On Sunday the "Group of Death" finally dispatched its reaper, and it was Denmark and Netherlands who felt an icy tap on the shoulder. In truth the Dutch, without a point from the first two matches, had long since felt a chill in the air, but for Denmark there will be a slight nagging sense that it might just have hurdled the scythe. What if Jakob Poulsen's second-half shot, which caught the outside of the post, had been a few inches to the right? What if the officials had spotted Holger Badstuber with a fistful of Nicklas Bendtner's shirt as the forward tried to shoot at 1-1? What if we'd really had a go when Germany looked complacent?
Ireland has been absent from big tournaments in recent years, and this will mark just its second European championship since 1988 in West Germany. The repeated disappointments were reflected in a FIFA ranking that listed Giovanni Trapattoni's team at No. 42 globally when the veteran Italian coach took over in 2008. It was compounded during 2010 World Cup qualifying when it took a narrow, cruel defeat by France in the playoffs -- including a controversial helping hand from Thierry Henry -- to deny Ireland a trip to South Africa. But a turnaround may be in the works: a series of sturdy performances in the Euro qualifiers took the Irish to the finals in Poland/Ukraine.
Just as it was last season, the MLS West appears to be the healthier of the two conferences, containing the past three MLS Cup champions:
CARSON, Calif. -- The symmetry of it all was simply outstanding, almost too storybook to believe it could occur by happenstance.
CARSON, Calif. -- David Beckham's potential MLS curtain call could also become the Los Angeles Galaxy's shining moment.
Croatia and Republic of Ireland all but sealed their places in Euro 2012 with emphatic away wins in the first leg of their playoff ties Friday.
From Robbie Keane's debut to the evolving playoff picture, here are five thoughts from this weekend's MLS action:
The 'Bag (soccer version) is back, and we'll start this week with a question from @WillEhrenfeld: "Will Robbie Keane be an effective scorer for L.A.? And does his addition make the Galaxy clear favorites going forward?"
Sergio Aguero scored twice on his Manchester City debut as Roberto Mancini's men thrashed Swansea 4-0 in their English Premier League opener Monday.
Thoughts on the weekend's action in the Barclays Premier League:
With the January transfer window now in effect, here's a rundown of each Premier League team's needs:
Three extra-time goals gave Arsenal a thumping 4-1 victory over north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in their English League Cup third round tie Tuesday.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was asked how he would celebrate after his team's victory against BSC Young Boys on Wednesday ensured qualification for the Champions League group stage.
The World Cup is over and another summer of rampant transfer rumor-mongering is underway in the Premier League. The few clubs with cash are being linked with anybody and everybody -- but what positions should clubs be prioritizing as they hit the shops? Today, clubs M-W; the top half of the table was covered yesterday.
And so it's begun. The past few days have seen various national team coaches commence the painstaking process of culling the candidates for their World Cup squads. We've already seen some minor surprises -- Germany's Joachim Low opting not to recall the in-form Kevin Kuranyi -- and some controversial choices such as Mexico's Javier Aguirre leaving out Nery Castillo. Which brings us, of course, to the U.S. team and the preliminary roster that Bob Bradley will name on May 11, which could be as many as 30 players, but is more likely to be in the 26-28 range. However, ultimately it's all about the final 23 for South Africa, so I'm going to pick the roster that I'd like to see chosen, which isn't necessarily the group I think Bradley will take.
A controversial extra-time goal by William Gallas saw France reach the World Cup finals after a 1-1 home draw against the Republic of Ireland in Paris on Wednesday night.
Arsenal underlined their English title credentials with a 4-1 thrashing of Wolves at Molineux in Saturday's late kickoff in the Premier League.
Michael Owen rolled back the years to score a superb second goal for Manchester United as they continued their English League Cup defense with a 2-0 victory at second-flight Barnsley on Tuesday.
Brazilian-born Liedson kept alive Portugal's slender World Cup qualifying hopes with a late equalizer against Group 1 leaders Denmark in Copenhagen.
CNN's Alex Thomas visits Manchester City to assess their English Premier League title credentials.
England midfielder Michael Carrick missed a first-half penalty as English Premier League champions Manchester United suffered a sensational 1-0 defeat at newly promoted Burnley.
England striker Peter Crouch has completed his transfer from Portsmouth to English Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, ensuring he teams-up with manager Harry Redknapp for the third time in his career.
Robbie Keane kept the Republic of Ireland's dream of automatic qualification for the World Cup finals alive with a last-gasp equaliser to hold 10-man defending champions Italy to a 1-1 draw in Bari.
Goals from Didier Drogba and Alex proved enough to earn Chelsea a 2-0 FA Cup quarterfinal win at Championship side Coventry, putting them through to the last four for the third time in four seasons.
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov saw Manchester United come from behind to win 2-1 at Newcastle, a result that restores their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Two goals from midfielder Michael Bradley helped the United States defeat Mexico 2-0 in Columbus, Ohio to maintain their march towards the 2010 World Cup finals.
CNN's Robyn Curnow interviews Ruud Krol about South African football and what the World Cup will mean for the nation.
Ten-man Arsenal battled to earn a point as the north London derby against Tottenham ended 0-0 at White Hart Lane, leaving the home side two points above the Premier League relegation zone while Arsenal remain fifth in the table.
Rafael Benitez is facing a "big decision" over whether to risk star striker Fernando Torres for Liverpool's trip to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.
Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane has completed a sensational return to Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day, just six months after leaving the club for Premier League rivals Liverpool.
Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has joined Tottenham from London rivals Chelsea on a free transfer and could make his debut in Tuesday's relegation battle against Stoke City.
Liverpool stayed top of the English Premier League after the Boxing Day program with a 3-0 win over Bolton as Robbie Keane wrapped up victory with two second half goals.
Emmanuel Adebayor was sent off and skipper Cesc Fabregas suffered a worrying knee problem as Arsenal battled to hold Premier League leaders Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Liverpool secured top spot in Champions League Group D with a 3-1 win at PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night.
Samir Nasri scored twice as Arsenal survived a spirited late rally to inflict a 2-1 defeat on Premier League champions Manchester United on Saturday.
Steven Gerrard salvaged a 1-1 draw after Liverpool were awarded a controversial penalty in time added on to deny Atletico Madrid a win that would have sent them into the next stage of the Champions League.
Simao Sabrosa scored an 83rd minute equalizer to salvage a 1-1 draw for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool in their Champions League Group D clash at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Wednesday night.
Geovanni, still Geovanni, Geovanni 25 yards out...GOAAAAAALLLLL!!!!! HULL ARE LEVEL AT THE EMIRATES!
Steven Gerrard grabbed his 100th Liverpool goal to leave the Premier League side with their Champions League destiny in their own hands after a convincing 3-1 Group D victory over PSV Eindhoven at Anfield.
Team Limey, along with everyone else over in Blightly, has been riding the rare wave of British sporting success that the Olympics have brought. We were brought crashing back to reality watching the drab 2-2 draw between England and the Czech Republic, and contemplated turning your favorite net-based soccer column into a fortnightly update on the happenings of the U.K. cycling, swimming and rowing scenes.
Tottenham completed the $30 million signing of England winger David Bentley from Blackburn on Thursday as coach Juande Ramos restructures his side ahead of the new season.
Robbie Keane started life as a Liverpool player on Tuesday with a stout defense of his controversial $38 million move from fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
Robbie Keane has finalized a 19 million pounds ($38 million) transfer to Liverpool hours after the Tottenham striker had a medical with the Merseyside club on Monday.
When Brian Kerr's contract as Republic of Ireland manager was not renewed in October 2005, the FA chief executive John Delaney promised a "world-class replacement." What they got in January '06 was the country's most-capped player, Steve Staunton, who at the time was coaching the reserves of English lower-league side Walsall.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to give Manchester United a 2-0 victory over Bolton and a three-point lead over Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
Chelsea manager Avram Grant faces a difficult decision when he decides which of his big names to omit from the starting line-up for Sunday's English League Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley.
Tottenham manager Juande Ramos continues his pursuit of an unprecedented third successive UEFA Cup triumph when he takes the London side to face Slavia Prague this week.
Tottenham ended more than eight years of failure against bitter rivals Arsenal in some style with a resounding 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane to book a trip to Wembley in the League Cup final -- where they will play either Chelsea or Everton.
Tottenham Hotspur look poised to sign Brazilian international Gilberto from German club Hertha Berlin.
Steven Gerrard fired a hat-trick as Liverpool thrashed crisis club Luton 5-0 at Anfield to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Theo Walcott rescued Arsenal's nine-year unbeaten run against north London rivals Tottenham and left their Carling Cup semifinal dramatically poised at 1-1 ahead of the second leg at White Hart Lane.
Substitute Nicklas Bendtner headed home the winner with his first touch as Arsenal beat north London rivals Tottenham 2-1 to move four points clear at the top of the English Premier League.
Tottenham captain Robbie Keane must serve a three-match ban after failing to overturn his sending off in last Sunday's Premier League home defeat against Birmingham.
Tottenham Hotspur have lodged an appeal against Robbie Keane's red card during Sunday's 3-2 home defeat by Birmingham.
Liverpool climbed to third place in the English Premier League after extending their unbeaten run to 14 matches with a 4-0 victory at home to struggling Bolton on Sunday.
Dimitar Berbatov marked his return to Tottenham's starting line-up with a goal as the English club put their UEFA Cup Group G campaign back on track with a lackluster 2-0 win away to Hapoel Tel-Aviv on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur gave Juande Ramos a winning start to his managerial career at White Hart Lane as they beat second-flight Blackpool 2-0 in the fourth round of the English League Cup.
Uruguayan Gus Poyet has been given the go-ahead by Leeds United to join Tottenham as an assistant to new manager Juande Ramos after the clubs agreed an undisclosed compensation package.
Tottenham Hotspur's disastrous Premier League season continued a familiar pattern as new manager Juande Ramos saw them squander a lead yet again to slip to a 2-1 home defeat to fast-rising Blackburn Rovers.
Robin van Persie fired two superb goals to send Arsenal back to the top of the English Premier League with a 3-2 victory at home to 10-man Sunderland on Sunday.
Younes Kaboul scored in injury time to earn Tottenham a remarkable 4-4 Premier League home draw with Aston Villa, sealing a remarkable fightback after trailing 4-1 and possibly saving manager Martin Jol from the sack.
Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane has signed a new five-year contract with Tottenham, which will keep him at the club until 2012.
A second-half equaliser from Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe ended Blackburn's hopes of a direct route entry into next season's UEFA Cup.
UEFA Cup holders Sevilla beat Premier League Tottenham 2-1 in a quarterfinal first leg tie that was marred by ugly skirmishes between visiting fans and Spanish riot police.
A Robbie Keane penalty after a controversial handball decision gave Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 victory over Reading on Sunday to move the London club up to sixth in the Premier League.
Andriy Shevchenko finally showed his true quality with a superb strike that put Chelsea on course for a 2-1 FA Cup quarterfinal replay victory at Tottenham on Monday.
Robbie Keane scored twice, including a dramatic injury-time winner, as Tottenham continued their impressive UEFA Cup campaign with a 3-2 victory over Portuguese side Braga.
Tottenham Hotspur re-discovered their form in spectacular style on Sunday as two goals apiece from Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov gave them a 4-0 win at Fulham in the FA Cup fifth round.
Injured defenders Urby Emanuelson (knee) and John Heitinga (thigh) have pulled out of the Dutch squad for Wednesday's friendly international against Russia, the Dutch soccer federation (KNVB) said on Monday.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane and midfielder Jermaine Jenas have both been ruled out of action for several weeks due to injury.
Robbie Keane grabbed a late winner as Tottenham beat Middlesbrough 2-1 in the Premier League on Tuesday, while Charlton moved off the bottom of the table with an injury-time 1-0 victory over Blackburn.
Dimitar Berbatov scored two and Robbie Keane got the other as Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat Bruges and all but secure their place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Cup.
Palermo reached the group stage of the UEFA Cup on Thursday when they outclassed West Ham United 3-0 to complete a 4-0 win on aggregate.
A deflected strike from Lukas Podolski earned Germany a 1-0 win over Ireland in their first qualifying match in almost three years on Saturday.
Dimitar Berbatov scored his first goal for Tottenham Hotspur when the Londoners beat Sheffield United 2-0 in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Ireland will miss key players for Wednesday's friendly against the Netherlands after injured quartet Robbie Keane, Terry Dixon, Richard Dunne and Alan Lee withdrew from the squad.
Tottenham maintained their grip on the precious fourth place in the English Premier League after battling to a 1-1 draw at arch-rivals and nearest challengers Arsenal on Saturday.
Robbie Keane converted a last-minute penalty to give Tottenham a 2-1 win over luckless West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Monday.
Tottenham Hotspur's Irish striker Robbie Keane has signed a new four-year contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.
New Ireland coach Steve Staunton has named five uncapped players in his first squad for the friendly against Sweden in Dublin next month.
Mido and Robbie Keane were on target as Tottenham consolidated fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Manchester City.
Tottenham came from two goals down to win 3-2 at London neighbors Charlton and join them on 15 points in second place in the English Premier League.
Manchester United captain Roy Keane and Tottenham striker Robbie Keane have been included in the Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifier against France.
Robbie Keane scored twice to help Tottenham clinch the Peace Cup pre-season tournament with a 3-1 win over French champions Olympique Lyon on Sunday.
Israel held Ireland to a surprise 2-2 draw in their World Cup Group Four qualifier as a frustrated home team failed to capitalise on their domination.
David Beckham has been passed fit to play for Real Madrid in its Spanish league match against Barcelona next Sunday after recovering from a thigh injury.
Two late goals from substitute Mateja Kezman sealed Chelsea's 4-1 defeat of Crystal Palace and edged the Stamford Bridge side a little closer to their first title in half a century.
Tottenham Hotspur scored three second-half goals to seal a 3-0 victory at second division Nottingham Forest in their FA Cup fifth round replay.
Jermain Defoe was hardly missed by Tottenham as Dean Marney scored twice in a 5-2 hammering of Everton at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham gave new manager Martin Jol the perfect start with a 3-0 win at Burnley in the English League Cup fourth round on Tuesday, but Southampton crashed 5-2 at Watford .
Ireland launched their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign in impressive style with a 3-0 win over Cyprus.
Southampton coach Paul Sturrock has left the Premier League club after less than half a year.
Ireland manager Brian Kerr has left injured Tottenham striker Robbie Keane out of his squad for the international friendly against Bulgaria next week.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane will miss the opening month of the Premier League season after a scan confirmed ankle ligament damage.
Arsenal became English champions for the 13th time when a 2-2 draw at north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur gave them an unassailable 10-point lead in the table.
Arsenal became English champions for the 13th time when a 2-2 draw at north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur gave them an unassailable 10-point lead in the table.
An injury-time winner from Robbie Keane gave Ireland a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic to bring the longest active unbeaten run in world football to an end.
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