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10.11.2009

United States qualify for South Africa 2010 as they beat Honduras 2-3

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The talented Conor Casey scored his first international goals and that was exactly what the United States needed to book a place in next year's World Cup. The american team made an excelent comeback to defeat Honduras 3-2.

Almost 45,000 Honduran fans arived at the Estadio Olímpico in San Pedro Sula, uniting behind their national team despite the domestic political strife dominating international headlines. After a scoreless first half that saw both sides shooting off-target, the second half turned into an instant classic with the U.S. getting the deciding goal in the 71st minute from a free kick by midfielder Landon Donovan.

The strong Conor Casey provided the heroics for the U.S., scoring the first two goals of his international career in the 55th and 66th minutes, and setting up the Donovan freekick. It was Casey’s third appearance in the 2010 qualifying cycle, and the 15th of his career.

The central american team faithful thought their side would draw even in the 87th minute when the referee awarded a penalty kick in their favor. The veteran Carlos Pavon, the all-time leading scorer for Honduras with 55 career goals, shockingly blasted his penalty over the crossbar. Despite the bad luck, the Honduran crowd showed their class by offering the U.S. team a warm ovation at the end of the game.

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Ivory Coast is in the World Cup: Super Drogba did it again!

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It was a tough moment for Ivory Coast against Malawi and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba came off the bench to reach a 1-1 draw and get the tickets for next summer World Cup.

This result helepd Ivorians join Ghana and hosts South Africa in next year's big Cup but the battle for three remaining berths from the region hung in the balance.

Another powerhouse, Cameroon, stayed ahead in Group A after dispatching Togo 3-0 in Yaounde, while African champions Egypt still on the run with a 1-0 away win in Zambia.

With the Ivorians needing only a draw against bottom placed Malawi in their qualifying match in Blantyre, coach Vahid Halilhodzic rested most of his key players for what was presumed a routine challenge.

But it was not going to be that easy. Malawi scored first through Jacob Ngwira, and Halilhodzic was forced to introduce the might of Drogba, who had been left on the bench along with Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure.

Drogba proved to be one of the best african players of all times. He needed just three minutes to score the equalizer and take his country to the most important football tournament in the world.

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England defeated by Ukraine, Rooney out of next game

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Capello's team was already in the World Cup but they didn't expect to lose this match. Actually, the british team not only lost the game but also their main star, Wayne Rooney due to a calf strain.

Ukraine defeated England by 1-0 but it was really hard to achieve for the former soviet team. Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko had earlier hit a penalty against the post after goalkeeper Robert Green had been sent off.

Ukraine's triumph means it climbed above Croatia into second place in Group 6. The eight best runners-up in the nine groups will go into the playoffs, with second-place Norway in Group 9 expected to miss out.

As for Rooney, he got through the entire game so learning about his physical problem kind of surprised fans and journalists. He must now undergo treatment in the hope of being fit for United's Premier League encounter with Bolton.

Wayne will also be making the reverse journey to Ben Foster, who was named as Green's replacement given the West Ham keeper is now suspended for the Belarus encounter, one of only three remaining before manager Fabio Capello has to name his team for South Africa 2010.

It's important to remember that Capello's team, with impressive wins in their first eight games, had already ensured automatic qualification to the world Cup before the defeat to Ukraine.

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