CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying had a couple of huge games on Thursday, with Brazil beating Uruguay 4-1 in Uruguay, while Argentina defeated Chile 1-0 on home turf. Uruguay went ahead early on a penalty kick from Edinson Cavani, but then gave up four straight goals to Brazil. Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho had a hat trick while Neymar had the other Brazil goal. Argentina won their match 1-0 on a penalty kick goal by Lionel Messi. Chile had Argentina’s number the past few times they’ve met, but this match went to the Albiceleste. Argentina jumped up to third in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying standings.
UEFA has changed up the structure of their tournaments a little, and starting in 2018, the top four nations in Europe will receive four guaranteed spots in the Champions League group stage. Those four nations are Spain, Germany, England, and Italy, meaning Italy will be back up to four spots after being down at three for the last few years. This is especially good news for Italy, but also for England, who despite having the four group stage spots in recent years, teams from the country have struggled as of late in the Champions League’s latter stages.
Former world class left back, and current world class troll Ashley Cole still finds delight in his former team Arsenal’s struggles. Cole was a great player at Arsenal, but left to go to their London rivals Chelsea after they offered him a contract with more money then he was making at Arsenal. Arsenal fans berated him for it, but Cole went on to win the Champions League and multiple Premier League titles with Chelsea, while Arsenal have struggled since he left. It appears that Cole has continued to have the last laugh.
International soccer rules can be a bit quirky, and as such some players can play for countries they were not born in. Four Four Two’s Tim Ellis lists some of the best players who have switched their international soccer allegiances.
The United States is facing a critical World Cup Qualifying game vs Honduras Friday night in San Jose, California (7:30 pm PT, FS1). Matt Doyle of MLSsoccer.com breaks down the match on a tactical level.
I’m sure we could all use something fun at the end of the week, so in honor of National Puppy Day, here’s some pictures of some of soccer’s biggest names and their dogs.
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