31 March 2017

Renaming an airport

If you like to go in Portugal for holidays, especially in Madeira by plane, you will not be landing at the Aeroporto da Madeira, but instead you will hear the words 'we are welcoming you at the Cristiano Ronaldo airport'. On Wednesday Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and prime minister Antonio Costa together with the best player nowadays and Real Madrid star, his girlfriend (Georgina Rodriguez) and his mother (Maria) attended at the renaming ceremony for the aerodrome. This honor for Cristiano Ronaldo was more than a great feeling.
However, his hometown Funchal produced one of the 'hilarious' statue ever of Ronaldo. The bronze bust looks like more of caricature rather than himself which social media went berserk over this 'flop'.

29 March 2017

One basketball result on a successful first day

Myanmar - India 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 90 Sunil Chhetri

Philippines - Nepal 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 21-pen Philip Younghusband
              2:0 23 Philip Younghusband
              3:0 27 Iain Ramsay
              3:1 45+1 Bishal Rai
              4:1 72 Javier Patino

Kyrgyzstan - Macau 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 71 Azamat Baimatov

Afghanistan - Vietnam 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 64 Nguyen van Toan 
              1:1 69 Hassan Amin

Lebanon - Hong Kong 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 26 Mohamad Ghaddar
              2:0 33 Hassan Maatouk

Oman - Bhutan 14:0

Scorers: 1:0 02 Abdulaziz al-Maqbali
              2:0 25 Ahmed Mubarak
              3:0 31 Mohsin Jouhar al Khaldi
              4:0 35 Abdulaziz al-Maqbali
              5:0 40 Abdulaziz al-Maqbali
              6:0 43 Abdulaziz al-Maqbali
              7:0 44 Nadir Mabrook
              8:0 54-own goal Biren Basnet
              9:0 68 Abdulaziz al-Maqbali
              10:0 71 Khalid Khalifa al Hajri
              11:0 74 Khalid Khalifa al Hajri
              12:0 86 Abdulaziz al-Maqbali
              13:0 90+1-pen Khalid Khalifa al Hajri
              14:0 90+2 Khalid Khalifa al Hajri

Bahrain - Singapore 0:0

Jordan - Cambodia 7:0

Scorers: 1:0 11 Hamza al Dardoor
              2:0 21 Hamza al Dardoor
              3:0 48 Yaseen al Bakheet
              4:0 60 Odai al Saify
              5:0 62 Ahmad Saleh
              6:0 86 Hamza al Dardoor
              7:0 90 Mousa Mohammad

Maldives - Palestine 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 62 Ahmad Maher Wridat
              0:2 64 Ahmad Maher Wridat
              0:3 90+2 Ahmad Abu Nahyeh

Yemen - Tajikistan 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 09 Umarboev Parvizjon
              1:1 41-own goal Ergashev Davronjon
              2:1 62 Ala al Sasi

Miracle that no one believed in just happened

Nicaragua - Haiti 3:0

Scorer: 1:0 85-pen Juan Barrera
            2:0 87 Juan Barrera
            3:0 90 Juan Barrera

Additional information: Nicaragua is the last, twelfth participant in this summer's Gold Cup after a dramatic entry into the competition. Winning 4:3 on aggregate in the last 5 minutes from normal time, this will be the team's second participation at the event which starts this July.

Sweet revenge for last week

Tahiti - Papua New Guinea 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 62 Patrick Aisa
              0:2 74 Raymond Gunemba
              1:2 90+3 Tauhiti Keck

Two teams entered the main qualifying phase

Mauritius - Comoros 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 17 El Fardou ben Nabouhane
              1:1 45+3 Walter Duprey St. Martin

South Sudan - Djibouti 6:0

Scorers: 1:0 11-pen Robert Duku
              2:0 20 James Joseph
              3:0 27 James Joseph
              4:0 44 Dominic Abui
              5:0 62 Ater Thomas
              6:0 78 Khemis Leon

Additional information: After drawing, Comoros has won the overall leg 3:1 and will enter qualifiers in group B with (hosts and title defenders) Cameroon, Morocco and Malawi. Capital Juba saw the biggest win on Tuesday and thus South Sudan completed group C where they will play with Mali, Gabon and Burundi. Start for these qualifiers are scheduled for June.

Great last game comeback

Bolivia - Argentina 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 31 Juan Carlos Arce
              2:0 52 Marcelo Martins Moreno

Ecuador - Colombia 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 20 James Rodriguez
              0:2 33 Juan Cuadrado

Chile - Venezuela 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 04 Alexis Sanchez
              2:0 06 Esteban Paredes
              3:0 22 Esteban Paredes
              3:1 63 Jose Salomon Rondon

Brazil - Paraguay 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 34 Phillipe Coutinho
              2:0 63 Neymar
              3:0 85 Marcelo

Peru - Uruguay 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 30 Carlos Sanchez
              1:1 34 Jose Paolo Guerrero
              2:1 62 Edison Flores

Number one is in fashion

Honduras - Costa Rica 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 34 Anthony Lozano
              1:1 68 Kendall Waston

Trinidad and Tobago - Mexico 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 57 Diego Reyes

Panama - United States of America 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 39 Clint Dempsey
              1:1 43 Gabriel Gomez

Selfish hosts...all six of them

Australia - United Arab Emirates 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 07 Jackson Irvine
              2:0 78 Matthew Leckie

Japan - Thailand 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 07 Shinji Kagawa
              2:0 19 Shinji Okazaki
              3:0 56 Yuya Kubo
              4:0 83 Maya Yoshida

South Korea - Syria 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 04 Hong Jeong-Ho

IR Iran - PR China 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 46 Mehdi Taremi

Uzbekistan - Qatar 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 Odil Akhmedov

Saudi Arabia - Iraq 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 53 Yahya al Shehri

28 March 2017

Deja vu result from three days ago with same rival

New Zealand - Fiji 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 27 Ryan Thomas
            2:0 68 Ryan Thomas

Always first to start

Because of the big time difference that we have with Oceania, this region is always the beginner. Introduced last weekend for this campaign, Fiji is currently at the bottom in group A. And that loss came from this morning's opponent New Zealand, who practically advanced to the next stage - the continental play off. The visiting side now has a slim chance to even score a goal, knowing the strength of the 'All Whites'. Full points will not move from home, but for this game the real question is how much goals we will have in the match.

27 March 2017

Managua will give the last traveller

The capital of Nicaragua will give the last voyager for the Gold Cup 2017. The hosts will have to give at least three goals to Haiti, if they want to be seen at this summer's continental championship in`United States of America. Who will be successful is tough to say, but the final winner will be known early Wednesday morning. This game will start on 29 March from 03.00 CET and it can be decided either in 90, 120 minutes or penalty shoot out. But one thing is for sure: fifth place placed teams from Copa Centroamericana and Caribbean Cup will do everything to participate in the grand football event in north America this July.

The most intricate region

Last week some teams won for the first time in this campaign, and now everything looks complicated. This means that all six teams from the hexagonal tournament can dream those three direct places for the World Cup finals, while the fourth will be given the last chance in the intercontinental play off. From now on, it looks like that everybody can beat everybody and every points are important (for future happiness).

28 March, Tuesday at 23.00 CET: Honduras - Costa Rica.

29 March, Wednesday at 01.00 CET: Trinidad and Tobago - Mexico.
29 March, Wednesday at 04.05 CET: Panama - United States of America.

Five more rounds until the end

Also in this region, the leaders practically will be seen next year in Russia. Not talking about the intercontinental play off, the most interesting matches will be for the remaining three direct spots. From now on we are expecting fierce battle around the middle table.

28 March, Tuesday at 22.00 CET: Bolivia - Argentina.
28 March, Tuesday at 23.00 CET: Ecudor - Colombia.

29 March, Wednesday at 00.00 CET: Chile - Venezuela.
29 March, Wednesday at 02.45 CET: Brazil - Paraguay.
29 March, Wednesday at 04.15 CET: Peru - Uruguay.

Two more teams required

Madagascar is already into the main qualifying stage for the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon 2019. In this pre-preliminary mini-tournament only two teams are needed. Both hosts are in search for at least 3 goals to qualify if they want to be seen again from June onward.

28 March, Tuesday at 14.00 CET: Mauritius - Comoros.
28 March, Tuesday at 15.30 CET: South Sudan - Djibouti.

First round of new qualifying campaign

While the best 12 Asian teams are playing qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia next year, the 'others' from the continent are even struggling to get on the Asian Cup. Playing on the same day, 24 'lower' teams will try to impress us with these new qualifiers which will last exactly one year. The opening game looked very promising and we hope to continue the same over the next 365 days. As earlier was announced two teams will have a rest on the start.

28 March, Tuesday at 09.00 CET: North Korea - Malaysia CANCELLED due to security concerns => group B.
28 March, Tuesday at 13.30 CET: Myanmar - India => group A.
28 March, Tuesday at 14.00 CET: Philippines - Nepal => group F.
28 March, Tuesday at 15.30 CET: Kyrgyzstan - Macau => group A.
28 March, Tuesday at 16.00 CET: Afghanistan - Vietnam => group C.
28 March, Tuesday at 17.00 CET: Lebanon - Hong Kong => group B.
28 March, Tuesday at 17.00 CET: Oman - Bhutan => group D.
28 March, Tuesday at 18.00 CET: Bahrain - Singapore => group E.
28 March, Tuesday at 18.00 CET: Jordan - Cambodia => group C.
28 March, Tuesday at 18.00 CET: Maldives - Palestine => group D.
28 March, Tuesday at 18.00 CET: Yemen - Tajikistan => group F.

Three tickets remaining

With 4 rounds remaining, one team has practically booked a ticket to the World Cup in Russia next year. It is too early to say, but 6 sides are still in contention for the remaining 3 tickets from both groups. However maximum 12 points are left until the end of this campaign, so every game has a significance in its own way.

28 March, Tuesday at 11.00 CET: Australia - United Arab Emirates.
28 March, Tuesday at 12.35 CET: Japan - Thailand.
28 March, Tuesday at 13.00 CET: South Korea - Syria.
28 March, Tuesday at 14.00 CET: IR Iran - PR China.
28 March, Tuesday at 15.00 CET: Uzbekistan - Qatar.
28 March, Tuesday at 19.30 CET: Saudi Arabia - Iraq.

Return matches

Next in the schedule for the tiniest region in the world will be held only two games. In fact the following 180 minutes will be return matches from last week. One team is already known for the play off, while for the other team the next game is from a crucial meaning.

28 March, Tuesday at 08.35 CET: New Zealand - Fiji.

29 March, Wednesday at 07.00 CET: Tahiti - Papua New Guinea.

Last official matches for this month

Next week we will round up this month with 29 games. All of them are qualifying matches mainly for 4 different competitions, who will be played over 2 days. One of them proves to be deciding, some will just start, while some are in the middle (more or less). According to time difference and order of play the schedule should look like this:

1. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - Oceania region.
2. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - Asia zone.
3. Asia Cup qualifiers for United Arab Emirates 2019.
4. Africa Cup of Nations preliminaries for main qualifying phase for Cameroon 2019.
5. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - CONMEBOL region.
6. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - CONCACAF zone.

7. Playoff game for Gold Cup 2017 in United States of America.

26 March 2017

Equal number of home and visiting victories

Armenia - Kazakhstan 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 72 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
              2:0 75 Aras Ozbiliz

Azerbaijan - Germany 1:4

Scorers: 0:1 19 Andre Schurrle
              1:1 31 Dimitrij Nazarov
              1:2 36 Thomas Muller
              1:3 45 Mario Gomez
              1:4 81 Andre Schurrle

England - Lithuania 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 22 Jermain Defoe
              2:0 66 Jamie Vardy

San Marino - Czech Republic 0:6

Scorers: 0:1 17 Antonin Barak
              0:2 18 Vladimir Darida
              0:3 23 Antonin Barak
              0:4 25 Theodor Gebre Selassie
              0:5 43 Michael Krmencik
              0:6 77-pen Vladimir Darida

Malta - Slovakia 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 02 Vladimir Weiss
              1:1 14 Jean Paul Farrugia
              1:2 41 Jan Gregus
              1:3 84 Adam Nemec

Montenegro - Poland 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 40 Robert Lewandowski
              1:1 62 Stefan Mugosa
              1:2 82 Lukasz Piszczek

Northern Ireland - Norway 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 02 Jamie Ward
              2:0 32 Conor Washington

Romania - Denmark 0:0

Scotland - Slovenia 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 88 Chris Martin

An island country joined the main qualifying group stage

Madagascar - Sao Tome and Principe 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 01 Paulin Voavy
              2:0 17 Paulin Voavy
              2:1 28 Harramiz Ferreira Soares
              3:1 81 Carolus Andriamahitsinoro
              3:2 84 Jose da Silva Varela

Additional information: Madagascar became the first team to go into the main qualifiers for Cameroon 2019 which will begin in June. They will play in group A together with Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan.

Promising start to the qualifying campaign

Chinese Taipei - Turkmenistan 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 23 Altymyrat Annadurdyyev
              0:2 24 Ruslan Mingazov
              1:2 45+3-pen Chen Po-liang
              1:3 83-own goal Chen Chia-chun

In terms of goals and to avoid embarrassment, only two nations has salvaged pride of the away teams

Andorra - Faroe Islands 0:0

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Gibraltar 5:0

Scorers: 1:0 04 Vedad Ibisevic
              2:0 43 Vedad Ibisevic
              3:0 51 Avdija Vrsajevic
              4:0 55 Edin Visca
              5:0 90+3 Ermin Bicakcic

Cyprus - Estonia 0:0

Sweden - Belarus 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 18-pen Emil Forsberg
              2:0 48 Emil Forsberg
              3:0 57 Marcus Berg
              4:0 77 Isaac Kiese Thelin

Switzerland - Latvia 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 66 Josip Drmic

Belgium - Greece 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 46 Konstantinos Mitroglou
              1:1 89 Romelu Lukaku

Bulgaria - Netherlands 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 05 Spas Delev
            2:0 20 Spas Delev

Luxembourg - France 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 28 Olivier Giroud
              1:1 34-pen Aurelien Joachim
              1:2 37-pen Antoine Griezmann
              1:3 77 Olivier Giroud

Portugal - Hungary 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 31 Andre Silva
              2:0 36 Cristiano Ronaldo
              3:0 64 Cristiano Ronaldo

25 March 2017

Everything points to number three: round, matches and (home) victories

Trinidad and Tobago - Panama 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 Kevin Molino

Mexico - Costa Rica 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 07 Javier Hernandez aka Chicharito
              2:0 45 Nestor Araujo

United States of America - Honduras 6:0

Scorers: 1:0 04 Sebastian Lletget
              2:0 27 Michael Bradley
              3:0 32 Clint Dempsey
              4:0 46 Christian Pulisic
              5:0 49 Clint Dempsey
              6:0 54 Clint Dempsey

The All Whites already qualified for playoff

Fiji - New Zealand 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 48-pen Christopher Wood
              0:2 55 Marco Rojas

Precious visiting goal

Haiti - Nicaragua 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 18 Jeff Louis
              2:0 39 Kervens Belfort
              3:0 54 Jeff Louis
              3:1 86 Carlos Chavarria

Five goals in Gijon

Georgia - Serbia 1:3

Scorers: 1:0 05 Nika Kacharava
              1:1 45-pen Dusan Tadic
              1:2 63 Aleksandar Mitrovic
              1:3 86 Mijat Gacinovic

Turkey - Finland 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 08 Cenk Tosun
            2:0 13 Cenk Tosun

Austria - Moldova 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 75 Marcel Sabitzer
              2:0 90 Martin Harnik

Croatia - Ukraine 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 38 Nikola Kalinic

Italy - Albania 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 12-pen Daniele de Rossi
              2:0 71 Ciro Immobile

Kosovo - Iceland 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 24 Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson 
              0:2 34-pen Gylfi Sigurdsson
              1:2 52 Atdhe Nuhiu

Republic of Ireland - Wales 0:0

Spain - Israel 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 13 David Silva
              2:0 45 Victor Vitolo
              3:0 51 Diego Costa
              3:1 75 Lior Refaelov
              4:1 87 Isco

24 March 2017

Hosts are step closer to the main qualifying group stage

Comoros - Mauritius 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 69 Youssouf ben Djaloud
              2:0 74 Alhadhur Chaker

The only hat trick and the best game was in Montevideo

Colombia - Bolivia 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 83 James Rodriguez

Uruguay - Brazil 1:4

Scorers: 1:0 09-pen Edinson Cavani
              1:1 18 Paulinho
              1:2 51 Paulinho
              1:3 74 Neymar
              1:4 90+2 Paulinho

Paraguay - Ecuador 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 12 Bruno Valdez
              2:0 65 Junior Alonso
              2:1 70-pen Felipe Caicedo

Venezuela - Peru 2:2

Scorers: 1:0 23 Mikel Villanueva
              2:0 40 Romulo Otero
              2:1 46 Andre Carrillo
              2:2 64 Jose Paolo Guerrero

Argentina - Chile 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 16-pen Lionel Messi

Preliminaries underway for Cameroon 2019

Sao Tome e Principe - Madagascar 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 68-own goal Jordao Diogo

Djibouti - South Sudan 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 56 Abdi Idleh Hamza
              2:0 64 Mohamed Salem Breik

23 March 2017

Three guest victories, two home, one draw...and few surprises

PR China - South Korea 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 34 Yu Dabao

Iraq - Australia 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 39 Matthew Leckie
              1:1 76 Ahmed Yasin

Syria - Uzbekistan 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 90+1-pen Omar Khribin

Thailand - Saudi Arabia 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 25 Mohammed Al-Sahlawi
              0:2 83-own goal Tanaboon Kesarat
              0:3 90+2 Salman Al-Muwashar

United Arab Emirates - Japan 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 13 Yuya Kubo
              0:2 51 Yasuyuki Konno

Qatar - IR Iran 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 51 Mehdi Taremi

Visitors proves to be too strong

Papua New Guinea - Tahiti 1:3

Scorers: 1:0 45 Nigel Dabinyaba
              1:1 58 Sylvain Graglia
              1:2 84 Sylvain Graglia
              1:3 90+2 Teaonui Tehau

Round of revenge

With second part to start, the Asian zone is entering into sixth matchday. There are practically five rounds remaining until the end (with this one), and some teams are desperate to get back on the right track. This round also can be called a round of revenge because most host teams has lost its first 90 minutes from today's rivals. For most these are first matches of 2017.

- PR China - South Korea. From the terrible start of this qualifying campaign PR China is one of those teams who urgently need a victory. However wanting is one thing and achieving is another, because their opponents happens to be very tough. One of the contenders of first 2 places in group A, South Korea looks to seal today's match against the winless hosts. It will not be easy for them, because the host is ready to fight for 3 points, but at the end it will get only one.
- Iraq - Australia. Iraq's form was down lately, but the team started good this year with a friendly win. Still this is not proving anything and today has to be very cautious. Australia is also playing sloppy, so there is still a chance for the hosts to surprise them. As another loss could be catastrophic for Iraq, and concerning the play of the visitors, points may be shared.
- Syria - Uzbekistan. Although they are playing in Malaysia, Syria is posing lots of trouble for the Uzbekistan team. The 'home team' are tough, whenever they are playing and also capable of scoring goals. Uzbekistan know their position and as favorites, with new three points, they will only get closer to Russia.
- Thailand - Saudi Arabia. Thailand is another team who are desperately in search of a win. Their last game against Australia shows that is a serious side who never has to be written off. However that results happened last year and in 2017 this time the team hardly can do anything to Saudi Arabia, which are out to collect all points.
- United Arab Emirates - Japan. In the first 90 minutes United Arab Emirates shocked today's rivals at home and tonight Japan wants to retaliate for that loss. The hosts looks to be very confident on full points and with their whole prey will be much closer to the goal. Japan have other ideas and only a win can guarantee them to stay with the leading pack. It will not be easy for them to collect it, but they will succeed it at the end.
- Qatar - IR Iran. Whenever these two are playing there are very little goals among them. This only shows how Qatar and IR Iran are two strong teams. But the home side did not start 2017 well in friendlies, so it is (maybe) an opportunity for the leaders even to steal the win. Yet to receive a goal in group A, Iran is considered to take this game easily (than expected) with one goal difference.

First game to begin from many

With Papua New Guinea - Tahiti are starting World cup qualifying games from five different regions this week.
Introduced new team in the Oceania zone, Papua New Guinea at the start is facing (probably) the most difficult opponent in group B and it is no wonder that this game is classified as derby in the region. The hosts will definitely have plenty of support from its own spectators in Port Moresby, while Tahiti will try to spoil that. Whenever these two are playing there are lots of goals scored, so this time it 'smells' that should be the same. However, because no team is playing actively so far, it is a sign that we will have no winner in the morning game.

22 March 2017

A man in black permanently lost his job

Removed from football for life, Joseph Odartei Lamptey has disgraced himself and was found guilty of match fixing. This greedy referee from Ghana manipulated a World Cup qualifying game from the African region: South Africa - Senegal which was played on 12 November 2016. FIFA banned him yesterday completely from the sport, while his compatriot and official David Lionheart Nii Lartey Laryea who had been also suspicious, was released from same charges for lacking evidence.
No news for the above mentioned game was given as the investigation is not closed yet.

21 March 2017

Immediate replacement

AFC Asian Cup qualifiers will start at the end of this weekend and now we know that one match will not be played right from the start.
North Korea and Malaysia will have a rest in the first round, which supposed to play their match on 28 March, due to well known diplomatic conflict between these two countries. Malaysian officials asked the confederation to consider whether the game should take place, which they cancelled it first on 10 March, but 5 days later the AFC (quickly) found a new date. Now Pyongyang will welcome these two sides on 08 June, before second round games which are scheduled to begin on 13 June.
If hostility is still ongoing, then North Korea FA has to designate a neutral venue by 14 April. In case the first match will be played on neutral stadium then the reverse game will also be played outside Malaysia on 14 November.

20 March 2017

Start of a new set of qualifiers

One completely new round of qualifiers will start next weekend.
World Cup qualifiers for Russia - Asian region has helped to find first 12 teams (from the first two rounds), who will participate in the Asian Cup 2019 which will be held in United Arab Emirates. For the other half we will search in the new preliminary session, which will last exactly one year.
Group E will first open the qualifiers with the match Chinese Taipei and Turkmenistan on 26 March, Sunday at 12.07 CET.

Couple of games away from glory

Only 180 minutes (or more) divides Haiti and Nicaragua from participating in the Gold Cup, which will be held this summer in United States of America. Both significant games for the two nations will be played in a space of 4 days. Port-au-Prince will host the first match which will start on 25 March, Saturday at 01.00 CET.

Third round in CONCACAF, one derby

The other part of America, north, enters into the third round next week. Either it is a fate from the schedule or its just suppose to happen in both continents at the same time: together with CONMEBOL, CONCACAF as well has a game to be proud of right from resuming of these qualifiers where the second is facing the first (who is yet to receive a goal).

25 March, Saturday at 00.00 CET: Trinidad and Tobago - Panama.
25 March, Saturday at 01.50 CET: Mexico - Costa Rica.
25 March, Saturday at 03.50 CET: United States of America - Honduras.

Only one (uninteresting) round this month

Round number 5 will be the only round this month for Europe. As always this region divides its qualifiers into 3 days with 2 fixed time slots. By the look of it we can hardly see any derby games, thus the excitements are omitted this time around.

24 March, Friday at 18.00 CET: Georgia - Serbia.
24 March, Friday at 18.00 CET: Turkey - Finland.

24 March, Friday at 20.45 CET: Croatia - Ukraine.
24 March, Friday at 20.45 CET: Italy - Albania.
24 March, Friday at 20.45 CET: Kosovo - Iceland.
24 March, Friday at 20.45 CET: Liechtenstein - FYR Macedonia.
24 March, Friday at 20.45 CET: Republic of Ireland - Wales.
24 March, Friday at 20.45 CET: Spain - Israel.

25 March, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Andorra - Faroe Islands.
25 March, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Bosnia and Herzegovina - Gibraltar.
25 March, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Cyprus - Estonia.
25 March, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Sweden - Belarus.
25 March, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Switzerland - Latvia.

25 March, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Belgium - Greece.
25 March, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Bulgaria - Netherlands.
25 March, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Luxembourg - France.
25 March, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Portugal - Hungary.

26 March, Sunday at 18.00 CET: Armenia - Kazakhstan.
26 March, Sunday at 18.00 CET: Azerbaijan - Germany.
26 March, Sunday at 18.00 CET: England - Lithuania.
26 March, Sunday at 18.00 CET: San Marino - Czech Republic.

26 March, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Malta - Slovakia.
26 March, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Montenegro - Poland.
26 March, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Northern Ireland - Norway.
26 March, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Romania - Denmark.
26 March, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Scotland - Slovenia.

Lots of thrills after resuming

Without doubt, south American nations are playing one of the best football in the world, but, unfortunately, they are just six games away for finishing these qualifiers. And immediately after the winter break we could not hope for a better start than to see second placed team playing against the leader plus one more game will draw as an attention next week.

23 March, Thursday at 21.30 CET: Colombia - Bolivia.

24 March, Friday at 00.00 CET: Paraguay - Ecuador.
24 March, Friday at 00.00 CET: Uruguay - Brazil.
24 March, Friday at 00.30 CET: Argentina - Chile.
24 March, Friday at 00.30 CET: Venezuela - Peru.

Second part to start

The Asian continent is producing better and better games and in the next two rounds we have to see some exciting football. Next week it will begin with the second part of matches, so basically from now on we will witness the reverse games. One more round will be played this month which is scheduled for the following week.

23 March, Thursday at 12.35 CET: PR China - South Korea.
23 March, Thursday at 13.00 CET: Syria - Uzbekistan.
23 March, Thursday at 13.00 CET: Thailand - Saudi Arabia.
23 March, Thursday at 14.00 CET: Iraq - Australia.
23 March, Thursday at 16.30 CET: United Arab Emirates - Japan.
23 March, Thursday at 17.00 CET: Qatar - IR Iran.

Two new teams are introduced for final round

According to the big time difference with Europe, the tiniest region from all six will begin first with the games. So far only 4 matches were played in this last round and next week two new teams will start their path towards Russia. Immediately the first match is considered to be a derby.

23 March, Thursday at 07.00 CET: Papua New Guinea - Tahiti.

25 March, Saturday at 02.00 CET: Fiji - New Zealand.

Back to international football

The winter break is over and slowly we are switching to internationals. Apart from plenty friendlies, next week will be played official preliminary games as well. In total 45 matches are going to be played from 23 until 26 March mainly for 3 tournaments. As different times exists all over the world and converting into CET the programme should look like this:

1. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - Oceania zone.
2. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - Asia region.
3. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - CONMEBOL zone.
4. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - Europe region.
5. World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 - CONCACAF zone.
6. Play off qualifying place for Gold Cup 2017 in United States of America - Caribbean against Centroamerican representative.
7. Asian Cup qualifiers for United Arab Emirates 2019.

19 March 2017

Crocodile attack

On Friday morning a 19 year old central defender from Mozambique has tragically lost his life from a crocodile. After the team training, Estevao Alberto Gino decided to freshen up on the river Zambezi when the reptile attacked him by causing deadly injuries. 'The crocodile came out of the water abruptly and took him by the waist. After that, the animal ran back into the water. His two friends were very scared and they heard the screams, but there was nothing they could do. The crocodile was like five metres.' explained Edy Carvalho, coach of Atletico Mineiro de Tete.

18 March 2017

One good and one bad news from Africa

On a happy note is that Africa has a new leader, plus the continent's membership just got bigger. A 29 year old reign from Issa Hayatou was ended yesterday in Addis Ababa. At the Ethiopian capital, Madagascar FA boss Ahmad Ahmad was appointed new CAF president. With 34 votes to 20 he beat the 70 year old Cameroonian, who was seeking an eighth term and was competing with serious kidney problems. In the CAF general assembly it was also announced that the autonomous part of Tanzania and with request from its FA, Zanzibar has become newest member at the confederation, as number 55.
And Thursday's cheerful moment (for the new president) was ruined today by FIFA when one state is excluded from the sport, until further notice. Due to government interference (sports minister dissolved the FA), Mali can not play neither internationally nor club football.

17 March 2017

Final four matches

UEFA has determined the schedule for last 8 at the Europa league. Unlike its predecessor here we have variety of teams from all over the continent, with just two which comes from same country. Starting from 21.05 CET, all games will entertain us basically in the middle of next month - 13 and 20 April.

Anderlecht - Manchester United.

Celta Vigo - Genk.

Ajax - Schalke 04.

Olympique Lyon - Besiktas.

Champions league quarter final pairs

One Italian, English and French club will battle it out against two German plus three Spanish in the last 8 of the Champions league. The struggle is going to start 11 April, and seven days later decisive matches will be played at the same time of 20.45 CET.

Atletico Madrid - Leicester.

Borussia Dortmund - Monaco.

Bayern Munich - Real Madrid.

Juventus - Barcelona.

Dangerous and courageous Turks: complete victory with ten men

Besiktas - Olympiacos 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 10 Vincent Aboubakar
              2:0 21 Ryan Babel
              2:1 31 Tarik Elyounoussi
              3:1 75 Ryan Babel
              4:1 84 Cenk Tosun

Genk - Gent 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 19 Timothy Castagne
              1:1 84 Louis Verstraete

Krasnodar - Celta Vigo 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 51 Hugo Mallo
              0:2 80 Iago Aspas

Ajax - FC Copenhagen 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 22 Bertrand Traore
              2:0 45+2-pen Kasper Dolberg

Anderlecht - APOEL Nicosia 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 65 Frank Acheampong

Manchester United - Rostov 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 70 Juan Mata

16 March 2017

Suspended stadium

Leaders of the Russian Football Union has suspended Rostov's Olimp-2 stadium due to poor terrain. This suspension came after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho complained about the pitch one week ago. Now the club has until next Friday to correct the ground, when the inspection is announced for 24 March. If everything goes well with the review Rostov will play on a better pitch and before its own supporters on 01 April against Krasnodar.

15 March 2017

Spanish capital remained scoreless

Atletico Madrid - Bayer Leverkusen 0:0

14 March 2017

Tournament debutants better than the Europa league winners in an thrilling game

Juventus - Porto 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 42-pen Paulo Dybala

Leicester - Sevilla 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 27 Wes Morgan
              2:0 54 Marc Albrighton

Incomplete round

The start of AFC Asian cup qualifiers is just around the corner and from the first day the tournament is experiencing trouble. From 11 matches which are schedule to start on 28 March (one will start earlier) one will not even begin. On that date, North Korea and Malaysia who had to play in Kim Il Sung stadium at Pyongyang will have 'forced leave' and the teams would have a rest from the opening round. Last Friday the confederation has decided that it would be better that the game should be postponed due to the well known row between the two countries. Although the conflict is (mainly) diplomatic, the guests are fearing for security reasons.

13 March 2017

Last twelve tickets for quarter finals

Next mid week will be the last month for the European cups, round of 16 matches. For the first time at the knockout stages all 12 matches are equal i.e. both leagues are playing the return leg.

We will find out who will be the last 4 teams for the next phase over two days. Evenly divided, all pairs will start from 20.45 CET in the Champions league tournament.

Tuesday, 14 March: Juventus - Porto and Leicester - Sevilla.

Wednesday, 15 March: Atletico Madrid - Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco - Manchester City.

At the Europa league some teams are already in the next stage, while some are struggling to get there. Big football names can also be in trouble, so surprises are always possible.

Thursday, 16 March at 19.00 CET: Besiktas - Olympiacos.
Thursday, 16 March at 19.00 CET: Genk - Gent.
Thursday, 16 March at 19.00 CET: Krasnodar - Celta Vigo.

Thursday, 16 March at 21.05 CET: Ajax - FC Copenhagen.
Thursday, 16 March at 21.05 CET: Anderlecht - APOEL Nicosia.
Thursday, 16 March at 21.05 CET: Borussia Moenchengladbach - Schalke 04.
Thursday, 16 March at 21.05 CET: Manchester United - Rostov.
Thursday, 16 March at 21.05 CET: Roma - Olympique Lyon.

12 March 2017

EURO 2024 candidates

At the end of January, Scandinavian joint bid (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland) has pulled out their candidacy for the EURO 2024. This means that there are only two states who wants to host the event in seven years time: Germany and Turkey.
The European football championship in 2024 will be staged on 9 or 10 stadiums. One of them has to have capacity above 60.000, while minimum two must have above 50.000 seats. No city can be host if their stadiums are lower than 30.000.

11 March 2017

World record from Japan

Stanley Matthews from England was the oldest footballer in official matches, when last game he played in 1965 with 50 years and 5 days. However that now belong to the Yokohama midfielder Kazuyoshi Miura now. playing in the second J league division against V-Varen Nagasaki, who last Sunday broke the record with two days more - 50 years and 7 days. 
Whats is more unbelievable is that for Miura this is 32 professional season in his career.

10 March 2017

Entertaining game in Belgium

APOEL Nicosia - Anderlecht 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 29 Nicolae Claudiu Stanciu

FC Copenhagen - Ajax 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 01 Rasmus Falk Jensen
              1:1 32 Kasper Dolberg
              2:1 59 Andreas Cornelius

Rostov - Manchester United 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 35 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
              1:1 53 Aleksandr Bukharov

Celta Vigo - Krasnodar 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 50 Daniel Wass
              1:1 55 Viktor Claesson
              2:1 89 Claudio Beauvue

Gent - Genk 2:5

Scorers: 0:1 21 Ruslan Malinovskiy
              1:1 27 Samuel Kalu
              1:2 32 Omar Colley
              1:3 40 Mbwana Samata
              1:4 45+1 Jere Uronen
              2:4 60 Kalifa Coulibaly
              2:5 72 Mbwana Samata

Olympiacos - Besiktas 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 36 Esteban Cambiasso
              1:1 53 Vincent Aboubakar

09 March 2017

Disciplinary proceedings against three teams

Just one day after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have provided their passage into the last eight of the Champions league, UEFA has revealed that they opened disciplinary proceedings happened from Tuesday night. Most of the ugly scenes mainly are focused on the fans.
Arsenal is criticized because one 'passionate and crazy' supporter ran on the pitch during the match versus the Germans. Bayern Munich are also 'guilty' because their fans threw various objects on the pitch. Also supporters' behavior needs to be controlled by Napoli as well. Italian 'bad boys' have been charged the same like the German counterparts, and the game was against Real Madrid.
Decisions about all three punishments will be made on 23 March.

Race with goals: Uruguayan striker quickest from a Gabonese counterpart

Barcelona - PSG 6:1

Scorers: 1:0 03 Luis Suarez
              2:0 40-own goal Layvin Kurzawa
              3:0 49-pen Lionel Messi
              3:1 62 Edinson Cavani
              4:1 88 Neymar Jr.
              5:1 90-pen Neymar Jr.
              6:1 90+5 Sergi Roberto

Borussia Dortmund - Benfica 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 04 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
              2:0 59 Christian Pulisic
              3:0 61 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
              4:0 85 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

08 March 2017

In search of last two quarterfinalists for this week

Tonight we are searching for two teams that will go to the next stage. As results are saying from the first leg, three teams have a chance to be among last eight while the last will try to perform mission impossible in Spain.

- Barcelona - PSG. The following pair may be the most interesting one, but when mighty Barcelona is playing all eyes would be on this match. The real reason is not because of its famous name, but because the Catalans are trying to do something that no club has ever done before: giving four goals (or more) to another champion. That is why this game is the battle of true title holders in their countries: Spanish versus French. For the past week there are plenty of optimism from Camp Nou, of never giving up, everything can happen in 90 minutes which means that the hosts will attack with full force. On the other hand, Paris Saint Germain will try to slow them down, score at least a goal and are ready to spoil the party. Only highly concentrated players are needed for this game, because one mistake can cost dearly. Both teams happens to be in their high form, playing very well, full points should stay at home, but will it be enough for the next round?
- Borussia Dortmund - Benfica. Thrown in the shadows of its predecessor this match looks to be very open. This means that everyone can qualify, but, unfortunately only one can go through. In here also both teams can hope for a win and both are capable of scoring in home and away games. As real fighters, Germans are very known to go to the end. One goal deficit for Borussia Dortmund means nothing and can easily score more goals. However, when you are playing against a Portuguese champion nothing is for certain. Benfica will surely resist (a little) trying to score that one and precious away goal, but home fans will celebrate another victory.

Groups and schedule has been revealed

This summer north America will seek its champion. Whether we will have new or old, the party will begin in July across 13 cities in United States of America (USA) who will play its fourteenth edition of the Gold cup. And today all the unknown things have become clear...except one.
Last matter which is still unknown will be the final or twelfth team at the event, and that will be decided at the end of the month. However on Tuesday Levi's stadium, on which will be played the final game on 26 July, was the host for the draw and immediately after the schedule has been discovered on the much anticipated 2017 north America football championship.

Group A: Honduras, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Canada.

Group B: USA, Panama, Martinique, Haiti or Nicaragua.

Group C: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, Jamaica.

And therefore the following group schedule looks like this:

07 July: French Guiana - Canada and Honduras - Costa Rica.

08 July: USA - Panama and Martinique - Haiti / Nicaragua.

09 July: Curacao - Jamaica and Mexico - El Salvador.

11 July: Costa Rica - Canada and Honduras - French Guiana.

12 July: Panama - Haiti / Nicaragua and USA - Martinique.

13 July: El Salvador - Curacao and Mexico - Jamaica.

14 July: Costa Rica - French Guiana and Canada - Honduras.

15 July: Panama - Martinique and Haiti / Nicaragua - USA.

16 July: Jamaica - El Salvador and Curacao - Mexico.

After three days break, the first knockout stage will begin with the quarter final which take place on 19 and 20. Semis are over two days on 22 and 23, while Santa Clara, California awaits the grand finale which will be played on 26 July.

From disappointing first half to progression on last eight

Napoli - Real Madrid 1:3

Scorers: 1:0 24 Dries Mertens
              1:1 51 Sergio Ramos
              1:2 57-own goal Dries Mertens
              1:3 90+1 Alvaro Morata

07 March 2017

Malaysian request

AFC Asian cup gathers the best 24 teams from Asia. Half of the teams are already known for 2019 edition and the other half will be known after additional preliminary games which will begin at the end of the month. These qualifiers did not even began and already at the start there are some problems...especially with one match so far.
And until now no one knows whether this game will be played (in its original schedule), cancelled or even switched to neutral venue. Final decision will be given from the Asian confederation until 13 March to know the fate whether North Korea and Malaysia will play in capital Pyongyang on Kim Il Sung stadium on 28 March. The draw before two months ago, who merged these two countries together in group B, was not even predictable nowadays to act hostile towards each other. It all started with the poisoning of North Korean president half-brother at the Malaysian airport only to further deteriorate last Saturday when Malaysia expels North Korean ambassador from the country. Because of these developments the Malaysian government has barred the team to travel to North Korea stating security reasons. The initiator was from the minister of youth and sports Khairy Jamaluddin. Therefore, Malaysia FA secretary general Hamidin Mohd Amin sent a letter to the Asian football organization, with giving all the explanation, requesting that the match should be moved on neutral venue. 'We expect a decision by the end of this week' he said.