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For France, Way to World Cup Go... Go…

Posted October. 13, 2005 07:06,   


“Art Soccer,” France’s destiny will be decided on October 13.

So far, a total of 24 countries have secured their spots for the 2006 Germany World Cup finals (32 countries). Eight countries have yet to obtain berths in the World Cup finals. Out of the eight, three countries will be confirmed in Europe on October 13.

It is a matter of primary concern whether or not France can play in the World Cup finals. On October 13, France (17 points) can add three points as it will face a relatively weak team, Cyprus, in its final preliminary match. France is currently third in Group 4. The problem is the match between second place Switzerland (17 points) and fourth place Ireland (16 points). If Ireland wins, France will dramatically finish in first place, but in the opposite case, France has to overcome the goal difference (four) with Switzerland. If France fails, it will be ranked second and have to go through the playoff matches. Israel (18 points) is now in the most disadvantageous position because it has finished all its games.

Sweden (Group 8), which is preparing for a tryout match against Korea, will advance to the finals unless it loses its last match against Ireland by more than 10 goals. In Group 7, Serbia-Montenegro is also likely to confirm its first place slot in a match against Bosnia. However, second place Spain still has a possibility to edge Serbia-Montenegro for first place.

Meanwhile, the playoff matches between the continents (Asia-North and Central America, South America-Oceania, one ticket each) and Europe playoff matches (for three tickets) will take place next month.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com