Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers

4 Heavyweight Nations Who Won’t Be At The FIFA World Cup

Now we know approximately half the teams who will be on the plane to Russia next summer. Likewise, those who will follow proceedings from the comfort of their homes.

Forget the hypocrisy that international football is boring, everyone wants their nation to be amply represented at the FIFA World Cup. At least for the pride. But sadly, there are only 31 available tickets (minus host nation). Meaning every point in time, a big side risks missing out on the Mundial.

Well, the 21st edition hasn’t exactly been an exception. Bar the African zone, automatic slots is all but done and dusted. While the likes of Iceland and Panama have qualified for the global showpiece for the first time, it wasn’t the same for some of the regular customers.

Here are four heavyweight teams, among them regional champions, who failed to make the forthcoming party in Eastern Europe.

1 – Netherlands

Three-time runner-up, Netherlands, is the biggest casualty of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Oranje’s fate was sealed even before their final Group A clash with Sweden on Tuesday. To stand any chance of leapfrogging their opponents into the playoff spot, Holland needed to win by seven clear goals. Well, that was never going to happen, especially for a team who’ve botched up throughout the qualifying series. Of course, Dick Advocaat’s lads did win but by an inconsequential two-goal margin. As such failed to qualify for two successive international tournaments after missing out on last year’s European Championship.

2 – Chile

In ninth position, Chile is the highest ranked team who failed to secure a place in next year’s competition. Unlike the Netherlands, La Roja was very much in contention going into their last round of game against Brazil. With a draw enough to guarantee them at least a playoff spot. But shockingly, the reigning South American champions were soundly beaten 3-0 in Sao Paulo on Wednesday morning. Though they finished level on points with Peru, it was Ricardo Gareca’s men, not them, who will face New Zealand, owing to their superior goal difference.

3 – USA

Not many countries have been fortunate enough to qualify for the world cup finals. But the United States Male Soccer Team has done so on 10 occasions – not missing out on the Mundial since 1986. With such impeccable record, Bruce Arena’s team were fancied to maintain their impressive streak, requiring just a point against bottom-placed Trinidad and Tobago to do that. Football, however, is not always predictable. The Stars and Stripes surprisingly slumped to a 2-1 defeat, ultimately finishing outside the top four in the CONCACAF hexagonal.

4 – Cameroon

Egypt may be Africa’s record seven-time champion, but it is Cameroon who runs the rule when it comes to the global stage with the corresponding number of appearances. In fact, the Indomitable Lions were the first side from the region to reach the quarter-final in 1990. Yet, their previous record counted for nothing in a pool which had Nigeria, Algeria and Zambia – all continental heavyweights. But perhaps, their watershed moment was a surprise 4-0 defeat against the Super Eagles and then a stalemate in the reverse fixture. Nigeria was by far the best side all through the qualifiers, no wonder they booked their place ahead of all other nations.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

Leave a Comment: