World Cup playoff draw – your views

October 19, 2009

Draw for the European World Cup playoffs:

Republic of Ireland v France
Portugal v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Greece v Ukraine
Russia v Slovenia

Two-legged ties to be played on Nov 14 and 18.

Is that the sound of a World Cup playoff shock I hear? France, 2006 runners-up, will have to beat Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland over two legs to reach South Africa next year and that is no easy feat.

The Irish were unbeaten in qualifying and drew with world champions Italy twice while with Trapattoni as coach they have the wiliest of wily foxes, whatever you think of his English.
 
We talked a lot on this blog about the controversy over seedings but it would be hard to separate Greece and Ukraine on paper let alone on the field.

Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo struggled in qualifying and just scraped the playoffs so let’s not discount proud Bosnia yet. Is Guus Hiddink destined for another World Cup with Russia? Let us know what you think in the comments.

PHOTO: France team, Oct 14. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

15 comments

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To be fair its a tough draw for france!
ireland are still undefeated in this campaign and we believe this squad can go all the way to south africa.
We were unbeaten in 2 games against the world champions so france will be a doddle… :-)

Posted by barry | Report as abusive

Out of the top seeds, i think France have the toughest job despite being at home in the 2nd leg. They are no longer the power they once were and the Irish have proved tough nuts to crack in qualifing. Hopefully a noisey croker will give Ireland a lead and something to hold on to in Paris. Come on you boys in green!!!!

Posted by Ollie | Report as abusive

Giovanni Trapattoni has moulded Ireland into a very hard team to beat indeed. If France fails to score in Croke Park or even lose, there is definitely a chance of an upset over two legs.

Posted by Richard Chambers | Report as abusive

Portugal are very, very lucky. Anyone would think FIFA wanted cristiano Ronaldo at thee world cup at any cost. Portugal v greece would have been pretty good considering what happened at euro 2004.

Posted by Reese weatherspoons | Report as abusive

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Well done Bosnia! If Dzeko, and Ibisevic run out, this is going to be a challenging task for Cristina and Co.

Posted by Simple | Report as abusive

South Africa didnt even need to qualify and they’ve sacked their coach Joel Santana today. That might put the wind up Domenech…

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

bad luck for France. i seriously doubt Trapattoni wont win the playoff. i know because i saw what he can can, he was on Benfica, and he is very treacherous. Portugal is the lucky team in this draw but it will not be easy. i saw Bosnia-Herzegovina play and they have a nice football. Besides, the patriotism they have will be a strong factor that Portugal will have to face. its going to be a good game.

i hope that in spite of the rules were changed when the competition was already running, that the teams respect each other and give good football matches.

Go Portugal!!!

Posted by SLBenfica | Report as abusive

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What time was the draw made? I was listening to French Radio at 12.50 pm and heard France had drawn Ireland (or so I thought – my French isn’t great). Irish radio didn’t have the news until 13.25! Where was the draw made?

Posted by Cian | Report as abusive

I think it’s very convenient for the teams who are expected to make the world cup (france) to change the rules regarding the seedings. I don’t think it will do them much good as I expect Ireland to win by the odd goal over the two legs.

Posted by MIchael McCormack | Report as abusive

The draw was made in Zurich Cian at 1400 CET

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

As a Portuguese supporter I’m as unhappy at the FIFA seeding decision as anyone else.

It was plain ridiculous. Not only does it bring the whole concept of fair-play into disrepute but at the time it wasn’t going to help Portugal and France as most people claim. If anything, it was shortening the odds of those 2 teams meeting in the play-offs.

When the decision was made, not only was Portugal not sure of qualification (they relied on Denmark keeping their good form), but they were also set to miss out on the seeding, with Croatia completing the 4 top ranked teams. It took a surprise defeat of England in Ukraine to see Croatia miss out on the play-offs and Portugal into the top 4 seeds.

So, why take the flak for a decision that was actually going to work against their apparent wishes? Makes you wonder.

In the end it still didn’t work out, since both France and Ireland bring something special to a stage like the World Cup, and either team will be missed. I’ll be rooting for Ireland on that one.

Aside from that, I’m also sad to see Portugal play Bosnia. Bosnia have a very good team and I think they deserve to be there. If they beat us I will be rooting for them next year.

As for FIFA, they just managed to slightly spoil the even for me, for I’m sure that if Portugal manage to go far, many haters will claim we shouldn’t even be there or that we got an unfair helping hand. Boo at FIFA.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

tough luck for France. They have self-destructed too many times. Its not that they lack talent, what with Thierry Henry, Benzima, and other stars, you would think they would lead. Its a problem that needs to be addressed. May I suggest they take on Maradona as their coach (harharhar). In my opinion the outcome would be Russia, Ireland and Greece to proceed.

Posted by Luis | Report as abusive

what is the point in doing a qualifying campaign if in the playoff’s the bigger teams are going to get priority in the seedings which means they could not meet each other i.e portugal france? granted ireland will be a tough fixture for france but you cant help but wander how big a part michele platini played in making sure france avoided the bigger teams in the draw..

Posted by maid | Report as abusive

I’m Irish and as much as I’d like to believe that we can pull off the shock against France, they have better players in almost every position than us plus enviable squad depth and we’re relying heavily on Trapattoni managing to outsmart Domenech, plus a large amount of luck going our way. Would have much preferred to get Greece or Portugal. This is not a vintage Ireland team and it’s mostly Trap’s rigid defensive organisation, plus the poor performance of our group rivals Bulgaria, that have got us this far. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ukraine beat Greece or Bosnia beat Portugal, Bosnia play good attacking football and people aren’t rating them highly enough.

Posted by Richie | Report as abusive

The “seeding” of these playoffs are nothing short of unsportsmanlike. There’s something wrong with a system which requires a team that tied the reigning champions twice and is undefeated to have to play France twice to get in. I will be pulling my hair out for Ireland regardless if I’m in Croke Park or watching my plasma. But I can’t help but feel a great wrong has been done, regardless of the outcome. That being said, maybe playing a big country that’s under alot of pressure is better than fighting it out with a scrappy Bosnian side with nothing to lose. We’ll see. Up the Irish!

Posted by shano | Report as abusive

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