fifa15guide – Player Ratings: Howard, Gonzalez lead defensive effort for USA vs. Panama

The U.S. national team earned a hard-fought point on the road against Panama in World Cup qualifying.

Four days after the attack took center stage in a blowout of Honduras, it was a couple of defensive stalwarts who stood out in the U.S. national team's draw with Panama.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard and center back Omar Gonzalez were particularly immense as the Americans earned a 1-1 result in Panama City, delivering the type of gritty effort on the road that's necessary to secure World Cup qualification in CONCACAF.

Dempsey nets in hard-fought draw​

It also was another impressive evening from 18-year-old star Christian Pulisic, whose status as the U.S. squad's attacking talisman becomes more clear cut with every game.

Here are Goal's full player ratings from the Americans' draw against Panama on Tuesday:

GK TIM HOWARD, 8: The 38-year-old wasn't exactly peppered with shots but stepped up big time when he needed to. His unconventional stop on Luis Tejada preserved the point, and he did very well to contain the rebound on a stinging effort from Anibal Godoy.

D GRAHAM ZUSI, 5: Didn't look too comfortable in distribution and was exposed a couple times defensively but also won his fair share of battles with Alberto Quintero. Not a bad shift considering his recent switch to right back.

D OMAR GONZALEZ, 8: Provided a commanding presence for a makeshift back line and was solid on the ball as well. His aerial dominance was particularly key with John Brooks sidelined.

D TIM REAM, 6: It was an up-and-down performance from the Fulham defender. Ream hit some impressive balls out of the back and made numerous last-gasp interventions, but he also was culpable on the goal and caused a couple of fires he then put out.

D JORGE VILLAFANA, 7: Got the job done at left back and hit one pinpoint cross that Pulisic nearly converted. Never looked out of his element, despite his lack of experience on the international stage.

M CHRISTIAN PULISIC, 8: Created Dempsey's strike with work ethic, toughness and no small amount of skill. His ability to run at defenders was the primary source of danger for the U.S. throughout the evening.

M JERMAINE JONES, 4: Offered his usual heart and aggression, along with some questionable challenges. Could have been cleaner on the ball.

M MICHAEL BRADLEY, 6: Was a calming influence at times in a sloppy game, drifting deep to dictate the tempo and winning some key battles. Had a few rough turnovers but also dropped some ambitious balls on a dime.

M DARLINGTON NAGBE, 6: Quietly helped the U.S. keep up in possession by pouncing on loose balls and providing tidy distribution. He opened up Panama on the dribble as well, even if he couldn't find the final pass.

F CLINT DEMPSEY, 6: Put himself in the right spot to fire home Pulisic's feed and come within one goal of Landon Donovan's all-time U.S. record. Not much else to report aside from that moment, though.

F JOZY ALTIDORE, 4: Worked hard to press the Panama back line but never managed to find a rhythm in the attack.

Substitutes

M ALEJANDRO BEDOYA, 5: Was a reliable option off the bench, even if one turnover did lead to a Panama counterattack.

M KELLYN ACOSTA, 6: Brought a little forward-thinking drive in central midfield.

M PAUL ARRIOLA, 4: Lacked the end product, but he did offer energy in his late cameo.

Brazil becomes first country to qualify for World Cup on fifa15guide

The Selecao reached Russia 2018 with four games to spare after a 13-match unbeaten run

Brazil became the first country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday, as the Selecao's win and Uruguay's loss cinched a berth in Russia.

CONMEBOL's sharpest shooters

Tite's side joins host Russia as the only two teams with a spot in next summer's showpiece locked up. Russia is automatically in as the host nation.

Brazil defeated Paraguay 3-0 on Wednesday evening, then watched as Peru's 2-1 victory over Uruguay later in the night officially sealed the Selecao's place in Russia.

Neymar Brazil Paraguay

Neymar back to lead resurgent Brazil​

The 2014 World Cup host lost its first game in CONMEBOL qualifying to Chile, but has not lost in the 13 subsequent matches. The stellar run has Brazil sitting on 33 points after 14 matches, with 10 wins, one loss and three draws.

With four games remaining in South American qualifying, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile occupy the remaining three guaranteed World Cup spots. Argentina, in fifth place, would have to qualify for Russia via a playoff with an Oceania side. 

Brazil's stellar run has helped bring back hope after the host nation's 7-1 loss to Germany at the 2014 event.  

fifa15guide – Panama vs. USA: Fearless Pulisic passes another tough test against Panama in World Cup qualifying

The U.S. national team earned a hard-fought point in Panama and the young BVB star proved he was up to the task in a hostile CONCACAF environment.

The signs were clear from the beginning of Tuesday night's match in Panama City. Christian Pulisic was going to face tough treatment from the Panamanian national team, and wasn't going to get the benefit of the doubt from the referee. It was a match sure to test his patience and temperament, and it would have been easy for the teenager to struggle and fade into the background on a night when he was once against the youngest player on the field.

Pulisic didn't struggle though. He was dangerous, persistent and effective, helping create the lone U.S. national team goal of the night in what finished a 1-1 draw against a Panama side that will count itself lucky to hold the Borussia Dortmund sensation to just one goal-creating play.

Mexico fortunate to escape Trinidad

No, Pulisic wasn't anywhere near as effective as he was against Honduras last Friday, but Tuesday's clash in Panama was never going to be that kind of match. Both teams set out in cautious systems, looking to keep the game close and limit chances. The game was always going to come down to special plays, and mistakes, and Pulisic did his part to create one of those plays.

Felipe Baloy hadn't faced Pulisic before, so he probably didn't realize just how fast the teenager is. That's the only real explanation for why Baloy took a lazy touch in his own penalty area with Pulisic closing in on him. He watched helplessly as Pulisic stripped him and set up Clint Dempsey for an easy finish.

Clint Dempsey Christian Pulisic USA

That goal put Panama on its heels, but not for long. Unlike Friday, when Honduras folded under the weight of an early U.S. goal, Panama responded by capitalizing on a U.S. mistake, a poorly-played Panama throw-in that Gabriel Gomez buried just before halftime.

Panama had the better of the play in the second half, but not by much, and as much as the home team did test Tim Howard on a handful of occasions, the final 45 minutes felt like both teams were content to settle for the draw.

Pulisic did his part both offensively and defensively to continue pestering the home side. He also showed his feisty side, never backing down even as bigger opponents did their best to try and intimidate him. That fearless demeanor is rare in someone so young, but it has become very clear Pulisic isn't your typical 18-year-old.

From a team standpoint, It was by no means a pretty performance for the United States, but Bruce Arena will take the road point and four points from the March qualifiers, which leaves the Americans in fourth place as the Hex takes a break until June, when a visit to Estadio Azteca to face Mexico comes after playing host to Trinidad and Tobago.

Here are some more observations from the U.S. draw in Panama:


OMAR GONZALEZ STEPS UP TO LEAD SHORTHANDED DEFENSE


Omar Gonzalez USA Panama

With no John Brooks or Geoff Cameron available, it was Omar Gonzalez who took on the leadership role for the American defense and he was outstanding, cutting out every threat that came his way and rarely putting a foot wrong on a night when Panama created several dangerous situations for him to deal with.

Gonzalez was solid against Honduras last Friday, but had much more to do against Panama. While he did get caught up field on one second-half sequence, he raced back to force a cutback that allowed teammate Tim Ream to block the subsequent shot.

Brazil qualifies for World Cup

Gonzales has shown improvement since moving to Liga MX side Pachuca, having won a title already with the Mexican club to go with his MLS Cup titles with the LA Galaxy, and with Bruce Arena back as U.S. coach, Gonzalez will have a serious chance to reclaim his starting U.S. center back role on a regular basis.


VILLAFANA'S DREAM CONTINUES


Folks wanting examples of how Bruce Arena differs from Jurgen Klinsmann need only look at Jorge Villafana, who couldn't get a look from Klinsmann when he was actually playing regularly for the Portland Timbers and Santos Laguna, but who Arena gave an opportunity even when he was stuck on the bench for the Mexican club.

Arena's faith has been rewarded, and now Villafana has turned a belated January camp invitation into a starting role in some key World Cup qualifiers. Villafana held up well against a tricky assignment in Panama winger and Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper, who danced down the right wing for much of the night, only to have Villafana stand up well to the challenge.

The left back position is wide open with the national team, but Villafana looks to be the leading option now, especially with Arena intent on playing Fabian Johnson in midfield when he is healthy. Greg Garza is showing promise with Atlanta United and should be in the conversation soon, but Villafana has taken Arena's faith and used it as a confidence boost that has even helped him earn more playing time for Santos Laguna. Based on how he played in the March qualifiers, Villafana looks like the first-choice left back option going forward.


DEMPSEY INCHES CLOSER TO SCORING MARK


Clint Dempsey USA

It wasn't one of Dempsey's toughest goals, but the goal he scored on Tuesday night was huge for the point it earned for the Americans, and because it edged him within a goal of tying Landon Donovan on the U.S. national team career scoring chart.

The 34-year-old forward turned in a 90-minute shift, and while he was clearly exhausted by the end, Dempsey put in the kind of work that shows why he remains a player Arena will count on through the rest of the Hex. Dempsey played in a different role on Tuesday night than he played last Friday. Against Honduras he played as a striker in a 4-4-2 with Pulisic working behind him and providing service. Against Panama, Dempsey worked underneath Altidore in a 4-2-3-1 where the former captain was going to see fewer chances, but have much more work to do defensively.

Schweinsteiger draws a crowd

Dempsey met that challenge, and also used his famous nose for goal to slide into perfect position, giving Pulisic a target to pass to immediately after his tide-turning steal. Four goals from two March qualifiers isn't bad at all, and what is even more encouraging is the fact Dempsey isn't even at full fitness yet. Given how sharp he already looks, it would be a good bet that he catches Donovan in June, and who knows? Maybe he can even break the record in Mexico City.


REAM ENDURES ANOTHER TOUGH MOMENT AGAINST PANAMA


Tim Ream Luis Tejada Panama vs. USA

Tim Ream officially hates Panama.

You can't really blame him considering two of the more forgettable moments of his national team career have come against the Canaleros. Back in the 2011 Gold Cup, Ream was burned for a goal that helped Panama upset the Americans. On Tuesday, Ream misplayed a long throw-in that hit him in the chest and fell to Gabriel Gomez for Panama's equalizer.

It was a moment to forget, but credit to Ream for continuing to fight and for making several big defensive plays down the stretch. The former New York Red Bulls and current Fulham defender has shown enough improvement to move past Matt Besler on the U.S. depth chart at left center back, but he didn't do enough against Panama to threaten John Brooks' hold on the starting spot.


ZUSI RIGHT BACK EXPERIMENT DRAWS MIXED RESULTS


Graham Zusi Alberto Quinteros Panama vs. USA

Graham Zusi started at right back on Tuesday in place of the injured Geoff Cameron. While Alberto Quintero didn't score a goal, you wouldn't call Zusi's performance a memorable one.

Arena isn't likely to mind too much. It's clear Zusi is still raw as a right back. He has a lot to learn and instincts to develop. More importantly, Zusi wound up at right back because of the rash of injuries that left out DeAndre Yedlin, Eric Lichaj, Fabian Johnson, Michael Orozco and Geoff Cameron.  As the sixth-best option at the position, Zusi wasn't terrible, though obviously he didn't have as good a night as the last time he played in Panama.

Neymar back to lead Brazil

And for anybody suggesting that Arena should have called in Timmy Chandler, have we really forgotten how absolutely terrible Chandler has been in his two trips to Central America? Chandler has enjoyed an outstanding season in the German Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt, but he has had enough stinkers with the United States to make any suggestions that he would definitely have been an upgrade highly questionable.

VIDEO: Trinidad and Tobago denied clear fifa15guide as match officials get decision horribly wrong

The hosts thought they had taken the lead against Mexico after a swift attacking move, only for it to be chalked off in a rather bizarre call

Trinidad and Tobago were denied a perfectly-fine goal during their World Cup qualifier against Mexico on Wednesday.

Brazil qualify for World Cup

The hosts thought they had taken the lead through a lightning-quick attacking move, only for the referee to chalk it off for offside.

However, the replay later showed that the goalscorer was quite clearly onside when finding the back of the net and the decision ultimately proved to be very costly indeed.

Mexico managed to build on that stroke of fortune as Diego Reyes scored after 58 minutes, in what proved to be the decisive winner during the contest.

Check out the video above!

fifa15guide | Now You Can Farm WoW Gold For Overwatch Loot Boxes And Hearthstone Cards

Thanks to a change in the way Blizzard’s WoW tokens work, players can now farm World of Warcraft gold and apply it towards credit for Overwatch loot boxes, Heroes of the Storm character unlocks and Hearthstone cards.

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WoW Tokens are items introduced to World of Warcraft to give players a way to buy subscription time for in-game gold while giving others a legitimate alternative to purchasing gold from third-party websites. The player in need of World of Warcraft currency can buy a WoW Token for $20 in cash, then sell it for a fixed amount of gold in the game’s auction house (current asking price on North American servers is 62,393 gold). Players buying these tokens at the auction house would then redeem them for 30 days of game time.

Starting today, players can trade those tokens for $15 of Battle.net credit instead of game time (amounts may vary by region). Here’s a video explanation of how that works.

Depending on your World of Warcraft gold farming acumen, this could be a nice way to turn that lazy grinding time into extra in-game items or even full digital Blizzard games. Check out the WoW Token feature page for more info.

Blizzard Bans Top World Of Warcraft Players For Trading Dungeon Runs For Cash – fifa15guide.net

It’s one thing to run a friend through a dungeon that might be a little too rough for them because you’re a Cool Pal. It’s something else entirely to do it for a rando and ask for real money in return. In World of Warcraft, the latter is unacceptable, and Blizzard’s started banning top players for it.

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According to PCGamesN, it’s become fairly commonplace for the cream of the game’s crop to boost players with less time (but more money) on their hands through tough dungeons. The boost-ee gets loot and achievements, and the boost-er gets real cash. Everybody wins… sorta. Blizzard, however, says they’re done turning a blind eye to these practices.

“We’ve recently taken action against a number of accounts that were actively participating in and/or advertising the sale of in-game raid or dungeon clears in exchange for real-world currency,” community manager Bret “Ornyx” Forbus wrote in a forum post. “Such behavior is a clear violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.”

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“Of the players affected, many were members of top raiding guilds,” he added. “We want to be clear that everyone we’ve taken action against had illustrated full knowledge and intent to violate the Terms of Use. Going forward, in order to ensure fair play and competitive integrity, we’ll be monitoring these activities much more closely in order to make sure that the rules are being followed. This includes selling services for real money, account-sharing, and other violations.”

Top raiders aren’t the only people who usher lower-tier players through WoW’s increasingly brutal theme parks, but Blizzard took aim at them for a reason.

“As some players have pointed out, we were indeed very conservative with this initial round of actions, and only issued penalties to a handful of the most egregious offenders who had blatantly and openly violated our terms of service,” wrote global community engagement manager Josh “Lore” Allen. “These are meant to serve as a warning to all players who participate in such activities, as we intend for future actions to be much more comprehensive, and the punishments more severe.”

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Heck of a warning shot, given how much work top WoW players put into their characters. That’s thousands and thousands of hours down the drain. Everybody else, learn from their mistakes or face some seriously gnarly consequences.

Blizzard Demands $8.5 Million In Legal Battle Against Cheat Maker – fifa15guide.net

Blizzard’s been waging a legal war against cheat maker Bossland, maker of prominent cheat programs for games like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Heroes of the Storm, for years. Bossland’s latest tactic? They’ve just stopped responding entirely.

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Blizzard most recently went after Bossland last summer, when they filed suit over the group’s now-unavailable Overwatch program, Watchover Tyrant. At the time, Blizzard said Bossland’s cheats were “continuing to cause, massive and irreparable harm to Blizzard” by violating copyrights and terms of service, potentially causing players to stop playing Overwatch, or not buy it at all.

The German group, who you might recognize as the creator of WoW’s Honorbuddy cheat program, failed to have Blizzard’s latest suit dismissed over lack of jurisdiction earlier this year. Ever since then, they’ve been silent, even going so far as to ignore an ultimatum from a German court in which they had 24 hours to reply.

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According to TorrentFreak, Blizzard has now submitted a motion for default judgment. They want $8,563,600 in damages, a number they calculated by taking Bossland’s testimony that they’ve sold 118,939 products to users in the United States since July of 2013 and approximating that 36 percent of them were cheats for Blizzard games. Blizzard claims that adds up to 42,818 infringements, for a total just north of $8.5 million.

It’s quite a bit of money, but Blizzard claims they’re actually low-balling it. “While Blizzard would surely be entitled to seek a larger amount, Blizzard seeks only minimum statutory damages,” they said.

Blizzard also added that they believe Bossland has gone radio silent to avoid getting cuffed by Johnny Law in the United States.

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“Bossland’s decision to default is a calculated and bad-faith tactic designed to shield its unlawful conduct from the reach of United States law,” wrote Blizzard. “By defaulting, Bossland apparently hopes to block Blizzard from taking any discovery into its conduct, thereby concealing from Blizzard the scope of its unlawful conduct, the amount of revenue it has received from the Bossland Hacks, and the whereabouts of its assets.”

“Bossland also hopes that by hiding this information it may avoid a monetary judgment or render any judgment that may be entered against it either unenforceable in the courts of Germany or uncollectable,” Blizzard added. “Thus, Bossland hopes that it will be able to continue to conduct business as usual, and that Blizzard will be unable to avail itself of the relief to which it is entitled.”

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Unsurprisingly, Bossland has yet to reply.

World Of Warcraft Demon Knows Damn Well Who Summoned It on fifa15guide

World of Warcraft Redditor LawsuitEsq has crafted an eloquent answer to the question Felguard demons have been asking their Warlock masters over and over again since 2007. “Oh, I don’t know Zhevdarr. Take a wild fucking guess who summoned you. Again.” 

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I didn’t dabble much in the Warlock class until last year’s Legion expansion pack, but it doesn’t take long to get tired of the Felguard’s bullshit. When a Warlock summons a demon, they are essentially paired for life. The demon gets a name, and from there on out that’s the demon who arrives when the call is put forth. So yeah, I feel LawsuitEsq’s frustration.

“Everyday with this bullshit Zhev. It’s not even everyday it’s every time I fly anywhere. You were just near me, summoned, as usual, and I gave you a cat nap into the Nether realm of forgetfulness apparently and when you pop back out it’s the same question. YES I SUMMONED YOU.”

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Why do Felguards gotta be like that? I like to imagine they’re sort of like Dory from Finding Nemo, and every summon feels like the first time. LawsuitEsq has their own ideas.  

“Are you seeing other Warlocks on the side? Is this just some diversity quota where we needed the first alcoholic demon to include everyone? Surprise asshole its ME AGAIN and I will keep summoning you until the devs give me a lone wolf style talent. So buckle up buttercup, I’m dragging your half-wit ass through everything and no matter how many times you ask “Who Dares Summon Me” IT WILL ALWAYS BE ME.”

In truth the Felguard voice is a carry over from the voice of the Doomguard, which in vanilla World of Warcraft was a very special demon that required a sacrifice to call forth and would often go out of control, randomly killing innocent mailbox dancers. I’d say an update is in order, but it’s been a decade now, and Warlocks have gotten used to it. We’ll fight alongside the Felguard, but we don’t have to like it.

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Or as LawsuitEsq puts it: “tl;dr Fuck Zhevdarr.”

fifa15guide | What To Expect In World Of Warcraft's Big Tomb Of Sargeras Update

World of Warcraft gets one of its biggest updates yet on Tuesday, as the Legion expansion’s demon war reaches a fever pitch. Update 7.2 gives players a chance to take the battle directly to the demons’ front door, when they aren’t busy learning to fly, battling through the pet dungeon or engaging in new PVP brawls.

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The key focus of the Tomb of Sargeras update is the Broken Shore zone, the scene of the devastating events that launched the Legion expansion pack, leaving both the Alliance and Horde under new leadership. Now players get a chance to strike back. It begins with a multi-stage Assault on Broken Shore event, which leads to players establishing a base on the Isle.

Players will be able to continue their Class quests in the Broken Shore zone as they farm war supplies to construct benefit-giving buildings. Some demons will drop beacons that summon waves of attackers, leading to a raid boss encounter. Players will also gain access to the Cathedral of Eternal Night dungeon, where I am guessing it’s always pretty dark? Sure.

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Meanwhile, in the rest of the Broken Isles, players will be participating in Legion Assaults, as the demons up the aggression factor. These special events (which are optional) function sort of like the Demon Invasions that plagued Azeroth proper leading up to the expansion launch, though these will use Legion’s world quest system. During these events players will get a chance to participate in three-man assaults against the Legion command ship leading the incursion.

What else? Players interested in flying in the Broken Isles will be able to take on the second part of the quest line to unlock not walking everywhere. Pet battlers will be able to journey into a new Wailing Cavern dungeon built specifically for Pokemon-style pet battles. And, taking a page from Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch, every other week will see a different player-versus-player battleground brawl, featuring unique twists on classic PVP battles.

I let my World of Warcraft playing lapse a bit after my first two months with Legion—I wasn’t much for the dungeon grind. Sounds like there’ll be plenty of new stuff to draw me right back in when Tomb of Sargeras update 7.2 drops next week.

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Check out the official page for more details on what’s coming.

Veteran strikers turn back time to boost European big guns on fifa15guide

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THE DAY REPLAYED – It often seems that international teams are in a constant state of renewal, as experienced stalwarts give way to the latest wunderkinds. But now and again veterans get a second chance to show what they can do, as England’s Jermain Defoe and Germany’s Mario Gomez did with aplomb during the latest round of European qualifying matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. 

FIFA.com runs the rule over all of Sunday’s qualifying action. 

Results
Group C: Azerbaijan 1-4 Germany, San Marino 0-6 Czech Republic, Northern Ireland 2-0 Norway
Group E: Armenia 2-0 Kazakhstan, Montenegro 1-2 Poland, Romania 0-0 Denmark
Group F: England 2-0 Lithuania, Malta 1-3 Slovakia, Scotland 1-0 Slovenia 

Match of the day
Montenegro 1-2 Poland
First travelled to second in Group E, and leaders Poland took the lead through their star forward and captain, Robert Lewandowski, who fired home a gem of a free-kick. In the second half, Montenegro stepped up the pressure and found a deserved equaliser via Stefan Mugosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. It wasn’t to be for the Hrabri Sokoli, however, as the experienced Lukasz Piszczek lobbed a crucial winner for the Poles eight minutes from time.

Elsewhere
In Group C, world champions Germany took another step towards defending their title in Russia next year by outclassing a plucky Azerbaijan side 4-1. Mario Gomez, who was not included in Die Nationalelf’s squad for Brazil 2014 and who was not even certain to travel to UEFA EURO 2016 (although Joachim Low eventually took him to France), once again proved his worth to his country, heading home the third goal in Baku. Andre Schurrle and Thomas Muller, who have had inconsistent seasons at club level, gave themselves a confidence boost by also getting on the scoresheet. 

Two of the Czech Republic’s three largest-ever wins have come against San Marino: 7-0, in 2006, and then again in 2009. On Sunday, the Czechs came close to equalling that scoreline, but in the end they had to be content with a 6-0 victory. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, snatched the lead versus Norway in the second minute through Jamie Ward. Conor Washington’s goal sealed a 2-0 success, which enabled Michael O’Neill’s men to retain second spot in the section.

 

TEXT

Back in Group E, Armenia defeated Kazakhstan 2-0 in Yerevan, their captain and high-profile playmaker Henrik Mkhitaryan scoring the opening goal of a win that keeps his country in a four-way race for second place behind frontrunners Poland. Two of the other teams vying for that runners-up slot, Romania and Denmark, drew 0-0.

Now 34, and three and a half years after his last international match, Jermain Defoe showed that he still has something to offer at this level, finding the net in the 22nd minute of England’s comfortable 2-0 win over Lithuania. The Three Lions, who are still to concede a goal in Group F, thereby preserved their significant lead at the top, ahead of Slovakia, who came away from Malta with three points, and Slovenia, who were beaten late on by a resurgent Scotland.

Player of the day
If recent events are anything to go by, playing in Turin can do wonders for a goalkeeping career. After Juventus No1 Gianluigi Buffon celebrated his 1,000th professional match, his Torino counterpart Joe Hart had his own moment in the sun. Hart’s clean sheet against Lithuania enabled England to become the only team in World Cup qualifying, all confederations combined, not to have let in a single goal. Remarkably, the English goal has not been breached for a total of 450 minutes.

The stat
4 – Against Northern Ireland, Norway fell to their fourth defeat in five qualifying matches, and are now highly likely to miss out on Russia 2018. Having finished top of their qualifying groups for USA 1994 and France 1998, the Scandinavians subsequently missed out on the four World Cups that followed, and will probably have to wait another four years to gain another chance of returning to the global stage. 

Did you know?
If England are now the only team not to have conceded a goal thus far, it is down to Germany having to pick the ball out of their own net for the first time during this qualifying campaign. It was the sprightly Dimitrij Nazarov who managed to pick the lock of the German defence, a feat he is likely to boast about when his returns to his club, 2. Bundesliga outfit Erzgebirge Aue. In fact, the Azerbaijani front man has played his football in Germany since 2009.

What they said
“We allowed them into the match a lot more than we should have. We were a little bit arrogant – I don’t think that’s a good thing. That made the game much more difficult than it needed to be,” Germany defender Mats Hummels.