With the World Cup less than a year away, international breaks are anything but a reprieve from soccer. The first three breaks of the club season (this, mid-October, and mid-October) will clinch the remaining spots for Brazil.
This international break saw five nations secure qualification — all of which are denoted by an asterisk (*) below — which leaves 22 spots for the taking. If there’s any confusion about qualification methods, this page should help. You may want to keep it up while going through the results (who says Wikipedia can’t be useful?).
Just a little reminder of which confederation is which:
CONCACAF = North America
UEFA = Europe
CAF = Africa
CONMEBOL = South America
AFC = Asia (also including Australia)
OFC = Oceania
Honduras 2, Mexico 1
Mexico continued their trend of shocking losses, this time losing at home to Honduras.
Costa Rica 3, United States 1
Speaking of surprise results, Costa Rica scored three goals against a shaky U.S. defense to move to the top of the table.
Colombia 1, Ecuador 0
Ecuador had a chance to guarantee themselves at least a playoff spot, but couldn’t overcome a first-half goal by Colombia.
Chile 3, Venezuela 0
Chile takes advantage of the Ecuador loss to move into third place on the table. They’re guaranteed at least a playoff spot now.
Uruguay 2, Peru 1
Uruguay keeps their World Cup hopes alive, while putting Peru on the edge of elimination.
Jordan 1, Uzbekistan 1
The first leg of the AFC playoff saw a vital away goal by Uzbekistan. Can they finish it at home on Monday?
Group D: Ghana 2, Zambia 1
With the winner advancing to the final round of qualifying, it was hard to bet against the squad who has made the knockout stage of the last two World Cups.
Group B: Italy 1, Bulgaria 0
Italy knocks off the second place team in the group and inches even closer to World Cup qualification.
Group B: Armenia 2, Czech Republic 1
Armenia scores the late winner, but nations have to be perfect in order to advance out of the group.
Group C: Germany 3, Austria 0
Germany continue their cruise toward a World Cup berth with a decisive win over third-place Austria.
Group C: Sweden 2, Republic of Ireland 1
And with Sweden’s win, they stay in control of the playoff spot in Group C.
Group D: Romania 3, Hungary 0
A huge win for Romania, who stay in contention for the Group D playoff spot.
Group A (September 7): South Africa 4, Botswana 1
South Africa got the win that they needed, but failed to get an Ethiopia loss. They’re out.
Group B (September 7): Cape Verde Islands 2, Tunisia 0
Somewhat of a shock here, as Cape Verde knocks off Tunisia to advance to the final qualifying round.
Group E (September 7): Burkina Faso 1, Gabon 0
Burkina Faso’s win puts them through to the next round.
Group F (September 7): Nigeria 2, Malawi 0
A Malawi win would have put them through over Nigeria, but Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses left no doubt.
Group J (September 7): Senegal 1, Uganda 0
Senegal moves one step closer to earning their second World Cup appearance.
Group I (September 8): Cameroon 1, Libya 0
Cameroon staved off Libya’s upset bid to win the group and advance.
Honduras 2, Panama 2
Honduras remains three points clear in the playoff spot, but prevent the late Panama goal would have helped immensely.
United States 2*, Mexico 0
The USMNT has been on a tear since the beginning of June and earn a World Cup berth with two games to spare.
Jamaica 1, Costa Rica 1*
Not the most impressive result for Costa Rica, but enough to clinch their fourth World Cup berth.
Uruguay 2, Colombia 0
With two late goals by Edison Cavani and Christian Stuani, Uruguay may be peaking at just the right time.
Venezuela 3, Peru 2
The late charge was not enough: Peru is out of World Cup contention.
Argentina 5*, Paraguay 2
Argentina earns the second World Cup berth for South America (counting Brazil), while eliminating Paraguay from contention.
Jordan 1 (9), Uzbekistan 1 (8)
120 minutes could not produce a winner, but Jordan advances to the intercontinental play-off after a long round of penalties.
Group B: Netherlands 2*, Andorra 0
Robin Van Persie scores twice as the Dutch cruise into the World Cup.
Group C: Austria 1, Republic of Ireland 0
Austria overcomes the Germany loss to remain right behind Sweden. Republic of Ireland may be too far behind (six points) at this point.
Group D: Turkey 2, Romania 0
A must-win game for Turkey to remain in the midst of Group D and they delivered. Now both them and Romania are a point behind the playoff spot.
Group D: Italy 2*, Czech Republic 1
Italy comes back from an early deficit with two goals in four minutes. They take the group and a World Cup spot.
Group E: Switzerland 2, Norway 0
Switzerland looked to be the winner of this group when from the get-go and they will be able to seal it during next month’s round of qualifiers.
Group E: Iceland 2, Albania 0
But behind them, Iceland (13 points), Slovenia, Norway, and Albania are all separated by a point and battling for the playoff spot.
Group F: Russia 3, Israel 1
Russia moves one point clear of Portugal with a crucial win over Israel, who is slowly fading away in the group.
Group G: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2, Slovakia 1
Slovakia is out now, leaving just Bosnia & Herzegovina and Greece still alive in the group.
Group H: Ukraine 0, England 0
A disappointing result for England, who really could have taken control of the group. Now they lead Ukraine and Montenegro by a single point and cannot afford to slip up again.
Japan 3, Ghana 1
Keep an eye out for both nations as we near closer to next June. Each seem to perform well in World Cups.
Spain 2, Chile 2
Jesus Navas’s goal in injury time stopped Chile’s upset bid, but they have to be happy with their performance. Hopefully it will carry over into next month’s qualifiers.
Brazil 3, Portugal 1
Neymar and Brazil probably wish the World Cup were going on now.