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World Cup playoff dates set for Honduras-Australia, Peru-New Zealand

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The interconfederation playoffs set to determine two more places in the 2018 World Cup have dates and locations.

While UEFA has to wait for Tuesday for its playoff draws, the schedule is in place for CONCACAF vs. AFC, and CONMEBOL versus Oceania.

[ VIDEO: Jermaine Jones’ fiery USMNT diatribe ]

And, yes, each of these posts carries a reminder that the U.S. will not headed for Russia, and stings us just as much as you.

Honduras (CONCACAF) vs. Australia (AFC)

Nov. 10 at San Pedro Sula
Nov. 15 at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium

Peru (CONMEBOL) vs. New Zealand (OFC)

Nov. 11 in Wellington, NZ
Nov. 15 at Lima’s Estadio Nacional

CONMEBOL: There’s only one Lionel Messi; Chile out

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Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay sealed places at the World Cup in Russia, while Peru clinched a berth in a playoff with New Zealand in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

That means Chile and Paraguay are out.

Ecuador 1-3 Argentina

He’s the best player in the world, and perhaps now his Argentine critics will give him his due.

Four years after Lionel Messi Argentina to the World Cup Final, the South American nation needed its ultra mega star to drag them back to the tournament.

And on the final day of qualifying, after going down a goal on the road to already eliminated Ecuador, Messi went Messi.

The 30-year-old scored a pair of first half goals to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.

Brazil 3-0 Chile

Man City’s Gabriel Jesus scored twice after Barcelona’s Paulinho opened the scoring to send Chile out of the World Cup.

 

Uruguay 2-1 Bolivia

The hosts were the safest unqualified side heading into the evening, and controlled the early goings before conceding a first half own goal. The man at fault, Gaston Silva, set Martin Caceres up for an equalizer before the break. Silva then set up Edinson Cavani for the go-ahead goal.

Paraguay 0-1 Venezuela

New York City FC’s Yangel Herrera ruined Paraguayan hopes of a World Cup with his goal.

Peru 1-1 Colombia

James Rodriguez, regardless of his club life, knows how to show up for Los Cafeteros.Β Colombia conceded an equalizer, but only needed a point. Peru will finish fifth and face New Zealand in the interconfederation playoff.

 

USWNT rides brace from super sub Morgan to big win (video)

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Alex Morgan scored two goals, the second with gusto, as the United States women’s national team hammered New Zealand 5-0 at Nippert Stadium in a Tuesday night friendly.

After Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle made a 30-minute cameo in her return from injury, the USWNT poured forth with goals.

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Coming off the bench, Morgan scored within a minute of her second half introduction.

And then, after an electric dribble from Mallory Pugh, Morgan rang an aesthetically-pleasing rocket off the proverbial woodwork to make it 5-0.

New Zealand moves closer to World Cup, wins OFC qualifying

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New Zealand captured Oceania World Cup qualifying on Tuesday, drawing one step closer to the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: USMNT faces a must-win situation on Tuesday against Honduras ]

The All Whites drew 2-2 against the Solomon Islands in the second leg of their OFC final, after having secured a 6-1 victory in the first meeting.

Manager Anthony Hudson and his side will now be involved in a playoff against the fifth-place nation from CONMEBOL, currently Argentina, in a two-legged affair this November.

With South American qualifying too close to call from positions two through eight, New Zealand will likely have to wait until the final matchday to determine their playoff opponent.

The All Whites are looking to reach their third World Cup in its history, and their first since 2010 in South Africa — where the team drew all three of its group stage matches.

New Zealand beats Solomon Islands 6-1 in World Cup qualifier

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand closed in on a World Cup qualifying playoff spot against the fifth-place South American team by beating the Solomon Islands 6-1 Friday in the opening match of a two-leg series.

New Zealand captain Chris Wood scored a hat trick ahead of the return leg on Tuesday in Honiara.

The winner of the series will face a South American team for a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia. The current team in fifth place is Argentina.

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Wood, who moved to Premier League club Burnley from Leeds, scored twice in the first half while Kosta Barbarouses made it 3-0.

Ryan Thomas took advantage of some poor defending to give New Zealand a 4-0 lead, and Michael McGlinchey scored from a free kick in the 81st minute. Wood then completed his hat trick in injury time.

Winston Reid, a West Ham defender who is the usual New Zealand captain, was unavailable for the match with a calf injury. Shane Smeltz, Tommy Smith and Marco Rojas were also absent. For the Solomon Islands, New Zealand-based striker Micah Lea’alafa was unavailable because of a visa problem.