FIFA World Cup Today Matches


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In focus: FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (UEFA Group A)

In focus: FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (UEFA Group A)

Belgium and Croatia

The current group leaders, Belgium and Croatia, remain strong with 22 points and 17 points (correspondingly) crowing their heads. Belgium in particular, have the best chance to appear in the Brazil World Cup next year. And if that would be the case, the side will be seeded in the world-famous tournament for the first time since 2002. Croatia, meanwhile, are equally in a good chance of winning a ticket in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, hoping to make it their only fourth appearance in the well-respected competition.

 

Belgium have advanced in six successive World Cups, starting in 1982 to their most recent, in 2002. The side had their best stint in 1986, when the likes of Jan Ceulemans, Eric Gerets, and Jean-Marie Pfaff delivered the national team in the fourth best spot, overall. Whereas Croatia, had their most spectacular performance in the 1998 jamboree, where they were placed third overall.

 

A crucial set of UEFA Group A qualification rounds this year will give birth to one of the sure qualifiers in the Brazil event next summer. Belgium are likely to hold that opportunity, while Croatia can steal chances in the playoffs whenever needed.

 

Serbia and Scotland

Serbia and Scotland are currently ranked in their group at number three and four, respectively, and are therefore facing immense pressure to exude their best faculties in order to qualify for the playoffs at the very least.

 

A relatively new nation, Serbia has only participated in the World Cup once, which was in 2010. They failed to get past the group stage. But as part of former Yugoslavia and the Serbia-Montenegro union, the team have already qualified nearly a dozen times, earning their best finish at number four in the 1930 and 1962 World Cups.

 

Scotland are in massive appetite of entering the 2014 FIFA World Cup. If they successfully steal their group’s top position (or get past the playoffs in any case), the admission would serve as the side’s ninth appearance. The last time they participated in the World Cup was in 1998, but achieved their best finish in 1974 when they were placed at number seven.

 

Macedoia and Wales

Macedonia and Wales may have slimmer chances of qualifying for the World Cup than their group-mates, but the sides are fighting hard to win the race.

 

Macedonia have yet to qualify for a World Cup Finals tournament. In their 2010 efforts, they ended up fourth in Group 9 with seven points. With tight placements and almost level scoring of their group throughout the campaign, Macedonia remained struggling to qualify until the final group match, which the team lost 2–1 away to Norway. This time around, the same fate is seemingly making a repeat.

 

In their entire history, Wales have only qualified for the World Cup Finals once, which they did more than five decades ago. The 1958 tournament, though the lone occasion they attended such a high-profile event, gave them a quarter-finals finish. But since then, the side have never been able to confirm even just a single attendance, and are likely to fail again this time around.

 

(Featured Image: Belgium, courtesy of foxsportsasia.com)

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