Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

France break Irish hearts to seal World Cup slot

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France ensured the likes of Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and Thierry Henry will be at the World Cup in South Africa next year after winning through with a goal that has left Irish fans seething.

There was nothing wrong with the finish from William Gallas, but Thierry Henry admitted using his hand to keep the ball in play and commentators and Irish supporters are already talking of “The Hand of God II” and “The Hand of Henry” in reference to Diego Maradona in 1986.

“Yes, there is handball but I am not the referee,” Henry told reporters. “I’m in the box, there are two defenders in front of me. The ball bounced off my hand, the referee did not see it and I played on.”

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni called the goal a “great mistake” by Swedish referee Martin Hansson but he chose not to accuse Henry of cheating.

Azteca defeat exposes U.S. weaknesses

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After a wave of optimism following their successful run in the Confederations Cup, the United States have come back down to earth with their 2-1 defeat to Mexico.

 

Although Mexico didn’t seal their victory on Wednesday until Miguel Sabah’s strike seven minutes from the end, the result actually flattered the United States who were outplayed at the Azteca stadium.

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