WCQ Stats & Info
|I've been following the action and have some neat stuff to share with you.|
1) I've been keeping track of the World Cup eliminations timeline, and just published an updated post below this one. There are now 128 teams remaining, including all 32 qualifiers from four years ago. There is one more African match next weekend, Gabon vs Lesotho, where the latter team is expected to be eliminated. After that, we have to wait two months until qualifying resumes. Sucks.
2) Of the remaining 128 teams, 58 have never qualified for a FIFA World Cup. There have been at least 3 new qualifiers to each of the last 7 World Cups, so certainly we should expect a couple of newcomers this time. The strongest bets are likely Guatemala, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela, while African always seems to produce a surprise. The list of those 58:
3) This is the fourth straight cycle that CONCACAF has used a 12 team semifinal round followed by a 6 team final round (the hex). 9 teams have made it to every semifinal round, while 16 of the region's 35 teams have made at least one semifinal round. A list:
Semifinal Round Appearances (1998-2006)
4) CAF (Africa) has an interesting qualifying format. The 12 group winners plus the top 8 second place teams advance to the final round. Due to Eritrea's withdrawal leaving one group with 3 teams, to get those second place teams their results against the last place team will be dropped. Here's a link to the full standings, and below is what the second place teams table looks like as of today:
Some teams have more or fewer games depending on how many times they've faced the last place team. In addition, these tables are not set in stone because the last place teams can change. Each second place team will end up with 4 games that count in this table.
The following 20 teams would advance as of today:
7-Cote d'Ivoire, Botswana
9-Burkina Faso, Tunisia
12-Congo DR, Egypt