Fri, Nov 15, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Battle begins today for four European berths in World Cup

AFP, PARIS

Romania are bidding to qualify for the first time since 1998 when they travel to Greece, who scored just 12 goals in 10 group games, in what could well be a finely balanced duel.

Iceland’s surprising run to the playoffs has been due in large part to the calming and knowledgeable influence of experienced Swedish coach Lars Lagerback, who coached Sweden at two World Cup finals.

Lagerback, who also coached Sweden at three European championship finals, said his side had nothing to lose.

“Of course, it would be a huge disappointment if we didn’t get to Brazil now that we are so close, but, as far as I am concerned, we are in a win-win situation,” Lagerback said. “There weren’t many outside Iceland and, to be fair, in Iceland, who expected us to get this far, even though the expectations have grown the further we have got in qualifying.”

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