World Cup dismay for host Qatar as Ecuador wins opening game
From left, England’s Harry Maguire, Belgium’s Vincent Kompany, Colombia, Costa Rica and Chile, all with goals, celebrate after Colombia’s goals in the World Cup qualifying round match between Ecuador and Colombia at the El Madrigal Stadium in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, Aug. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Quito, Ecuador, Aug. 2, 2015 — From the outset, FIFA’s latest folly in the Middle East could be called the World Cup of soccer.
From the outset, the World Cup of soccer could be called the World Cup of Qatar.
In the opening game of the South American qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, Ecuador’s footballing future is in the balance after a 2-0 defeat to Colombia.
In a World Cup of soccer, there is a huge difference between a World Cup semifinal and a World Cup quarterfinal.
On Tuesday, the group-stage winner was Argentina’s 2-0 win over Mexico, which meant there was still a chance that a team from CONCACAF could advance and advance, with a two-goal lead — or more.
But after a scoreless draw between El Salvador and Honduras ended it as an ugly, maddening game of two halves, it became clear the soccer officials, and FIFA, have no idea what to do.
No doubt, when Honduras played El Salvador, the Salvadoran players and fans knew the only option was to take a few lumps, because their team was never going to win the World Cup. But when Honduras played El Salvador, the Honduran players never seemed to know what to do.
After a loss to Argentina, it didn’t seem to matter how many goals Argentina scored in the tournament. The final result was always going to be the same.
The question is: Where is FIFA’s soccer brain?