The past few days saw club football take a back seat for international football. Players travelled to represent their countries and enjoyed, once again, things like singing out loud their national anthems and hearing their co-natives cheer them on.
It may not be the most anticipated football games for fans of football, but international football every now and then holds its own when it comes to exciting football. And this has been the case in the past week or thereabout.
Because it was all about qualifying for Russia 2018, the international break produced some amazing results, beautiful goals and mind-boggling statistics. Ah yes, there were some surprises too! Typical of the international break, right?
While we look forward to action in the world of club football, let’s take a look at some of the things we learned from the international break.
- Goals Everywhere!
It is assumed that a friendly football game cannot be compared with a competitive one. Maybe that’s why there was a fair amount of goals during this international break. The players seemed not to be goal-shy (with players like Ozil getting some for himself while on duty for Germany).
From Ghana’s rampant 1-5 win over Congo to Morocco’s 6-0 win over Mali, Germany’s 6-0 win over Norway and Spain’s 8-0 win over Liechtenstein, it rained goals during the international break.
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- There Were Some Interesting Results
You know what they say about football games and how anybody can win? Well, football showcased that part of itself to us during the international break. Asides the rain of goals, there were some amazing results that left all rethinking what they thought they knew about some countries.
Asides the Nigeria 4 – Cameroon 0 result, there was Zambia beating Algeria both home and away. Although Egypt got their revenge by beating Uganda at home, they had to first suffer a 1-0 defeat to the Cranes, a result that blew wide the race for the FIFA World Cup ticket in that group.
While France’s win over the Netherlands looked like a routine one, their goalless draw with Luxemburg left a lot of bettors wondering. Saudi Arabia was able to defeat Japan, and Argentina couldn’t get past Venezuela, complicating matters for themselves in the qualification race. Speaking of qualification…
- 8 Teams Have Now Qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
After the international break, seven countries have now booked their places at the next edition of the FIFA World Cup. Russia being the host-nation brings the total number of qualified teams to eight.
Those countries are Brazil, five-time winners of the competition, Belgium, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea – a side that has now reached a ninth World Cup in a row. While all these names have made it through, teams like China and Algeria are already out of the qualification race.
This piece will be incomplete without mentioning that the Syrian national team made it to the World Cup qualification play-offs, despite going through so much in their homeland. Football is full of surprises, right?
The international break is done and dusted. Now we anticipate exciting clashes like Manchester City vs. Liverpool, Hoffenheim vs. Bayern München (two sides that are still unbeaten in the current Bundesliga campaign), SS Lazio vs. AC Milan, amongst others.
So, with the international break gone till October, which game are you looking forward to this weekend? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment.Tags: international break lessons, international football break, world cup qualifiers