Reaction to England’s defeat in Doha
Not much to cheer about this Monday morning after the second XI’s loss to Brazil. Here are Ten things England and Fabio Capello learned in Doha, according to The Guardian. Brazil had England beaten before the first whistle, says The Daily Telegraph. The squad players didn’t exactly hit the heights, as shown by the player ratings in The Times. Some should be making contingency plans for June holidays, says Patrick Barclay in the same paper. England must do better, Wayne Rooney tells The Daily Mirror. What did we learn? asks Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail. Staking a claim in the way Paul Gascoigne did before 1990 should have been a priority for the fringe players, says The Daily Express. But most just weren’t up to the job.
World Cup weekend round up
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s second legs here is the current situation in the European play offs:
Republic of Ireland 0 France 1
Portugal 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina 0
Greece 0 Ukraine 0
Russia 2 Slovenia 1
No longer content with looking to win the Asia/Oceania Inter-Continental Play-Off for the Right to Be Officially Known as World Cup 2010 Whipping Boys, the New Zealand All Whites now have the Right to Be Officially Known as World Cup 2010 Whipping Boys after their 1 – 0 second leg play off victory against Bahrain.
In Africa two of the three final qualifying places have been won by Cameroon and Nigeria. Algeria and Egypt meet in Sudan on Wednesday to decide who takes the final place.
And the South American – North, Central America and Caribbean play off looks good for Uruguay after their 1 – 0 first leg victory in Costa Rica.
Predictions for the play offs and the remaining World Cup qualifiers
France – Ireland: There’s plenty of needle left in this one after an as yet unspecified insult against the Irish people by France’s Diarra. Backed by their support, I’m sticking with the Republic to turn this one around against the odds.
Bosnia-Herzegovina – Portugal: The Bosnians were unlucky in the first leg. They can still win over two legs.
Ukraine – Greece: it’s draw away, win at home for the Ukrainians.
Slovenia – Russia: the late away goal in Moscow could change everything here.
Algeria and Egypt for the final African place: after Saturday’s dramatic events I’m finding this one difficult to call. Will stick with Algeria on the flimsy grounds that Egypt have probably exhausted themselves just reaching this extraordinary play off.
And the South American – North, Central America and Caribbean play off? Uruguay to build on their 1 – 0 first leg lead and qualify.