Yep it's time to talk about the playoffs. Obviously the MLB playoffs are not as exciting this year without the Brewers, but most of the games I've seen have been pretty entertaining. Watching the Phillies definitely reminds me of being on the PVS bus a year ago. Ah, good times, back when I was on the cutting edge of news (sort of) or at least had something exciting to blog about.
But yes, walk off hits are always fun.
The main thrust of my post, though, will be the playoffs for the remaining World Cup Spots. Unless noted, playoffs are home and away aggregate.
Here's what we got.
New Zealand vs. Bahrain
New Zealand was the Oceania winner thanks to Australia going to Asia. Bahrain actually already won a playoff against Saudi Arabia to get to this point. They scored a last second goal to tie the score and went through on away goals. The 1st leg was 0-0. The second leg is at New Zealand. I see it 1-0 to Bahrain or possible a scoring tie which would also send them through. New Zealand just doesn't have enough fire power. Perhaps next year, I mine next Cup. (Hope you like the picture Junkie)
Uruguay vs. Costa Rica
Costa Rica had at least one foot in the World Cup door, until the US scored a late equalizer to send Honduras through instead. Now they have to play perennial play-off participant Uruguay. If Uruguay doesn't win I will be very surprised.
Ireland vs. France
OK, in Europe the 8 second place teams in the groups go through to a playoff. Anytime they used this format before the second place teams would all be redrawn. This year, they decided, about three weeks before last group games took place, that they would reseed the 2nd place finishers into 2 pools, the top four in one and the bottom four in another so the top teams cannot be drawn together, even though the groups are seeded to begin with, thus all second place teams are there on equal merit. People are saying that they are reseeding the teams to unsure the favorites - France and Portugal - make the World Cup. This is total BS. It would be like reseeding the teams after each round of the NCAA tourney.
Anyway, it sucks for Ireland because they were pretty much the 5th best team and now have to play the best. Not fair. I hope it is competitive.
Greece vs. Ukraine
I see this one pretty much as a toss up. There will be some crazy fans for both teams, but expect a boring display.
Portugal vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Things were looking bleak for Portugal for a while, but Fifa has to be happy that C. Ronaldo should make his way to South Africa. I could not tell you a single player on Bosnia.
Russia vs. Slovenia
Slovakia made the World Cup already, so why not Slovenia? Well, Russia is better. They will be one of those team European power-houses will not want to see in their group come next year.
Also Africa was it's final round of games. Egypt needs to beat Algeria by two goals. Nigeria needs to beat Kenya and have Tunisia tie or lose to Mozambique. Gabon must better the result of Cameroon.
Lots up in the air. These games take place November 14th and 18th. Stay tuned!