Uruguay 0 – 1 Argentina

October 15, 2009

“Diego Maradona’s Argentina booked their place at next summer’s World Cup finals as substitute Mario Bolatti hit a late winner to end Uruguay’s hopes of snatching automatic qualification for South Africa. Huracan midfielder Bolatti, winning just his third cap, fired home with six minutes remaining after the home defence failed to deal with Juan Sebastian Veron’s drilled effort from a free-kick.” (ESPN)

Just because Maradona’s paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get him
“‘You lot take it up the arse,’ were Diego Maradona’s words to the press immediately after his team secured a place at next year’s World Cup finals. It was almost adding injury to the insult when he scanned the room and added, ‘if the ladies will pardon the expression’. Looking increasingly Botox-ridden, the angry yet victorious Argentina coach was somehow able to raise a nervous chuckle from those on the receiving end of the abuse.” (Guardian)

Diego Maradona hits out at critics after Argentina qualify for 2010 World Cup
“Diego Maradona hit out at critics of his coaching and said he had issues to discuss with his boss after Argentina qualified for the World Cup. ‘For those who didn’t believe in this national team, for those who treated me like garbage [I say] today we are in the World Cup with all the honours, beating a team like Uruguay,’ said Maradona. Argentina secured their berth at next year’s tournament in South Africa with a 1-0 away win over arch-rivals Uruguay at the Centenario, scene of the first World Cup final in 1930.” (Guardian)

Argentina defeats Uruguay 1-0; qualifies for 2010 World Cup – Recap and Video Highlights – Wednesday, October 14, 2009
“In CONMEBOL (South America), Argentina needed a good result against Uruguay to guarantee a spot in the FIFA 2010 World Cup Finals. Did Argentina qualify or did they struggle? Here’s a recap of the match along with video highlights.” (The 90th Minute)

World Cup Qualifying – CONMEBOL

Liverpool’s Hungarian Connection

October 15, 2009

“Hungary’s progress to the Under-20s World Cup semi-finals in Egypt has brought to the spotlight the country’s close links with Liverpool Football Club. Three of Hungary’s best performers during the tournament are currently on the books at Anfield as part of a tie-up between Liverpool and MTK Hungaria. And with Liverpool recently bringing Oldham Athletic into the partnership to act as a sort of halfway house between Budapest and Merseyside for young Hungarian players, the links look set to strengthen in the medium to long-term future.” (Just Football)

Ultimate XI: World Class, but No World Cup

October 15, 2009

“Edward Fischman is an occasional commenter on the Goal blog under the handle fischy. He was in the stands in Florence, Italy, on June 10, 1990 when the United States returned to World Cup play after a 40-year absence. As the 2010 World Cup qualifiers wind down, he provides his selections for an Ultimate XI of players who have never competed in a World Cup tournament game.” (NYT)

U.S. 2-2 Costa Rica: Bornstein ties it late

October 15, 2009

“American players wanted to win for Charlie. They didn’t, but it sure felt like a victory when the United States scored with just seconds remaining in its final World Cup qualifier. After Jonathan Bornstein’s goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time gave the United States a 2-2 tie against Costa Rica on Wednesday night, players took a victory lap. They carried a banner with the No. 9, the jersey number of Charlie Davies, their teammate who is hospitalized with serious injuries from an automobile accident.” (ESPN)

Freedman’s Throw-Ins
“Let’s just say we all owe Jonathan Bornstein a beer. Had the much-maligned left back not scored that dramatic equalizing header in extra time Wednesday night, the U.S. would be staring at an extremely depressing home loss to Costa Rica. The game was meaningless from a competitive standpoint, save for the “Hexagonal champion” bragging rights at stake (and the emotions involved, as Grant Wahl writes). But that performance, combined with the other plot twists, would have been a real downer on which to wrap up the Hexagonal.” (SI)

Bornstein’s stoppage-time header gives U.S. draw against Costa Rica
“American players wanted to win for Charlie. They didn’t, but it sure felt like a victory when the United States scored with just seconds remaining in its final World Cup qualifier.” (SI)

United States draws with Costa Rica 2-2 – Recap and Video Highlights – Wednesday, October 14, 2009
“The United States faced Costa Rica in the last match for both teams in the CONCACAF hexagonal stage. Costa Rica could clinch a spot with a win or Honduras loss while the USA have already qualified. The Americans will try to focus as after the car accident to striker Charlie Davies who remains in a hospital and likely out for next summer’s World Cup. Here’s a recap of the Wednesday, October 14, 2009 match along with video highlights.” (The 90th Minute)

During a Week of Highs and Lows, U.S. Fights for a Tie
“The U.S. national team has experienced disturbingly little synchronicity this week. Days after the high of clinching a spot in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the team suffered a devastating low on Tuesday when forward Charlie Davies was seriously injured in a car crash that killed one person.” (NYT)