Five Remaining World Cup 2006 Team Slots To Be Decided In Tomorrow's Playoff Qualifying Matches
ISTANBUL Turkey (AP)- With today's playoff qualification matches for the 2006 World Cup the remaining 5 teams who will qualify for the world's biggest sporting event will be decided in a matter of hours.
Switzerland unbeaten in 14 straight games heads into Wednesday’s match with a two-goal advantage after beating the Turks 2-0 in the first leg on Saturday. Spain goes to Slovakia with a 5-1 lead. The Czechs are up 1-0 and at home to Norway. Australia is back in Sydney trailing Uruguay 1-0 and Bahrain is at home after a 1-1 tie in Trinidad and Tobago.
The survivors of today's matches will fill the final five places in the 32-team tournament next summer in Germany.
Turkey coach Fatih Terim said his team would not shy away from gambling tactics in the second leg of its World Cup playoff against Switzerland.
Terim then admitted it would be tough to overcome the deficit if the Swiss score first.
"We’re not going to be afraid of taking risks. Certainly we’re going to press but we’re aware that if we eat a goal this is going to be a job left to miracles Terim said Tuesday. "We’ll take risks at any second but the smarter we do it the better."
Turkey which reached the semifinals at the last World Cup has struggled recently and failed to qualify for last year’s European Championship.
The Turks feel they were treated badly in Switzerland by fans who blew whistles during the Turkish national anthem and by critical Swiss media.
On Monday 24-year-old goalkeeper Volkan Demirel called a news conference with the team psychologist. It was devoted solely to Volkan’s mental state. Team psychologist Acar Baltas said Volkan was forced to rethink his purpose in life after insults from the press the fans and the opposing coach.
"I see this event as affecting his value system his view of the world Baltas said. "Volkan asked why we’re doing sports. ... Why are we living?"
Terim also spent much of his time dealing with issues other than soccer.
"One of the Swiss players swore at me and showed me the finger and when he says he didn’t do it everyone believes him said Terim referring to a run-in with Switzerland striker Alex Frei.
Two key Turks Emre Belozoglu and Hamit Altintop will return to the lineup after sitting out suspensions.
Australia hasn’t been in the World Cup since 1974 and this might be the Socceroos’ best chance in a decade. Uruguay is without injured striker Diego Forlan sidelined by a leg injury.
Looking for every advantage Australia flew home on a charter equipped with massage and video facilities two doctors and a physiotherapist. Uruguay flew a charter to Chile and then took commercial flights to Sydney.
Spain has almost reached its eighth straight World Cup.
"We’ll have the problem of the cold and the state of the field but I’m convinced we can win said Spain’s Luis Aragones unbeaten in 17 matches as coach. "Slovakia is a good team. But when Spain does things right it’s a powerful team."
Spain will play without suspended midfielder David Albelda.
Slovakia coach Dusan Galis will have to watch the game from the stands after receiving a red card in Madrid. Defender Marian Had who was also sent off on Saturday and midfielder Miroslav Karhan are suspended.