Last call for the boat to South Africa

World Cup 2010 Qualification

World Cup 2010.

World Cup 2010 Qualification

Saturday sees the penultimate day of World Cup 2010 qualifiers with nine of the 32 places still up for grabs.

Already qualified

HOSTS: South Africa
AFRICA: Ghana, Ivory Coast
ASIA: Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea
EUROPE: Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
S. AMERICA: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina
N./C. AMERICA: Mexico, USA, Honduras

Can still qualify

AFRICA: Cameroon or Gabon, Tunisia or Nigeria, Egypt or Algeria
EUROPE: Eire or France, Portugal or Bosnia & Herzg., Greece or Ukraine, Russia or Slovenia
AMERICAS: Costa Rica or Uruguay
ASIA/OCEANIA: Bahrain or New Zealand

The winner-takes-all North African derby between Egypt and Algeria stands out as the pick of tomorrow's ties.

Finals favourites Cameroon will stamp their ticket if they beat Morocco in Fez, but a draw will suffice for the Indomitable Lions if Gabon fail to win in Togo.

In Europe, 1998 World Cup holders and 2006 finalists France are the biggest potential casualty, with Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland ready to cut the ropes. Cristiano Ronaldo could also be absent if Portugal slip up against the dark horses of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The first leg of the trans-American playoff between Costa Rica and Uruguay kicks off in San Jose, C.R. The Ticos were pipped from automatic passage by a last-gasp goal in their final qualifier, but Los Charruas of Uruguay remain favourites with the second leg on Wednesday in Montevideo.

Further afield, New Zealand look set to return to the finals for the first time since 1982. The All-Whites need only a 1-0 win over Bahrain in Wellington to qualify.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile


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