Mexico’s uncharacteristically poor displays in the Hexagonal has many fans wondering whether El Tri is dead in the CONCACAF water.
But not New Zealand.
The Oceania regional champions announced Tuesday that they have set up a friendly against Mexican first division side Queretaro, preparing themselves for the style of play the expect to face in the two-leg intercontinental playoff in November.
That playoff, to be played against the Kiwis and the fourth place finisher in the CONCACAF region, will determine a berth for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
New Zealand qualified as Oceania winners after finishing top of their group, ousting New Calendonia, Tahiti and Solomon Islands in a six match round table.
For Mexico, getting to the intercontinental playoff – let alone the World Cup finals – will be anything but easy.
With the United States and Costa Rica having already booked their tickets to next summer’s tournament, one guaranteed spot remains in the CONCACAF region. Currently, that spot is in the hands of Honduras, who are three points ahead of fourth placed Panama and fifth placed Mexico.
Honduras host Costa Rica on Friday before traveling to Jamaica on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Panama and Mexico are set to duke it out in Mexico City on Friday while next Tuesday sees Panama hosts the U.S. and Mexico travel to Costa Rica.
With the U.S. and Costa Rica already having qualified and Jamaica on the brink of elimination, it’s a scenario that’s extremely difficult to predict. But wisely, New Zealand are hedging their bets and gearing up to acclamate themselves to what would undoubtedly be the most difficult style of play they could face.
Here he comes.
When Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United in the summer big things were expected.
It’s taken him a while to settle but now the Armenian playmaker has scored his first goal for United with a stunning superb solo effort against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.
Watch the video below to see Mkhitaryan put United 1-0 up.
What a goal.
You truly have to see this a few times to believe it is possible.
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Stunning footage from a game between National Vatera and Makedonikos Kozanis in Greece’s four-tier last weekend has emerged as Kozanis striker Thanasis Takidis goes clean through on goal, gets one yard out but then somehow delays his shot and is blocked on the line by a defender, then the ball gets away from him.
Watch the clip above to see probably the worst miss you will ever see.
I mean, come on man…
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) Japanese champion Kashima Antlers beat Auckland City of New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday.
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Kim Dae-wook headed Auckland ahead five minutes after half time, but substitute Shuhei Akasaki equalized for the J-League champions in the 67th minute.
Fellow sub Mu Kanazaki then completed the comeback in the 88th, heading home from close range after Shoma Doi nodded a deep Shuto Yamamoto cross from the left back.
Kashima advanced to a quarterfinal against African champion Mamelodi Sundowns in Osaka on Sunday.
The winner of that game will face Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Nacional in the semifinal Wednesday. European powerhouse Real Madrid also enters the tournament from the semifinal stage.
The use of video replays was available during the match but there were no official reviews. The technology is there to be used only for correcting clear errors in game-changing decisions.
Week 15 of the Premier League season has arrived with Manchester United hosting Tottenham, Liverpool welcoming West Ham and Leicester City and Manchester City clashing at the King Power Stadium.
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With some intense relegation battles between Swansea City and Sunderland and Hull City and Crystal Palace, there is plenty on the line as the festive season really starts to heat up.
Below are previews, score predictions and everything else you need to know about all 10 games this weekend.
Chelsea vs. West Brom
Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Arsenal vs. Stoke City
Southampton vs. Middlesbrough
Swansea City vs. Sunderland
Watford vs. Everton
Hull vs. Crystal Palace
Burnley vs. Bournemouth