David Moyes is bitterly disappointed in his players as West Ham United dipped closer to the relegation zone with a 4-1 hammering in Wales.
[ RECAP: Swans 4-1 West Ham ]
Swansea scored early and often, and the Irons could only manage a Michail Antonio consolation marker in the 78th minute.
The loss has the Irons just three points above the drop zone, and Moyes doesn’t need X’s and O’s or a tactics board to break down the loss, taking the blame for his players’ poor performance.
From the BBC:
“We played so bad. I couldn’t assess it, it was that poor.
“The fans travelled through the snow to get here and we let them down badly. That was the poorest performance since I came here. I’m embarrassed.”
There’s reason to be concerned, as West Ham’s run-in is dastardly: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City are all on the docket, and Leicester, Everton, and Burnley aren’t walkovers. Southampton and Stoke City at home are must-win for Moyes’ men.
West Ham also had a scary injury to Winston Reid, in which the New Zealand defender was stretchered off with his neck in a brace after his knee bent in grotesque fashion.
Moyes admitted the knee is a bigger concern than the head, which is good considering the player was knocked unconscious.
“Winston Reid is conscious, he was knocked out, we are more worried about the injury to his knee than the knock to his head. He’s an important player for us so we hope it’s not too bad.”
Up-and-coming manager Anthony Hudson is up and coming to America.
The 36-year-old British boss has been linked with the Colorado Rapids gig for some time, and the New Zealand Herald is calling the move a “done deal.”
Hudson nearly led New Zealand to the World Cup after a dominant run through Oceania qualifying, which is nothing new, though the Kiwis were unable to pip Peru in the interconfederation playoff.
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It would be a very promising hire for Colorado. Hudson is a meticulous planner and tactician, and quite willing to take risks.
Hudson is Seattle-born and the son of former Chelsea player Alan Hudson, who played several years with Seattle Sounders (indoor and out). Anthony Hudson started his managerial career in the American fourth-tier PDL before moving onto Newport County, Bahrain, and New Zealand.
The Rapids have made the MLS Cup Playoffs just twice in the last six seasons, and won just seven games this season.
Jefferson Farfan’s first half goal and a terrific second half save from Pedro Gallese led Peru to a 2-0 home win and the final place in the 2018 World Cup.
Christian Ramos also scored for Peru, which earns its first World Cup berth since 1982 and gives CONMEBOL five teams in the World Cup.
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Farfan, 33, laced a slightly-deflected offering past first half star Stefan Marinovic in in the 27th minute to give Peru the lead.
Still, New Zealand’s fate didn’t change much. The Kiwis would need an away goal to put them in Russia.
Second half sub Chris Wood of Burnley nearly provided it, but Gallese was wise to the threat.
The final spot in the 2018 World Cup will go the team to emerge from Wednesday’s second leg between New Zealand and Peru in Lima.
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The Peruvian hosts finished fifth in CONMEBOL, while New Zealand is the Oceania champions.
Kickoff is at 9:15 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes’ Kip Colvey starts for New Zealand, as does West Ham’s Winston Reid. Burnley’s Chris Wood is on the bench.
Peru: Gallese; Advincula, Rodríguez, Ramos, Trauco; Tapia, Cueva, Flores; Polo, Ruidíaz, Farfán.
New Zealand: Marinovic; Wynne, Colvey, Boxall, Reid, Durante, Lewis, McGlinchey, Tuiloma, Thomas; Barbarouses.
New Zealand held Peru to a goalless draw in Wellington in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff, a victory for the hosts as they now hit the road needing only a draw with goals to secure a spot in Russia 2018.
The Oceanic side is considered a heavy underdog against the 10th-ranked team in the world, but they locked down Peru, holding them to just three shots on target on 11 overall attempts. Peru was out of ideas missing striker Paolo Guerrero, who failed a doping test and given a 30-day suspension.
The two teams will now head to Lima to finish the tie on Wednesday. Guerrero is currently out of the return leg as well, unless Peru wins an appeal against the suspension.
Peru had a signature moment in each half, but failed to capitalize on either. New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic was the star both times, making a goal-line clearance just seven minutes in and expertly tipping an Aldo Corzo header over the bar just past the hour mark.
Burnley striker Chris Wood was withdrawn from the New Zealand starting lineup after being dogged by a lingering hamstring issue, but he was brought on in the second half as a substitute and immediately brought Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese into action.
The 90 minutes on Wednesday will now decide each country’s fate. Peru has not qualified for the World Cup in 36 years, while New Zealand – ranked 122nd in the world – is looking to reach just its third World Cup finals.