Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2013 Contents A63
Thursday, September 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Italy and the Netherlands became
the first European teams to qualify
for next year s World Cup, and the
United States, Costa Rica and
Argentina also grabbed spots in the
field on yesterday.
Giorgio Chiellini scored in the 51st
minute and Mario Balotelli converted
a penalty in the 54th, giving Italy a
2-1 come-from-behind win over the
Czech Republic in Turin. Goalkeeper
Gianluigi Buffon made his 136th
international appearance, matching
Fabio Cannavaro s Italian record.
The Azzurri, a four-time World
Cup-winner, clinched first place in
Group B and will be appearing in
football s top tournament for the
14th straight time.
"Now we can celebrate everything.
I m even happier with my personal
record after we ve qualified," Buffon
Libor Kozak had scored in the 19th
minute for the Czechs. With little
chance to qualify, Czech coach
Michal Bilek resigned after the game.
Robin Van Persie s goals in the
49th and 53rd minutes lifted the
Netherlands to a 2-0 win at Andorra.
The Oranje, a three-time World Cup
runner up, won Group D.
They joined host Brazil and Asian
nations Australia, Iran, Japan and
South Korea in the 32-team field for
the World Cup, which kicks off June
12.Second-half goals by Eddie John-
son and Landon Donovan lifted the
United States to a 2-0 home victory
over Mexico. The US then secured
its seventh straight World Cup
appearance when Honduras drew 2-
2 against Panama.
"We wanted to qualify for the
World Cup. We ve done that. Now
we ve got to make sure we do well
in Brazil," said Clint Dempsey.
The U.S. moved into first place in
the CONCACAF qualifying group
with 16 points from eight of 10
scheduled games, one ahead of Costa
Rica, which was held to a 1-1 draw
at last-placed Jamaica, but still
wrapped up a spot for Brazil.
Two-time champion Argentina
got in with a 5-2 victory over
Paraguay, sealing its spot with two
games to spare in South American
Uruguay had a 2-0 home win over
Colombia to move into fifth place,
behind fourth-placed Ecuador on
goal difference. The top four teams
qualify directly for the World Cup
while the fifth team reaches a further
Colombia s defeat prevented it
from sealing its World Cup berth
and it remains second, three points
behind Argentina. Colombia is
assured of finishing no lower than
fifth, as is third-placed Chile, which
did not play on Tuesday.
Venezuela won 3-2 at home over
Peru, keeping alive its qualification
hopes, sitting three points behind
In Europe, the nine group winners
qualify, and eight second-place teams
advance to playoffs in November
that will determine four additional
Three-time champion Germany
won 3-0 at the Faeroe Islands
through goals by Per Merteswacker
and Thomas Mueller around Mesut
Ozil s penalty, getting in position to
clinch Group C next month. Sweden
is second after winning 1-0 at Kaza-
khstan, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic
scoring in the first minute.
England drew 0-0 at Ukraine as
Frank Lampard made his 100th
international appearance, leaving the
Three Lions atop Group H with two
games left, one point ahead of Mon-
tenegro and Ukraine.
Russia moved into the Group F
lead ahead of Portugal by defeating
visiting Israel 3-1 on goals by Vasiliy
Berezutsky, Aleksandr Kokorin and
France twice came from behind
to win 4-2 at Belarus as Franck
Ribery scored twice and Samir Nasri
and Paul Pogba added goals. Defend-
ing champion Spain leads France on
goal difference in Group I.
Switzerland won 2-0 at Norway
on a pair of Fabian Schaer goals in
Group E and can finish first by win-
ning one of its last two games, at
Albania and home against Slovenia.
Bosnia-Herzegovina leads Greece
in Group C after beating Latvia 1-
0 as the Greeks defeated Slovakia.
In the second leg of the Asian
playoff, Jordan beat Uzbekistan 9-
8 on penalties after a 1-1 draw left
the aggregate 2-2.
Jordan will play South America s
fifth-place team in a two-leg playoff
in November for berth.
sat on a podium and smiled after
guiding the United States into its
seventh straight World Cup.
Not to minimise the accom-
plishment, but the former German
star player and coach will be
judged not on reaching soccer s
elite tournament, but on how well
the United States performs in
Brazil next year.
"The team s success, especially
in official competitions and dif-
ficult games in Europe has been
very good," US Soccer Federation
President Sunil Gulati said yes-
terday, "but I think everyone
understands that the World Cup
is a different level."
Beating Mexico by the now tra-
ditional "dos a cero" score at
Columbus Crew Stadium on
Tuesday night, the Americans
have now won four straight home
qualifiers against El Tri by 2-0.
Klinsmann helped Germany
win the 1990 World Cup and the
1996 European Championship,
then retired as a player two years
later and moved to California with
his American wife. He commuted
from Orange Country to Germany
for a two-year stint as coach, lead-
ing his nation to the semifinals of
the World Cup it hosted in 2006,
Gulati recruited him later that
year to succeed Bruce Arena but
couldn t reach an agreement on
his authority. But after the US
played listlessly during the 2011
Concacaf Gold Cup, Gulati ended
Klinsmann s five-year stretch as
coach-in-waiting and hired him
at a $2.5 million annual salary to
replace Bob Bradley.
Results have been impressive:
25 wins, nine losses and six ties,
including the Americans first vic-
tory over four-time world cham-
pion Italy, their triumph at Mexico
City s Azteca Stadium and their
first Gold Cup title since 2007.
He s already fifth on the US career
wins list, trailing only Arena (71),
Bradley (43), Bora Milutinovic (30)
and Steve Sampson (26).
"The best thing he s done is
created lots of competition, and
so every time you step on the field
you have to perform or you re not
going to step on the field the next
time," star attacker Landon Dono-
van said. "It s not in a pressure
way, but it s in an accountability
In his first weeks, he stripped
players names off jersey backs
and went to the old soccer
method of changing numbers
from game to game and assigning
the starters Nos. 1-11 based on
position. He wanted to encourage
"It s a pretty good system. It s
the way it works in Europe, like
nothing is yours forever," goal-
keeper Tim Howard said then. "I
don t think some of the younger
guys quite get it."
Klinsmann s methods seem
more suited to the US at times
than to Germany, which has an
entrenched soccer tradition and
resistance to change. He was hired
to coach Bayern Munich, one of
his old clubs, in July 2008 but was
fired the following April.
Klinsmann hired Phoenix-
based Athletes Performance, a
company he worked with during
his time with Germany and Bay-
ern. The company develops train-
ing and nutritional plans for each
And players time on the prac-
tice field lengthened considerably.
"Maybe two years ago they
wondered, What is this all about?
All this extra work, all this extra
here, extra there. Now it s just
normal," he said. "The players
come in, they know there are dou-
ble sessions waiting for them. The
players know what we expect tac-
tically. The players know that
there s another guy behind them
in every position, that if he doesn t
give everything he has, the next
one steps in and steals him his
Ready for Rio
...USA among early qualifiers
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini scores the equalising goal during the 2014 World Cup Group B qualifying soccer
match between Italy and Czech Republic at the Juventus stadium in Turin, Italy, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Test for Klinsmann will be at WCup
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