Thursday, November 17, 2005

World Cup Field Set

After yesterday's playoffs, all 32 nations have now qualified for the World Cup next year in Germany. Here's a list by region.

Africa
The big surprise here is the absence of Nigerian and Cameroon, who've acquitted themselves very well in the last few world cups.
  • Angola
  • Ghana (welcome back!)
  • Ivory Coast
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
Asia
This group shapes up according to form. No real surprises here, as Bahrain loses to Trinidad & Tobago in a playoff. I guess they didn't deserve five spots from Asia after all.
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
Europe
Always the largest contingent. I don't want to be around if Croatia ends up playing Serbia & Montenegro. Surprises? The lack of Ireland and Denmark, who had been qualifying regularly.
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • England
  • France
  • Germany (Hosts)
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Serbia & Montenegro
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
North America
The group I know the most about obviously. The U.S. wins and qualifies earlier than they have during their modern run. I'd relish another game against Mexico on this stage. Congrats to the Soca Warriors.
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Trinidad & Tobago (their first trip)
  • United States (finishing first in their region)
Oceania
This really surprises me. I thought Uruguay would take care of them without a problem. Welcome back anyway Socceroos.
  • Australia (after a 32 year drought)
South America
Losing that playoff has to hurt a bit. Argentina and Brazil are always favorites.
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Paraguay
I'll wait until after the draw to figure out exactly where and when I'll be heading across the pond for a couple weeks next summer.

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