Tuesday Kickoff: Australia qualifies for World Cup; Tahiti score in Nigeria demolition; and more

JoshuaKennedyAustralia1-Iraq (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The partying in Sydney, Australia has already begun.

Australia earned automatic qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Tuesday, defeating Iraq, 1-0, thanks to a late goal from substitute Joshua Kennedy at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Eighteen days ago, the Socceroos position in qualifying was in question, but seven points from three games has ended any question of who deserves to play on the world’s biggest stage next summer. Kennedy’s headed goal in the 83rd minute against Iraq was enough to earn the three points for his nation, as they qualify for the third successive World Cup.

Australia finished with 13 points from eight games, four points behind first place Japan in AFC qualifying Group B, who qualified for the World Cup seven days ago. Iran won Group A after defeating South Korea, 1-0, in Ulsan, though South Korea also advanced to the World Cup automatically on goal difference. Uzbekistan finished third and will face a play-off against Oman this fall.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:

TAHITI GOAL HIGHLIGHTS DEFEAT TO NIGERIA

Over-matched Tahiti delighted fans of soccer across the globe, scoring a lone goal against Nigeria in a 6-1 defeat in Belo Horizonte at the Confederations Cup.

Jonathan Tehau, one of four family members on the Tahiti squad, rose over Celtic FC defender Efe Ambrose on a corner kick in the 54th minute, heading home past Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and setting off wild celebrations on the pitch, in the stands, and on the sidelines.

“It’s a first for our country. I’m very happy to have scored and to have made my mark on the history of Tahitian football, alongside my team-mates,” Tehau said after the match to FIFA.com. “My mind went blank when I scored; all I could think of was celebrating it properly with my friends.”

Though it didn’t get the proper coverage, Nigeria’s Nnamdi Oduamadi scored a hat trick, while Tehau became the first player to score a goal and an own goal in a Confederations Cup match.

CARROLL NEARS PERMANENT MOVE TO WEST HAM

Liverpool are set to cash in on Andy Carroll after just two and a half years under contract with the club since a $55.2 million move from Newcastle in 2011.

The English forward, who struggled to score at Anfield, spent last season with West Ham, and the Hammers have had a bid of $23.4 million accepted by Liverpool for the 24-year-old’s services. Carroll is set to complete a medical this week and the club sign a new contract, thought to extend through 2019.

Last season at Upton Park, Carroll scored seven times in 24 matches as he struggled at times with injury and inconsistency, something that has plagued him throughout his career.

QUICK KICKS

Brazilian club Flamengo have officially appointed former Brazil coach Mano Menezes to be the club’s manager. (REPORT)

Manchester United have announced that they will play a friendly match in August in Stockholm, against local club AIK. (REPORT)

AC Milan is willing to listen to an offer from AS Monaco for midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. (REPORT)

Hannover 96 have signed Borussia Dortmund youngster Leonardo Bittencourt on a four-year contract. (REPORT)

Newcastle United have appointed former controversial manager Joe Kinnear to be their Director of Football. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you see Australia making a run in Brazil 2014? Happy that Tahiti scored? Think Carroll is making the right move?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Confederations Cup, European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Australia qualifies for World Cup; Tahiti score in Nigeria demolition; and more

  1. SanFran415 says:

    I… I just don’t understand how or why anyone would let Joe Kinnear anywhere within 1000 yards of the Newcastle stadium.

    Seriously. What in the **** is going on their that this man would be allowed to even see the stadium or offices after everything he’s done and still does?

  2. Eddy says:

    Dan, fact check the hat trick claim: on ESPN yesterday they mentioned 9 hat tricks so far in Confederation Cup history. Here’s the wiki link:

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      “Vladimir Smicer, Ronaldo, Romario, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Marzouk Al-Otaibi, Ronaldinho, Luciano Figueroa, Fernando Torres, and Nnamdi Oduamadi are the only nine men to have scored a Confederations Cup hat trick.”

  3. Mike E. says:

    How is the Kinnear story not top billing? We are witnessing the un@ssisted suicide of a premierleague club. Did anyone else listen to his interview? Holy crap.

    I’ve got Alan Pardew gone by 10 games in and a player mutiny a few matches after.

    • SanFran415 says:

      I’ve got my popcorn and couch primed for this one. Imagine Lane Kiffin teaming up with Mike Rice under the general management of the mayor of Boston to coach TO and Chad Johnson under the ownership of Allen Iverson.

      That is the kind of great TV this is going to make for.

    • Al17 says:

      Dunno, thinking a tournament called the World Cup and Qualifying for it and the current Confederations Cup tournament are alot bigger than any domestic league.
      NewsFlash….alot of us could care less about the EPL.

      It’s being reported, if you want more then go to BBC or Sky…
      Goodness

      • Travis says:

        If you knew the backstory of Kinnear and Newcastle it would make a lot more sense why this guy wants more info on it.

  4. The Imperative Voice says:

    Carroll found his level, and had one of his better recent seasons. He similarly flourished with Newcastle when they were yo-yo-ing between the top two divisions.

    • Old School says:

      Even so, he’s only garnering that price tag because of his nationality. There’s no way he’s worth that much.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I had glazed right over the price. Yes, that is overpaying. That is the high end of the English player premium, yep. For people who wonder how EJ, Tim Ream, and so forth make it to England, that English price differential is what makes our guys interesting. If they didn’t have the work permit rules we’d mop up on price differential.

  5. Virgil says:

    I don’t think Uzbekistan vs. Oman is a done deal yet. Oman still plays Jordan today and if Jordan wins, they should be in the playoff place

    • wfrw07 says:

      This is true. That game is in 90 minutes. Also a bit gutted for the Uzbeks. Scored 5, hit another 5-6 posts and easily could have gotten that last goal to push them ahead of Korea on GD.

    • Al17 says:

      as a neutral, final day of Asian Qualifying is Hollywood Drama.
      I thought Uzbekistan would pull it off.

  6. Travis says:

    They arrested someone today in the death of that guy that was dribbling from Seattle to Brazil for charity back in early May. Police say they don’t believe he was dribbling at the time of his death.

    • Old School says:

      I don’t wish death upon anyone but this man, who had children, was incredibly reckless even simply walking along the “busy U.S. 101″.

      Not to make a mockery of his death either but if he wasn’t even dribbling, it just further proves how ridiculous this stunt was.

      I don’t feel bad for him, I feel bad for his family.

    • petedx says:

      There was a really long article on Grantland.com about that guy, it was pretty interesting.

  7. The Imperative Voice says:

    Iran and South Korea join Aussies and Japanese as Asian World Cup qualifiers. Uzbeks and Oman/Jordan will play off, for the right to play in an intercontinental playoff.

  8. Jamie says:

    Jordan has defeated Oman 1-0 and will face Uzbekistan for the right to play the 5th place South American team.