[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING: Friday] Belgium, Germany and Switzerland all clinched European berths in the World Cup 2014 finals with wins on Friday. Colombia came back from 3-0 down at the half to tie Chile, 3-3, in Barranquilla and become the 14th team to book a ticket in the finals.
World Cup 2014
1. Brazil (host)
2. Japan (Asia)
3. Australia (Asia)
4. Iran (Asia)
5. South Korea (Asia)
6. Italy (Europe)
7. Netherlands (Europe)
9. Costa Rica (Concacaf)
10. Argentina (South America)
11. Belgium (Europe)
12. Switzerland (Europe)
13. Germany (Europe)
14. Colombia (South
BELGIUM. Romelu Lukaku, who is on loan to Everton from Chelsea, scored two first-half goals to give
Belgium a 2-1 victory at Croatia that clinched the Red Devils' first berth in the World Cup finals since 2002.
GERMANY. Germany extended its unbeaten
streak in qualifying (World Cup or European Championship) to 31 games with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic on goals by Sami Khedira, Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil, who started up front as both strikers Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez were injured.
SWITZERLAND. Switzerland clinched the Group E title with a 2-1 win at Albania thanks to
second-half goals from Zherdan Shaqiri and Michael Lang. Former D.C. United striker Hamdi Salihi had a late penalty kick for Albania.
COLOMBIA. The Cafeteros trailed Chile, 3-0, after 29 minutes, but rallied to earn a
3-3 tie that clinched the second of two automatic berths in South America. Teofilo Gutierrez pulled a goal back in the 69th minute and then Radamel Falcao scored twice from the penalty spot to earn the draw.
On to Tuesday in Europe ...
Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, England and Spain all control their fate
and will clinch the other European group titles with wins on Tuesday.
Group F: Russia (21 points) will clinch with a win or tie at Azerbaijan.
Portugal (18) will need a win over Luxembourg and a Russia loss and make up the seven goals it trails in goal difference.
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece are tied with 22 points, though BiH has an insurmountable edge in goal difference (plus-23 vs. plus-6). It will need to win at Lithuania, though, as Greece is
expected to win at Liechtenstein.
Group H: England (19 points) will need to beat Poland at home as Ukraine (18) plays San Marino in its final
Group I: Spain (17 points) will clinch with a win or tie at home against Georgia in Albacete. France will need to beat Finland at the Stade
de France and make up the three goals it trails Spain in goal difference (plus-9 vs. plus-6).
Europe Second-Place Races:
Group A: 2. Croatia (17 points) (clinched second).
Group B: 2. Bulgaria (13), 2. Denmark (13), 4. Czech Republic (12),
4. Armenia (12).
Group C: 2. Sweden (clinched second).
Group D: 2. Turkey (16), 2. Romania (16).
Group E: 2. Iceland (16), 3. Slovenia (15).
Group F: 1. Russia (21), 2. Portugal (18).
(Both clinched second no
worse than second.)
Group G: 1. Bosnia-Herzegovina (22), 1. Greece (22).
(Both clinched second no worse than second.)
Group H: 1. England (19), 2. Ukraine (18), 3. Montenegro (15).
Group I: 1. Spain (17), 2 France (14).
clinched second no worse than second.)
Note: Only top eight teams will advance. Points against the sixth-place teams in Groups A-H (all six-team
groups) are dropped.
On Tuesday in South America ...
Chile and Ecuador (both 25 points) will clinch the two remaining berths in South
America if they tie on Tuesday in Santiago.
Even though it fell to Ecuador, 1-0, in Quito, Uruguay (22) clinched at least a berth in the intercontinental playoffs against Jordan when
Venezuela could only tie Paraguay, 1-1, in its last game.
To clinch the fourth spot, Uruguay will need to beat Argentina at home, have either Chile and Ecuador lose and then make up the
goal difference by which it trails Chile (plus-3 vs. minus-1) or Ecuador (plus-5 vs. minus-1).