Underdog Football

The only place for daily news from the most obscure football arenas

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kuruvchi maintain lead

Uzbek league last year's surprise package and this year's AFC Champions League revelation - Kuruvchi - maintained their lead in the domestic league after beating a strong opposition of Ma'shal Mubarek 2:0 with goals scored by Server Djeparov and Viktor Karpenko. The vice-leaders from Pakhtakor also recorded a two-goal victory over Bukhara. After 16 matches Kuruvchi sit comfortable at the top of the league with 34 points. Pakhtakor are second with 32. The rest are over 10 points behind the leading duo.

Source: the-afc.com/soccerway.com

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2010 World Cup AFC Qualifiers final round drawn

Finally we know the final groups of the Asian zone of the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers. Two best teams from each group will advance to the World Cup finals in South Africa, the third teams will play each other in a continental play-off and the winner of this meeting will play an intercontinental play-off with the winner of the OFC zone qualifiers.

Group A:

Group B:
South Korea
Saudi Arabia
North Korea
United Arab Emirates

Source: the-afc.com

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rwanda gets a sponsor

For the first time in history, a big company will sponsor Amahoro Cup - the second most important football event in Rwanda. MTN Rwandacel - mobile communication company - will inject Frw20 million in order to develop football in Rwanda and Africa. MTN also sponsors 2010 World Cup and African Nations Cup. Good days for African football!

Source: allafrica.com

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Iraqi FA sacked the NT manager

After Iraq lost to Qatar, they were eliminated from the World Cup race. This resulted in sacking of Adnan Hamad - Manager of the Year 2004 award winner in Iraq. The days of Hamad's team are now gone and a new team is going to be built on the basis of the reigning continental champions. The whole team is now disbanded and the FA withdrew Iraq from the WAFF Championship. The goal of that is better preparation to the 2009 Gulf Cup and Confederations Cup.

Source: the-afc.com

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Heavy chaos in URA, tough times for Maji

Ugandan two times champions (2006, 2007) - Uganda Revenue Authority FC - is in a middle of squad chaos. They released two goalies: Joseph 'Mayor' Babigumira and Musa Muhammad and replaced them with Eddie Kawesa - ex-Maji keeper. That's not the end of their problems, as they also axed eight outfield players. New season is bound to start soon and URA will compete in both local league and CECAFA Club Championship in Tanzania. Eddie Kawesa is not the only potential missing for Maji in the next season however, because Haruna Mulindwa is on his way to Nalubale, while Bosco Semugenyi is expected to join Simba FC. Tough times ahead of Maji this season.

Source: allafrica.com

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Vanuatuan conquers Fiji

In the Fijian New World National Football Super Six competition, Labasa's new signing Joseph Nimariau shines bright with two goals scored in two matches. The Vanuatuan is a current top scorer and his team leads the table. Unfortunately, Vanuatu national team Robert Calvo doesn't see Nimariau's form and the striker still remains uncapped. Will he finally live to see his debut in the national team? Let's keep an eye on that matter.

Source: oceaniafootball.com/vanuafoot.com

Monday, June 23, 2008

Asian President's Cup

2008 Asian President's Cup has oficially started. On the first day of play, Tajik Regar-TadAZ defeated Pakistani team WAPDA by one goal, scoring a 2:1 win. In the other Asian President's Cup match, Nepal Police Club trashed Bangladeshi Abahani 4:0. Three goals were scored by Jumanu Rai in the latter match. The young Nepalese was linked with Maldivian clubs lately and is to join Vyansa soon.

source: the-afc.com

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2010 World Cup Qualifiers results - 22.06.2008

Another home-win day for African zone yesterday, after ALL BUT ONE ended with a home win. The only exception was Zimbabwe's 0:0 draw with Kenya. In other zones, Uzbekistan suffered a heavy defeat in Saudi Arabia (0:4), but this match had no effect on the final outcome of the qualifiers, as both of the teams had already secured advancement to the next stage. Iraq played Qatar in Dubai and lost 0:1, which allowed Qatar to go through to the next round. UAE lost to Syria 1:3 at home but still go through, because of better goal difference. This goal scored yesterday saved them, because Syria needed to win by three goals or more. In CONCACAF all eyes were focused on Netherlands Antilles, who could eliminate Haiti and sensationally go through, but they were eventually stopped. Haiti won 1:0 and went through. Another surprise package - Bermuda - also failed to defend their first leg lead (2:1) and lost at home to Trinidad & Tobago 0:2 and as a result were eliminated.

Source: fifa.com

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

2010 World Cup Qualifiers results

Busy schedule in the World Cup qualifiers when the teams prepare for the struggle to get to the finals.

In Africa only one surprise: Sierra Leone managed to snatch a goalless draw in South Africa which is their huge success. On other areas, African speciality - home wins. Zambia won 1:0 with Swaziland and equaled with them on the top of Group 11. Nigeria continues their perfect record and clean sheet after another win - 2:0 with Equatorial Guinea. Cameroon had some problems with Tanzania but eventually won 2:1 and also remained leaders of their group. In group 9, Tunisia won 2:1 with Burundi and the leaders from Burkina Faso remained with a perfect record after trashing Seychelles 4:1. Other African giants - Morocco and Senegal - also recorded comfortable wins.

In CONCACAF, Saint Lucia couldn't stop Guatemala and finally lost 1:3. Mexico trashed Belize 7:0.

Source: fifa.com

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tough times for Pyunik

Today Pyunik Yerevan could have shortened the gap to the Armenian league leaders Ararat when the two teams met in the battle of giants. Aratat - Armenian champions from 1993 - are now the leaders of the league, after some years in obscurity. Pyunik, after seven championships in a row are on a verge of losing the title this season. With two games in hand, they were 7 points behind Ararat (who had 1 game in hand). Unfortunately for Pyunik, today's derby game ended in a goalless draw and even if Pyunik manages to win their game against Ulisses, they will still be 4 points behind the leaders. Tough times for Pyunik indeed. Let's keep our eyes on the Armenian league in forthcoming weeks.

Source: futbol24.com/soccerway.com

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2010 World Cup Qualifiers

As I wrote yesterday, New Caledonia had a chance to end Vanuatuan and Fijian hopes of World Cup qualification today when at 5:00 CET they were facing Vanuatu in Noumea. As predicted, New Caledonia won 3:0 and thus became the only team who can obstruct New Zealand's way to the final playoff with the fifth team from the AFC zone. Congratulations for Didier Chambaron's team for achieving that.

Meanwhile, other zones are also playing. Yesterday Canada defeated St. Vincent & The Grenadines 4:1 and Algeria won by single goal with Gambia. In the last African match Libya trashed Lesotho 4:0. Next matches are due to be played today and tomorrow. I will keep you informed.

Source: fifa.com/wikipedia.org

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VIVA World Cup 2008

After moderate success of the VIVA World Cup organized for NF-Board teams in Occitania in 2006, on July 7th the new edition will kick off in Sapmi (Lapland). The hosts are also title-holders after they defeated Monaco... 22:1 in the 2006 final. Other participants of this year's VIVA World Cup are Padania, Provence, Kurdistan and Bethnahrin. Unfortunatelly, previous edition's medalists: Monaco and Occitania will not participate. Sapmi remain huge favorites, but Kurdistan is not without chance. Also Padania, strengthened with ex-Inter star Maurizio Ganz will provide stern opposition. The teams will play in a group of 5, then the first two will play the final match and the 3rd and 4th place will compete in a bronze medal playoff.

My predictions:
1. Sapmi
2. Padania
3. Kurdistan
4. Provence
5. Bethnahrin

Source: vivaworldcup.info/wikipedia.org

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Is a 16-year-old Ethiopian gonna be the next Freddy Adu?

Football talent and an academic wonderkid, started high school at the tender age of 12 and at 15 was picked by FC Dallas in the MLS Superdraft with number 2. After spending a year in the reserves of the Texan team, Abdus Ibrahim, joined the Canadian based MLS team - Toronto FC, where he is going to develop further. TFC head coach John Carver said he would not hesitate to pick Ibrahim in the first squad when he sees him fit. Will the Abdus Ibrahim fulfill the hopes of Ethiopian and American fans, or will he be another teen prodigy who would never make it as big as he could. Time will tell.

Source: thestar.com/ethiosports.com

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Moldovan midfielder joins Azeri champions

Ex-international Moldovan midfielder - Oleg Shishkin - who lately played for Avangard Kursk in Russia, signed a contract with the winners of Azeri league - Inter Baku. The 33-year-old midfielder will have a chance to prove himself again in Europe, because his new club will soon start their Champions' League campaign. They will know their rivals in the first preliminary round next Friday, when the draw is taking place.

Source: moldfootball.com/national-football-teams.com

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Regar's first defeat

It had to happen some day. The Tajik league leaders Regar-TadAZ Dushanbe finally lost. Their slayers were Khudjand and the only goal was scored by Mansur Khakimov... ex-Regar player. Although it was the first defeat of Regar, they have to look behind because Parvoz Bobojon Ghafurov are only one point short and have two matches in hand. Regar have to also remember that they have the Asian President's Cup campaign ahead of them. Things are getting interesting in Tajikistan.

Source: the-afc.com

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OFC prepare for decisive battle

Tomorrow at 5:00 CET in Noumea the home side of New Caledonia will have a chance to deny Vanuatuan and Fijian dreams of World Cup qualification when they meet the Robert Calvo's side. If New Caledonia defeats Vanuatu, they will remain the only team who can still jump ahead of group leaders - New Zealand - and win the OFC World Cup qualifiers. However, the winner will still have to play a playoff with the fifth team from the AFC World Cup qualifiers in order to advance to the final tournament. The winner will also be honored as 2008 OFC Nations Cup winner and will represent Oceania in 2009 Confederations Cup.

OFC World Cup qualifiers/2008 OFC Nations Cup table (after 3 matches played):

1. New Zealand 9
2. New Caledonia 5
3. Vanuatu 1
4. Fiji 1

Thanks to the great form of Fijian team in the pre-qualifiers, Osea Vakatalesau (Fiji / YoungHeart Manawatu [NZL]) remains the top scorer with 12 goals.

Source: wikipedia.org

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tajik player in Poland

There are rumors in Poland that a Tajik player Iskandar Gadoev is on trial with several Polish clubs, namely Korona Kielce and Lechia Gdansk. Gadoev is a 20-year-old striker, who plays for CSKA-Pamir Dushanbe in the Tajik league. In the 2007 season, he scored two goals for his club. He represented his country in the 2005 Islamic Games and in 2006 Asian U-20 Championship.

Will Gadoev become the first ever Tajik player in the Polish league system? Time will tell

Source: 90minut.pl/rsssf.com/the-afc.com

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Transfer rumor

What a great news came from Slovakia! After Uzbek Aziz Ibragimov joined Slovan Bratislava some time ago, it's time for another Asian underdogs to make it to the Corgon Liga. FK Dubnica are reported to be interested in two Maldivian players: Ali Ashfaag and Mohammed Arif.

Ali Ashfaag is a 23-year-old striker who plays in a domestic club VB SC, but have already had a foreign experience, having played for Malaysian league outfit DPMM FC.

The second player - Mohammed Arif is Ashfaag's teammate on the club level and a midfielder.

Let's watch those guys progress in the European football ranks. I hope other countries will follow Slovakia's example and I'll be happy to inform you about further Asian players being transferred to Europe.

Source: goal.com/national-football-teams.com

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Maldives!

Great news came from Maldives. This tiny football nation which lost 0-17 to Iran during the Coupe du Monde '98 qualifying round, is now proud of their players after winning the South Asian Football Federation Championship. In the final, Maldives defeated favorites from India 1:0 after a late goal scored by Mukhthar Naseer in 87th minute. That was the first ever international competition won by Maldives and the players were honored as national heroes by the president of Maldives - Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Each player was given prize money for participation in this historic success.

After the players came back to Male, 15000 fans took part in the celebration organized to honor this triumph. Each of them could take photographs with the cup. The players drove off the stadium by cars painted in national colors and with names and numbers of each player printed on them.

What is more, the president promised that every citizen of Maldives will have a chance to touch the cup, which is now to be shown to the people on every inhabited island.

Here you can see the highlights of the 2008 SAFF Championship final:

Source: maldivesoccer.com/youtube.com

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3... 2... 1... Start!

June 18th, 2008 - the day when it all begins. I am more than happy to present my newest project - Underdog Football. I will try to collect football-related news that are related to not-so-popular leagues, teams and players. You will not find any info about the biggest stars and the richest clubs here. Prepare for a multitude of news related to the most obscure football nations, teams and players. This is the beginning of the new era.

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