borussia Dortmund) and South Korea's Son Heung-min (Tottenham).
- Women's player of the year. Tan Ruyin from PR China along with Australia's Lisa de Vanna have lost the prize to her compatriot Caitlin Foord. She is the youngest Australian female player that won the 2011 FIFA women's World cup with just 16 years of age.
- Men's player of the year: In the main category, the best Asian men footballer for 2016 is Al Ain's player Omar Abdulrahman. In the three list candidates this United Arab Emirates midfielder / striker has won the award ahead of Iraq's Ahmed Hammadi and Lei Wu from PR China.

30 November 2016

Solidarity with the fallen heroes

World football is still recovering from the terrible tragedy that hit Chapecoense where nearly all first team players have lost their lives in the airplane crash in the mountainous area near Medellin, Colombia. Travelling to their DESERVED final for the Copa Sudamericana and out of 81 people on board, 6 passengers survived. From that number 4 club members were found alive, but later one of them died on the way to hospital
Although it is on another continent, Spanish LaLiga is the first league to express solidarity. All Copa del Rey games, which are playing this week (from Tuesday till Thursday) plus regular championship matches from matchday 14, starting from 03 - 05 December, will observe one minute silence in memory of the victims - in all three competitions: first, second and third league.

National derby matches are always risky

Almost in every state police is having trouble to divide rivalry fans especially from a derby game. And heavy forces were deployed on Sunday night at the Uruguayan Classico between Penarol and Nacional, but because lack of security and not enough safety guarantees at this important event the game was suspended. Even before the duel began everything was thrown from the stands at the officers bellow: from missiles, plastic crates to even big metal canister. The open ground video footage from Estadio Centenario shows that for this violence home fans are to blame. It is believed that trouble began with the arrest of three prominent Penarol supporters outside the stadium.

29 November 2016

Twelve fans has to pay 75.000 euros

Last Friday, the national Spanish commission who is responsible for preventing violence in sports has punished 12 Croatian supporters. Eleven of them were punished with 6.000 euros because they participated in scuffles in Malaga and Seville. The remaining one, which carried machete and mechanical key, is fined with 9.000 euros. All are banned from entering the stadiums in Spain on two years. They were penalized because of the unrest before the match Sevilla - Dinamo Zagreb in the fourth round of the Champions league.

Brazilian deadly tragedy

From 81 people on board (72 passengers and 9 crew members), 76 were killed in a plane crash that was carrying Brazilian players late Monday night. Most of them were from the Chapecoense team, who on 23 November played against Argentina's San Lorenzo in the Copa Sudamericana semifinal game. Three of them reportedly survived the accident, according to authorities: Alan Luciano Ruschel, Marcos Danilo Padilha, Jacson Ragnar Follmann. Club physiotherapist Rafael Correa Gobbato and stewardess Ximena Suarez also survived. The team was travelling to Colombia to play the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional from Medellin, but now the event has been cancelled.
After a stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the LAMIA flight was heading to Colombia. According to reports, the plane broke into two parts and did not catch fire. It crashed 50 kilometers from Medellin in the mountainous area called Cerro Gordo due to electrical failure. 'It is a tragedy of huge proportions' said Medellin mayor Federico Gutierrez who was on site where the accident occurred.
Among other things, local radio stated that the same plane transported Argentina's players for the World cup South American qualifying game against Brazil earlier this month.

Tax authorities are no joke

Last week jail news sentences came out just like that, one after another. Two famous footballers could be facing prison for up to 12.6 months. Both of them are charged in the same state and for the same reason - tax evasion.
Neymar Jr. is probably more famous in court from the other so we will start with him first. Spanish prosecutors wants a two year prison sentence for the Brazilian and he is being accused for corruption (transfer irregularities). The 24 year old allegedly wanted to conceal the cost portion of his move from Santos to Barcelona. Besides jail time, prosecutors demand 10 million euros from the footballer. 
Despite Neymar Jr., in trouble could be Neymar Sr. as well for the same charges, ex club president Sandro Rosell and the club, Barcelona who are 'asked' to pay a penalty of 8.4 million euros. In addition of this accusations and before yesterday's game with Real Sociedad, the Barcelona star has crushed his Ferrari on a way to football training. Thankfully he was not injured but the 458 Spider suffered a minor damage. According to media, his car did a 180 degree turn on a slippery exit ramp.

Newest player who also can be in trouble could face an even harsh punishment. Out of the blue, now the Spanish prosecutors are after Samuel Eto'o's money. When he was in Barcelona from 2006 until 2009 the former Cameroonian international did not report income from sponsors, which damaged the state for approximately 3.46 million euros of unpaid taxes. If he is to be found guilty, the 35 year old Antalyaspor striker will be locked up on 10 and a half months with 14 million euros fine.
For fraud also in the list are: Jose Maria Mesalles Mata, Eto'o's agent and the administrator of the company.

28 November 2016

First 2017 tournament for the last Caribbean place

On Thursday the Caribbean football union, part of CONCACAF region, has decided where to play the fifth place play-off for the Caribbean cup. Whoever win this mini-competition will have the right to participate in the Gold cup next summer.
Only three teams will battle it out for that final spot. Second place teams which qualified from the Caribbean qualifying third round are: Suriname (group 1), Haiti (group 2) and Trinidad and Tobago (group 4), while group 3 runner up Antigua and Barbuda has failed to qualify due to bad goal difference. These three will gather in Trinidad and Tobago from 04 until 08 January. And the winner will have the right, along with Jamaica, French Guiana, Curacao and Martinique, to appear at the north American championship or short Gold cup 2017. Ato Boldon stadium in Couva will host all three games which, converted in European times, have to look like this:

05 January, Thursday at 00.00 CET: Trinidad and Tobago - Suriname.

07 January, Saturday at 00.00 CET: Suriname - Haiti.

08 January, Sunday at 22.00 CET: Haiti - Trinidad and Tobago.

Before the main north American competition, we have to see which team will be Caribbean champion and the finals will happen from 22 - 25 June, while next month will be the Gold cup month.
Out from these three, the hosts Trinidad and Tobago wants to reach its tenth Gold cup appearance, Haiti will aim for the seventh, while for Suriname it will be the first. If the South American (tiny) nation is successful in the summer we can easily see two debutants at the major event.