Kicks of the Week: Mexico qualifies for World Cup

By Amon Kehr

Sports Blogger

@theozoneonline

The Mexican National Team qualified for the 2018 Russia World Cup on Friday evening. After a 1-0 win over Panama, Mexico sits atop its CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group, guaranteeing it a spot in next summer’s event. Mexico joins Iran, Japan, Brazil, Germany and host Russia as teams that have already qualified. This is the seventh-consecutive World Cup that Mexico has qualified for. Mexico still has three more games left for qualifying, including one Tuesday night against Costa Rica. The other two games are against Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 6, and Honduras on Oct. 10.

 

Premier League transfer window closes

The transfer window for the Premier League officially closed Thursday but there were a few last-minute deals that were made before the window was shut. Tottenham completed the £23-million signing of Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier. The 24-year old Ivory Coast international is now under contract with Spurs until 2022. Liverpool was also busy around Deadline Day, as it made two more moves before window closed. Liverpool secured the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal on Thursday. The Reds paid £34.20 million for the England International. The 24-year-old midfielder has made 132 Premier League appearances and has been capped 28 times for England. Liverpool also made a deal for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita. The 22-year-old Guinean will join the Reds on July 1, 2018. Liverpool will pay a club-record fee of £48 million to trigger the player’s release clause, as well as pay an undisclosed premium in addition to the release clause.

 

USMNT loses to Costa Rica

Qualifying for the World Cup just became more difficult for the United States after its 2-0 loss to Costa Rica on Friday night. Before the game, the U.S. was in third place in the standings, three points behind Costa Rica. After the loss, the U.S. has fallen six points behind Costa Rica and is tied with Honduras for third place, with Panama only one point behind both of them. The U.S. will need to finish in third place to automatically qualify for the World Cup. Finishing in fourth, the U.S. will advance to the inter-confederation playoff game against the fifth-place team from the Asian confederation qualifying. Coach Bruce Arena has three more games to turn things around for his team. The U.S. will play a crucial game against Honduras on Tuesday night in San Pedro Sula. Games against Panama on Oct. 6 and Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10 will finish out the U.S.’s qualifying campaign. If the U.S. does not qualify for the World Cup in 2018, it will be the first time since 1986 the U.S. failed to qualify.

ozone@ocolly.com

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