World Cup qualification intensifies for City's starsFive of City’s Internationals were in action for their countries this weekend with more set to be involved this midweek as we head into the second round of matches of this International break.
With qualification for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil now in its final stages, midfield duo Gary Medel and Aron Gunnarsson edged closer to claiming their place in Brazil next summer with their respective countries.
Gary Medel played the full 90 minutes of Chile’s 3-3 draw with Colombia on Friday night. ‘La Roja’ and Medel looked in good shape as they fired home a three goal advantage with just half an hour on the clock, only to see a Radamel Falcao inspired Colombia mount an impressive fight back in the second half to claim a 3-3 draw, a result that secured their place in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Chile remain in the driving seat to qualify for next summer’s competition however, but require a draw against Ecuador in Santiago on Wednesday evening. A draw for both sides would be enough, a result that would see both countries qualify for the World Cup and leave Uruguay having to play-off for a spot in FIFA’s ultimate competition.
Aron Gunnarsson’s hopes of featuring in Brazil next summer are also still very much alive following a commanding 2-0 victory over Cyprus in Reykjavik on Friday night. Goals from Ajax striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson and Tottenham Hotspur’s Gylfi Sigurdsson were enough to maintain Iceland’s place in pole position for a second placed finish in Group E.
Captain Gunnarsson now leads his country into a vital qualification finale with Norway on Tuesday night where a victory would secure a play-off spot for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
Looking to prepare for the next qualification campaign, Wales beat Macedonia 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night in a game that saw young full-back Declan John make his first senior appearance for his country, playing the full 90 minutes alongside fellow Bluebird Craig Bellamy.
The pair now travel to Belgium and Brussels for Wales’ final qualification match on Tuesday night; a party atmosphere is set to greet Chris Coleman’s side with Belgium already celebrating a first World Cup qualification with an unbeaten campaign so far bringing a first World Cup qualification since 2002 for Marc Wilmots side.
One team that has already secured their place in next summer’s finals are South Korea and they continued their preparations against the hosts Brazil on Saturday, losing 2-0 in Seoul as Kim Bo Kyung played 78 minutes before being replaced by FC Seoul’s Yo-Han Ko. Korea now face Mali in Cheonan on Tuesday night.
Elsewhere, City ‘keeper David Marshall will look to hold on to Scotland’s number one jersey as they face their final qualification match against Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday night where a win could see them leapfrog Wales should Chris Coleman’s side drop points in Belgium.
Meanwhile City youngster Tommy O’Sullivan was on the bench of Geraint Williams’ Wales Under-21 squad as they secured a 2-0 win over Lithuania. The Welsh youngsters now host San Marino in Bangor next Tuesday before the campaign resumes away to England next March.