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2023 International Thread: WC Qualifying, Nation's League, Euro 2024 Qualifying, etc.

Ed H in Pasadena

Well-known member
Some interesting outcomes in yesterday's various fixtures.
In Euro 2024 qualifying, the huge shock was the thorough thrashing #120 Azerbaijan gave #23 Sweden, 3-0. Was also surprised by the 2-2 draw between Scotland (#34) and Georgia (#76). Then I saw that Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored both for Georgia, and I understood better. A milder surprise was #87 Luxembourg 4, #63 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1. But Luxembourg did net two in second half injury time.
For the CONCACAF Nations League, the U.S. struggled with T&T before putting them away with a barrage of goals in three goals in the last ten minutes of the match.
CAF: Lesotho (#153) drew with #40 Nigeria 1-1. And Egypt (#35) beat Djibouti (#189) behind four goals (the first four of the match) from Mo Salah.
CONMEBOL: Uruguay defeated WC champions Argentina 2-0, Argentina's first loss of this qualifying campaign. Uruguay got goals from Ronald Araujo (Barca) and Darwin Nunez (Liverpool). And in the night's most emotional match, Luis Diaz scored twice as Colombia came from behind to beat Brazil, 2-1. Brazil has lost twice in a row now and drops to fifth while Colombia moves into third. His recently-freed father was in the stands and visibly overcome with emotion as he scored the goals.
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CONCACAF Nations League Quarters wrap up tonight with the 2nd legs of the four matches. The US took an uninspiring 3-0 win at home over a woeful and short manned T&T side, while Mexicoo got their lunch handed to them in a 2-0 road loss to Honduras. So the favorites are having no fun. Meanwhile continuing the theme, Costa Rica dropped their home leg against Panama 3-0 so they're in the soup as well. Canada also had a rough showing in their first leg, but held off a frisky Jamaican side 2-1.

As a reminder ... this means next to nothing aside from a truly awful and really heavy trophy. All the quarterfinalists are qualified for Gold Cup, which is the competition with actual weight (aside from the trophy) and group stages for 2024 have already started. This is just an excuse to get he smaller nations some tournament exposure (and thus ranking points) outside of WC qualification.
OK ... turns out that Copa America qualifying was tied to Nations League, so whoops. And there are still two games tonight. Look. Sometimes I fail to read these things closely.

Anyhoo, the US barfed up a 2-1 loss to T&T but managed to squeak by. Dest got himself sent off like a complete idiot with two quick yellows, but the US continues to be dreadfully blunt on offense under Berhalter 2.0. Panama put Costa Rica out of their misery in the other quarter last night ... 6-1 aggregate. Ugly. One does wonder how short a leash Berhalter is on. The team really has been clunky since he came back, and even if you factor in injuries to key players it's starting to look like a really dumb call to have re-hired the guy. If they get battered around in the Copa next summer, I do wonder if he can survive.
Nations League Quarters are done and Mexico squeaked into the Semis on PKs. Canada wasn't so lucky, going out on goal diff to Jamaica. They'll play a qualifier to see who gets the last Copa slot. Given Soccer Canada's dire financial situation, missing out on the Copa would be an absolute disaster for them.