World Cup

Mongolia Keeper Records 11 Saves Against Japan, Still Loses 14-0

Waking up and looking at Tuesday’s schedule of international football, I couldn’t help but notice the final score of one match that had already finished out in Chiba, Japan. The Japan national team had put up two touchdowns — a fortnight of scoring — on Mongolia in World Cup qualifying. 

The 14-0 win isn’t the biggest in Japan’s history (15-0 over the Philippines in 1967), nor was it the biggest defeat in 190th-ranked Mongolia’s (15-0 to Uzbekistan in 1998). 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Fury Over Disallowed Goal Was Warranted, Says UEFA

BELGRADE - A Cristiano Ronaldo goal not given in a dramatic World Cup qualifier between Serbia and Portugal would have stood if the two football associations had agreed before the game to use goal-line technology, UEFA said on Monday.

Portugal captain Ronaldo was left fuming and got booked for dissent after his stoppage-time effort in Saturday's Group A 2-2 draw at Serbia was cleared by Stefan Mitrović after the ball had crossed the line as shown by television replays.

Atalanta's Josip Iličić Scores A Stunner For Slovenia

Within the space of 10 first-half minutes, Slovenia found itself in a 2-0 hole on Saturday thanks to a brace from Russia's Artem Dzyuba. 

Atalanta's Josip Iličić pulled one back for Slovenia just a minute after Dzyuba's second goal of the day with his 11th international goal, a wonderful first-time strike from the edge of the 18-yard box. 

Watch: Zlatan Sets Up Match Winner With Magical Flying Backheel

Zlatan Ibrahimović has turned a tearful return to the Swedish national team into a highly productive one. The AC Milan striker set up three of Sweden’s four goals in its two recent World Cup qualifiers. The first Zlatan assist vs Kosovo on Sunday was a stunning flying backheel pass to open the scoring in a 3-0 victory.

Late Dani Olmo Blast Spares Spain’s Blushes In Comeback Win Over Georgia

TBILISI — Spain striker Dani Olmo snatched a 2-1 win away to Georgia in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday with a stoppage-time strike from outside the area to kick-start his side's efforts to qualify for Qatar 2022 after a sluggish start.

Georgia, ranked 89th in the world, 83 places below Spain, thrilled the 15,000 fans in the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena when 20-year-old winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia fired them ahead two minutes before halftime after they coasted past the defence.

Stéphanie Frappart Makes History Again As First Woman To Officiate Men’s World Cup Qualifier

Add yet another first to Stéphanie Frappart’s impressive resumé. The French referee became the first woman to officiate a men’s World Cup qualifier, taking charge of the Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Latvia on Saturday.

Alphonso Davies vs. Bermuda Was A World Cup-Qualifying Mismatch For The Ages

Canada’s men’s national team is guaranteed to qualify for at least its second-ever World Cup appearance in 2026 as one of three host nations (along with the U.S. and Mexico). Before that, the Canucks are trying to qualify the hard way for the 2022 World Cup. And when we say the hard way, we mean it. But after watching Alphonso Davies and his teammates torch Bermuda on Thursday, they might just be up to the task.

Is FIFA Loosening Its Rules On Political Statements Or Recognizing The Need To Support Human Rights?

Over the years FIFA has been opposed to players, teams and fans engaging in protests or sloganeering but it seems global soccer's governing body is perhaps now prepared to tolerate a blurring of the line it once drew between politics and sport.

On Wednesday, Norway's national team players wore T-shirts declaring "Human rights - on and off the pitch" as they lined up before their World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar, and the following day Germany made a similar protest before its qualifier against Iceland in Duisburg.

‘We Are More Than Just Skiers,’ Slovenia Says After Stunning Upset Of Croatia

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia's superb 1-0 victory over more heralded neighbors Croatia in World Cup qualifying showed they are more than just a nation of Alpine skiers, defender Petar Stojanović said on Thursday.

The Slovenians outplayed the 2018 World Cup runners-up on Wednesday at the start of Group H qualifying for next year's tournament in Qatar and Stojanović, who plays his club football for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, was delighted.

Turkey’s 35-Year-Old Captain Hits Hat-Trick In WCQ Win Over Netherlands

ISTANBUL - Veteran captain Burak Yılmaz netted a hat-trick as Turkey saw off a late rally from the Netherlands to secure a 4-2 home victory on Wednesday at the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Yılmaz opened the scoring in the 14th minute of the Group G match with a deflected shot followed by a penalty 20 minutes later at Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium to put the Turks 2-0 up at halftime.