It was a World Cup Qualifying international break, and the weekend turned out better for some nations than others. Here are the four teams and people who ended up with the worst case of the Mondays today.
You’d expect the 30th-ranked team in the world to beat the 65th-ranked team in the world — but not this badly.A turmoil-ridden United States — albeit coming off a lately incredibly disappointing Klinsmann era and settling into old-new coach Bruce Arena, as well as sitting dead last in their qualifying group — was of course favorited to win. They are theoretically a better team, playing a relatively poor Honduras with only 1 win so far in qualifying. But the fact that the U.S. won 6-0 was relatively shocking; this is the same United States that just lost 4-0 to Costa Rica just four months ago, after all. At least, it’s shocking in theory, because the way Honduras were playing they could’ve easily given up more.Now, Honduras are the ones at the bottom of the group. Their -5 goal difference (thanks to the United States) keeps them below both the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago, also on 1 point. There’s still a relatively long way to go, but it isn’t looking great right now.
In Ireland’s World Cup Qualifying match against Wales, captain Seamus Coleman fractured two parts of his leg after a horrifically dangerous tackle from Neil Taylor. He underwent successful surgery after the match but is likely to be out til the beginning of 2018 — missing the rest of Ireland’s qualifying, as well as the rest of Everton’s Premier League season and the beginning of the next.The defender played a big part of getting Ireland to the knockout stages of Euro 2016, and he’s helped Everton get up to 7th place so far this season while conceding only 30 goals. His absence will be a big loss for both club and country, as Everton is just slightly behind a Europa league spot and Ireland hopes to secure a spot in the 2018 World Cup.Speedy recovery, Seamus.
The Netherlands are in trouble.A 2-0 loss to Belgium sees them 4th in their qualifying group, 6 points off 1st (for an automatic qualification) and 3 points off 2nd (for a playoff spot), which puts them on track to possibly miss the second major tournament in a row (after Euro 2016 last summer).To give them a boost for the last five games of qualifying — starting back up in June — they’ve also fired their manager, Danny Blind, and look to find a replacement that will jumpstart their chances — just like they did right during Euro 2016 qualifying, incidentally, in hiring Blind. Unlike last time, will this change of pace be enough? Or do the Netherlands simply not have enough quality in the squad to get them where they need to be?
Alexis Sanchez just cannot catch a break.In the midst of Arsenal’s troublesome season that have reportedly set his eyes on greener pastures, his Chile lost 1-0 to Argentina in the latest round of World Cup qualifying. As it stands now, the team that has missed the last two qualifying berths look set to miss another as they sit in 6th. They’re a whopping 10 points out of first — albeit only 3 out of second, with an easy win coming up against last-place Venezuela. Brazil might be difficult to catch, but Chile do have a shot at a playoff spot. (Whether they’ll win that, though, is another question.)Too bad another national team can’t buy him out of his contract like someone might at the Emirates...