England, Spain, Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are celebrating spots in the 2104 World Cup in Brazil. They’ll join Belgium, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland at the finals next year, while Croatia, Sweden, Romania, Iceland, Portugal, Greece, Ukraine, France await their play-off draws.
Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium (UEFA), Brazil, Argentina and Colombia make up the South American group, while Japan, Australia, Iran and South Korea finished in the top two of their Asia qualifying groups. The United States and Costa Rica are a lock in the US/Caribbean group.
Two injury-time goals against Panama by USA in the finals of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying group put Mexico in the top four. Panama is out, and Mexico, who has appeared at every World Cup since 1990, will face New Zealand in the coming weeks.
Mexico, the USA arch nemesis, was actually rooting for the Americans, as they’d rallied against Panama. USA was down 2-1, but was already secure, and had the second string on the field. Still, the Americans were able to put together a win regardless, beating Panama 3-2.
Here’s a clip of Panama, crying over the loss:
And here USA consoles Panama:
— fanatix (@therealfanatix) October 17, 2013
It’s been said that Mexico, a more talented team than New Zealand, plainly needs to pull it together to overcome the Kiwis.
In related news, The Qatar Museum Authority has decided to buy a 16-foot tall statue of Zinedine Zidane infamously headbutting Marco Materazzi, for an untold sum. Qatar, which is the tentative site of the 2022 World Cup, had moved the “ode to defeat” to its shores last week.
Oil-rich Qatar has been recently struggling to keep dibs on hosting the 2022 World Cup. Aside from the classy headbutt statue acquisition, the country has been questioned by soccer federation FIFA about its use hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, in a situation similar to modern-day slavery. It’s been reported that 44 Nepalese workers died so far this year, while building World Cup infrastructure.
The World Cup is the largest sports event on the planet, and Qatar is putting about $100 billion into hosting the event. While soccer isn’t so big a deal in the U.S., foreigners take the game very seriously.
Image via Twitter.