November 15, 2013

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 7 comments

I think it's time Bill Laimbeer started teaching defense in youth basketball.

posted by NoMich at 11:27 AM on November 15

Europe goes to the first leg of the World Cup Qualifying playoffs today with Portugal facing Sweden in a stadium specially reinforced to contain the egos of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovich.

Both teams are largely one special player and then ten hangers on, but one of them won't be making it to next year's finals. As Zlatan is 32, this is probably his last world cup, so I now have two reasons to hope Sweden win.

Elsewhere, Iceland could qualify for their first ever world cup if they can beat Croatia and, with a population of 300,000, they would become the smallest nation ever to make it to a finals.

The first game is in Reykjavic and earlier this week Icelandic forward Eidur Gudjohnsen tweeted that the weather was quite nice, as it was only "minus three degrees" and "not windy or snowing."

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:48 AM on November 15

Portugal won the game 1-0 - no prizes for guessing who scored the goal.

Of course this just sets things up for Zlatan to score four in the second leg in Sweden.

Meanwhile, the French lost 2-0 to Ukraine with defender Laurent Koscielny picking up a red card right at the very end, (Ukraine also had a player sent off after 90:00).

France have it all to do in the second game if they're to earn a chance to disappoint everyone next summer.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:45 PM on November 15

And Iceland drew at home with ten men. There's still hope they can beat Croatia/Australia in the second leg.

posted by owlhouse at 08:34 PM on November 15

France, would not be unhappy to see them sat at home next Summer. Lovely bunch of guys who perhaps need a bit of a nappy.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:44 AM on November 16

I was really pleased to be able to fire up the X-Box and watch the Iceland game (or any of the other 3) on ESPN3. Once in a while technology works. Of course, that moment comes after 5 minutes of downloading system updates.

posted by yerfatma at 01:33 PM on November 16

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