Woooorld Cup Qualificator 57 Comments

We are here at work (dotmike from BlenCorp) but we are not working. One of my African buddies has created an a little gadget antenna that lets him watch the game on a small laptop hidden away in the corner of the cubical.

We have also been arguing who will make it and out of the first round and who won’t. Technically, after 2 games everyone in every round still has a chance to make it to the second round.

Although the calculation becomes a little complicated after the second game especially if there are a lot of ties and the goal differentials change in the last game. Thus, we created a web application that will calculate the odds of passing the first round. We started as 4 and by 6 we are done and it’s live here.

Qlick Qlick Qlick & Qalculate!

57 Responses to “Woooorld Cup Qualificator”


  1. 1 mesraq

    very very nice program, very very helpful, thanks

  2. 2 ep

    Nice!!

    Does it do the “Knock-Out Stage” .. I just wanted to finish my prediction ..

  3. 3 Nolawi

    It does indeed but its not live yet…

  4. 4 anonx

    Nol, you could not have picked a better image of Africa for this blog– Africa through the eyes of Europeans instead of Africans ;) (don’t mind me, taking out my rage over the African teams lack of team chemistry & self-discipline and inablity to score–Its about time they start developing local coaches)

  5. 5 Yared

    You can catch it on espn3.com (LIVE). No Antennaaaa needed for a laptop…

  6. 6 Tsedey

    @anonx, let’s not point fingers at the european coaches. lack of team chemistry and poor defense is among other things that led to these disappointing results!

  7. 7 nolawi

    @ Yared:
    its blocked at work

  8. 8 Dinich

    Africa has more potential in soccer than Europe but what Africa doesnt have is money….period.

    Good news is Europe is buying more and more of African players and I hope that ll help sooner or later.

  9. 9 Telisi

    I was so aghast with the performance of both Cameroon and Ivory Coast. African teams,IMHO, still need to improve their ball controling skill and be able to pass with accuracy and touch. They also need to improve on their ball possession skill rather than waiting for the
    ball to come to them miraculously.

  10. 10 Nolawi

    So far, if ghana wins they go.. but they go with a lose too if aus beats serbia…

    Algeria just has to beat US to go…

    Nigeria is in with a win if Argentina beats Greece..

  11. 11 Dinich

    Nol,

    All Ghana has to do is actually tie with Germany regardless of the outcome of the other game.

    If I were Ghana, I’d defend with 11 men and send Germany home. That d be a lot of fun to watch.

  12. 12 ep

    adding to Nolawi..

    Ivory Coast has to win 8-0 next game, if Brazil wins Portugal :)

  13. 13 Nolawi

    ep wrote:
    well technically Ivory Coast just have to cover the goal differnial…

    IvoryCoast can go in with 1-0 if Brazil beats protugal by 7 goals…

    4 0 and 4 0 works too.

  14. 14 Dinich

    The goal difference is 9. The 7 portugal scored and the 2 (net) Ivory conceded to Brazil….so they technically need 10 goals (net) between Brazil and Ivory Coast…

    Considering brazil will line up team B and will play to entertain and not to score, that is like a mountain to climb for Ivory Coast….

  15. 15 anonx

    Tsedey: All that you mentioned is the work of a coach. Its right for one to point finger(s) at management and their preferance of European coaches over locals… Here is a Guardian article that put the belame where it belongs.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/jun/21/world-cup-2010-africa

    Many nations in Africa turn to foreign coaches. Lars Lagerback with Nigeria, Sven-Goran Eriksson with Ivory Coast and Carlos Alberto Parreira with South Africa were all relatively late appointments that smacked of panic. “I don’t think we believe in our own coaches, so we bring in European coaches and it doesn’t work,” Radebe adds. “This World Cup was a great opportunity for local coaches to showcase our type of football, but that’s not the way it’s gone. Most of the teams are playing the wrong style of football.”

  16. 16 SelamT

    watching the game at work. Hummm

    hope the boss won’t read your blog.

    You can also listen to it on the radio. AM

  17. 17 Dinich

    Anonx,

    IMHO, these coaches have nothing to do with the failures. For that matter most of the African players play in Europe and are very familiar with(and probably prefer) European coaches.

    Those coaches, in fact, help a lot not only because of their technical expertise but also because they don’t come from the corrupt system we seem to have in Africa and help neutralize the politics.

    The one legitimate question about these coaches is whether or not they are worth all the money they r paid. Is it wise for African countries to spend so much money on foreign coaches, even though they help organize whatever weak teams we seem to have? I, for one, don’t think so. Africa needs to invest on its players and its system of soccer.

    I’d be more than happy to coach an African team for a fraction of the money these guys are paid…:) That’d be dream come true.

  18. 18 Nolawi

    This is Africa, Nigeria will go through…

  19. 19 ep

    Nolawi wrote:

    This is Africa, Nigeria will go through…

    I see that as a high possibility …TIA

  20. 20 tsedey

    annonx, thanks for sharing the article although the writer at the guardian’s a bit biased.

    These african players grow up playing soccer, they’re talented and considered best players to qualify for represeting their respective countries, coaches are there to shape and guide as well as train new techniques but they can’t program how [the players] operate so ultimately it’s the team that’s responsible for the success or failure/incompetence.

    also, don’t you think the option of local coaches has been exhausted? i think they did or I’d like to think they did.

    is there any team(african) that’s trained by local coaches that qualified for WC? if so how many?

  21. 21 ep

    @ tsedey:

    Algeria: the only African coach at the tournament: Rabah Saadane

  22. 22 Nolawi

    ep wrote:

    @ tsedey:
    Algeria: the only African coach at the tournament: Rabah Saadane

    There are white africans.. South African coach is african

  23. 23 ep

    @ Nolawi:
    It is Brazilian who won the 1994 Champion with the Brazil team.

  24. 24 anonx

    Dinich: Come on, the outside coaches have nothing to do with failure, you say, I say they have nothing to do with success, there is none to speak of. In full agreement though that the money on outside coaches is money wasted, as well as missed opportunity to invest in local talents (the Guardian piece above questioned whether it was wise for South Africa to spend lavishly on a Brazilian coach, despite the opportunity cost…)

    Tsedey:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Keshi
    Between 2004 and 2006 Keshi coached the Togo national football team, unexpectedly bringing them to their first World Cup tournament, Germany 2006. Having secured Togo’s unlikely qualification, he was promptly replaced by German coach Otto Pfister prior to the World Cup finals, after Togo showed a dismal performance and failed to advance to the tournament stage in 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

    However, Pfister did not last beyond a controversial World Cup campaign that nearly resulted in a player’s strike over pay and Togo remained without a manager until February 2007 when they re-engaged Keshi in time for a friendly against Cameroon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_Shehata
    Hassan Shehata (Arabic: ??? ??????) (born 19 June 1949) is an Egyptian football coach and former player, currently the head coach of the Egyptian national team. He led Egypt to three successive titles at the African Cup of Nations in the years 2006, 2008 and 2010 to become the first African nation to achieve this streak/record.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=10898256
    Algeria coach Rabah Saadane hopes that more African national teams will soon start working with coaches from the continent.

    Africa is hosting its first World Cup, but Saadane is the only coach from the continent among the tournament’s 32 teams. He says African soccer associations should “trust more on our own skills.”

    Saadane said Saturday it’s advantageous for each team to be coached by someone “from the same cultural background and with the same mentality.”

    http://www.racewire.org/archives/2010/06/world_cup_kicks_off_african_coaches_dont_make_cut.html

    “A lot of people [in Africa] still have that mentality that the European knows more,” Thomas Mlambo, a well-known TV presenter and analyst on the South Africa-based sports network SuperSport, told the Wall Street Journal.

    Case in point: former Nigerian national coach Shaibu Amodu led his team to qualify for the World Cup in 2002 and this year. His prize? He was fired both years before the tournament for not “helping his team reach its potential.”

  25. 25 Dinich

    Nol,

    I hope Ghana is not going to let u down today….:)

    If they do, I ll send you a brazil flag. Brazil never disappoints and we probably have more common ground with Brazil than any other non-African team.

  26. 26 anonx

    Tsedey:

    Sorry for the numberous links. If you dont ready any of the links on African coaches, I would highly recommend you read this.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/piersedwards/2010/03/the_struggle_of_african_coache.html

    “We’ve won world titles at U17, U20 and U23 level under local coaches but that’s not being recognised,” laments former South Africa coach Trott Moloto. “Having one African coach here for the World Cup indicates the lack of confidence our people have in our own people – it’s very negative.”

    Like so many African federations, South Africa wanted a man with international experience to lead them in June but this is a classic chicken-and-egg case, for how can these coaches gain such experience or show their worth when so few are given the chance (or indeed the right support)?

    And, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, has anyone ever told them that no country has won the World Cup with an expatriate coach?

  27. 27 anonx

    Dinich:

    seriously, Brazil can go stick its head where the sun doesn’t sunshine. Something new, something fresh, someone unexpected would be great. Go South Korea! :)

  28. 28 tsedey

    thanks ep

    anonx, i read the article…again i agree it’s chicken- or-egg case. whether it’s the local coaches’ below par performance or they were deliberately discouraged- i don’t know. what i know/care is from 54 countires in Africa, 6 qualified for WC. 5 out of 6 is led by expat coaches. Doesn’t it suggest that the rest of the continent is given the opportunity to be trained by local coaches and yet didn’t make it to the WC?

    believe me i’m all for supporting local talent and leadership but i also want results!

  29. 29 Getu

    Tsedey,

    How do you explain Ivory Coast? Its coach is arguably one of the best and look where that got them…
    I actually think having foreign coaches ruins it for the players and can be counter-productive.
    Besides, how can one call winning under a foreign coach a “result”?
    Pretty damn sad this world cup. Ghana the only one to make it out of the group and they’re playing the US next. It’s going to be bitter-sweet which ever side wins.
    Let’s hope Didier earns his golden boots in the clash agains North Korea

  30. 30 ep

    So how do you guys see England’s foreign coaches for consecutive World cups???

    They had Swedish coach “Ericsson” and now they have Italian coach “Fabio CAPELLO”..Don’t you think Manchester United coach should coach them ..??

    Portugal national team also had foreign coach (Scolari – Brazil) on last world cup…

  31. 31 Dinich

    Anonx,

    Foreign or local coach, there is only so much the coach can do. Maradonna is probably the worst coach in this world cup, but his team is doing great…why? because he’s got the players…you and I can coach Argentina and they ll still do well.

    on the flip side, you can get North korea the best coach ever, there is not much he can do to prevent conceding 7 goals to Portugal.

    FYI, the coaches of these national teams only had less than a month time with the players…this is true about all teams….prior to that, they might have been able to meet about once or twice a year for about a week or so…..that is about it….These players train every day with their club coaches….If any coach has influence on their performance, it is the club coach wherever they play, mostly scattered all over Europe.

    lol on ur comment about Brazil. Unfortunately, it is looking more and more like a Brazil year again.

  32. 32 nolawi

    NO Argentina is so good omG

  33. 33 ep

    Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Germany — took it 2 times …Can they take it permanently ?? What is the rule about replica trophy thing ??

  34. 34 anonx

    (this is from yesterday; Still says my comment is awaiting moderation. Breaking it in parts…)

    Dinich: the outside coaches have nothing to do with failure, you say, I say they have nothing to do with success, there is none to speak of. In full agreement though that the money on outside coaches is money wasted, as well as missed opportunity to invest in local talents (the Guardian piece above questioned whether it was wise for South Africa to spend lavishly on a Brazilian coach, despite the opportunity cost…)

    Tsedey:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Keshi
    Between 2004 and 2006 Keshi coached the Togo national football team, unexpectedly bringing them to their first World Cup tournament, Germany 2006. Having secured Togo’s unlikely qualification, he was promptly replaced by German coach Otto Pfister prior to the World Cup finals, after Togo showed a dismal performance and failed to advance to the tournament stage in 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

    However, Pfister did not last beyond a controversial World Cup campaign that nearly resulted in a player’s strike over pay and Togo remained without a manager until February 2007 when they re-engaged Keshi in time for a friendly against Cameroon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_Shehata
    Hassan Shehata (Arabic: ??? ??????) (born 19 June 1949) is an Egyptian football coach and former player, currently the head coach of the Egyptian national team. He led Egypt to three successive titles at the African Cup of Nations in the years 2006, 2008 and 2010 to become the first African nation to achieve this streak/record.

  35. 35 anonx

    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=10898256
    Algeria coach Rabah Saadane hopes that more African national teams will soon start working with coaches from the continent.

    Africa is hosting its first World Cup, but Saadane is the only coach from the continent among the tournament’s 32 teams. He says African soccer associations should “trust more on our own skills.”

    Saadane said Saturday it’s advantageous for each team to be coached by someone “from the same cultural background and with the same mentality.”

    http://www.racewire.org/archives/2010/06/world_cup_kicks_off_african_coaches_dont_make_cut.html

    “A lot of people [in Africa] still have that mentality that the European knows more,” Thomas Mlambo, a well-known TV presenter and analyst on the South Africa-based sports network SuperSport, told the Wall Street Journal.

    Case in point: former Nigerian national coach Shaibu Amodu led his team to qualify for the World Cup in 2002 and this year. His prize? He was fired both years before the tournament for not “helping his team reach its potential.”

  36. 36 anonx

    Dinich and Tsedey:

    Not sure why both of you minimize the role of a coach. The obscene amount of money coaches make at the professional level whether in soccer or basketball should be enough to refute your point. Apparently there is not an abundantly able tacticians—that’s what coaches are for the most part. Nigeria is paying its coach 1.8 million for a service period of 8 month. Their value is so high apparently because the good tacticians are few or those paying them all this money, not only Africans but also the rest of the world are stupid. What else can it be?

    I think we are all agreeing though that the overpriced coaches have not produced result that otherwise an African coach could not match or exceed.

    Excuse me if I misunderstood you Tsedey…but Africa gets 5 teams to the WC, thanks to Roger Milla and his superb team (and coach) of 1998 because prior to him Africa could only field less teams (host nation qualifies automatically). And Africans have to fight it out amongst themselves in an African WC qualifying games to get one of the 5 slots.

    At the qualifying games out of the 34 coaches, only 10 were Africans. I assume that’s the historical trend as well. These odds favor a foreign coach as head of WC African team; if you think African talent has been exhausted, it’s the other way around: more like European coaches exhausted and African coaches untried and more disturbingly Africa refuses to train and believe in its sons and daughters in something as small as… soccer. I found it funny in one of the article the link was made to the missionaries who introduced the game and who were also the first coaches—a case of a chain unbroken, if you ask me.

    Out of the 6 U20s, U17s and so forth African victories, 5 were under African coaches. Ghana was glories under an African coach at the U20. And none of them were given a chance to step up their game. Why not, it’s not like they would do worst than the European coaches.

  37. 37 Dinich

    Anonx,

    In International soccer, players have to be a citizen of that nation. So the coach is stuck with those players. Now, if you are Brazil, that means you have 800 options and the coach has all the flexibility he can ask for to show his coaching talents. But if you are Ivory Coast, there are only a handful professional players that happen to be Ivorians. If you are not happy with any of them, tough luck. If you are Ivory Coast and your best player breaks an arm, you put a cast on and have him play because u simply got nobody else. That is what actually happened.

    The way I see it, the coaches have done the best they could with the players they were given. South Africa was a nameless team even by African standards expected to be a goal bag. FYI they didn’t play to qualify for the world cup. They qualified because they r the host. I give full credit to the coach for bringing that team up to this level.

    Also, I really think overall Africa did well in this world cup. To me all the teams looked really organized (Credit to coaches comes here). None of them were totally dominated in all the games. People who get disappointed with the results of African teams are people who don’t watch soccer unless it is the world cup.

    Despite the results, I think Africa has stepped up its game compared to any previous world cup (not compared to Argentina and Brazil)….Ivory Coast just got unlucky to be in the group of death but could have progressed really well…..Don’t forget this is a tournament where even teams like Italy and France did not qualify for the round of 16 and Germany barely made it.

    I think African soccer is progressing really well, albeit through transfers to Europe. Next 3-4 world cup we will see a serious African contender for the world cup.

  38. 38 anonx

    Dinich:

    I don’t know what more to say. Your views are apart from the concensus thats building on the showing of African teams. The headline description are: fiasco and stumble. I wonder if the difference between your view and mine is a case of low expectation versus high expectation. The result in comparison to other teams performance and historical perfomance if not dismal is disappointing. And you can say my views are that of an only every four year WC soccer fan…. it’s true. But look who else is talking:

    Malawi’s national coach:

    1. Malawi’s national team coach, Kinnah ‘Electric’ Phiri, puts the blame on expatriate coaches for African teams’ early exit from the World Cup in South Africa. He said the expatriates have failed to turn African teams into global forces.

    “It may be time African soccer associations changed their negative attitude towards local coaches. We need to be given a chance to make it ourselves,” Phiri told the BBC in an interview.
    ——————–
    http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/worldcup/story/Multiple-factors-behind-Africas-WC-stumble
    Multiple factors behind Africa’s World Cup stumble

    Explanations abound, and several have the ring of truth. Lack of depth on the national teams, weak youth development programs, governing bodies that lack world-class professionalism, and – perhaps most egregiously – overreliance on non-African coaches hired for brief World Cup tenures.

  39. 39 helen

    Dinich wrote:

    Despite the results, I think Africa has stepped up its game compared to any previous world cup (not compared to Argentina and Brazil)….Ivory Coast just got unlucky to be in the group of death but could have progressed really well…..

    I agree, it was bad luck for the Ivorians to be in the group of death. Even with that they would have benefited greatly if they had played N Korea earlier like Brasil and Portugal did. I think the big problem that the African teams seem to have it in the finishing. It might be a mental thing they have to get over or develop (I am not sure witch it is in this case). And there is so much a coach can do about that.
    Come on Ghana, now BRING IT!!!!!!!

  40. 40 tsedey

    anonx,

    i completely see your point and you obviously done more research than i did. however, i’ve yet to see a proof of poor african teams’ performance is caused by not trained by local coaches.

    getu said: “Besides, how can one call winning under a foreign coach a “result”? uuummm I’ll call it a result even if they’re trained by aliens. yes results matter. Numbers dear, numbers.

    dinich: when i cheer for our african team at world stages, i want to be proud, i expect them to perform their best and at par with other teams but I just don’t want accept since they’re not as bad as North Korea, they[afri teams] played ok in the WC. That’s setting low standards and well to each their own…but what do i know… i only watch soccer once in 4 years…

  41. 41 tsedey

    Anonx said: “Not sure why both of you minimize the role of a coach. The obscene amount of money coaches make at the professional level whether in soccer or basketball should be enough to refute your point.”

    i doubt if the amount of money justifies their significanec to refute this point. do u also believe the amount of money paid to corporate CEO’s justify their significance? not to divert the discussion but…

  42. 42 Dinich

    Anonx,

    Here is where our difference is: I agree that some (few)African coaches can do a decent job. But, the failure of Africa is not due to the foreign coaches….These foriegn coaches, if anything, have managed to bring out the best of Africa. This world cup has seen the best of Africa….If it is not good enough for you, then I d say that is high expectation…..Except for Ivory coast that I think would have gotten further in other groups, I am happy with the African teams.

  43. 43 anonx

    Tsedey:
    This is off tangent since you called for it… you reminded me of a question I got wrong in econ 101: what’s xyz worth? The answer is whatever I am willing to pay for it. If coaches and CEOs are paid more than what one thinks they are worth then the reasons are unrelated to economics. You can make a corruption case– many do… or in the Africans’ pursuit of European coaches at a high cost some Africans are saying the belief that Europeans are better… African coaches haven’t got the experiences of top level games. Of course I don’t buy into this complexity, and nor do I see the results to back up this mistaken idea in the head of some Africans. Go figure, in the States people used to believe that the American football’s quarterback and coach positions are beyond the capacity of a black mind.

    In my circle people quote the mighty Sun Zhu, the ancient Chinese author of The Arts of War… as he might say, a game is won before it is played–that’s why coaches are vital.

    Anyhow, enjoy the games. I am happy for Ghana, I hope they do well and at the same time my loyalty is split over the US vs Ghana game… well because I am an American and an African and I don’t know which should come first ;) . It’s not like I got Eritrea or Ethiopia on the line… But I hope Brazil gets routed. There is nothing like rooting for the underdog. Oh yea, its also nice to witness the ‘I am Habesha, he is African’ discussion we sometimes have here take a distant background role in our identity.

    EP: if no one has answered your question, the WC trophy as of the last time Brazil won it… FIFA said winner keep it. The trophy no longer rotates until one wins it four times.

  44. 44 tsedey

    Anonx: I’m first african and I will always be so without a doubt I support ghana. Unfortunately I will be @ a river rafting tomm. So I won’t get a chance to watch the game :( I’m sure I’ll hear about it somehow. Am saying my prayers now.

  45. 45 Dinich

    Anonx,

    I am surprised that Nol didn’t call you a sell out for your divided loyalty between Ghana and USA…..May be he is guilty of the same thing…..

    Shame on u guys…:)

  46. 46 anonx

    Dinich: I was gonna let this one die-out… and I will, but after words from George Weah.
    —————————-
    http://myespn.go.com/s/conversations/show/story/5363255
    Weah believes the key to improving African soccer begins with coaching. It must be noted that none of the African teams in this World Cup were coached by a black African, even though the game is dominated by black Africans and played on a continent where black Africans are the overwhelming majority.

    While Weah didn’t indicate the problem was racial, he admitted African soccer officials are guilty of believing that European coaches are better trained and have more credibility than African coaches — even though the results don’t necessarily support that assertion. They blindly throw money at European coaches, who are not familiar enough with the continent, its cultural and tribal differences. The teams often lack chemistry and the mistakes are often compounded by firing the coaches. South Africa’s national team, for example, has had 15 different coaches in 18 years.

  47. 47 Dinich

    Anonx,

    Honestly, Weah’s analysis sounds too shallow. Either his analytical abilities are limited or he might be trying to push some agenda.

    Bottom line is Africa’s soccer problem is much bigger than just coaching.

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