World Cup field increases by 14

Already in, U.S. beaten by Costa Rica, 3-0

October 09, 2005

Fourteen more teams qualified for next year's World Cup, with England, Italy and the Netherlands leading the way in Europe.

Three other European teams also made it yesterday - Portugal, Croatia and Poland - while Ukraine and host Germany had already advanced.

All five African spots were also filled, with Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Angola qualifying for the first time. Tunisia claimed the final spot from the region.

Also, Paraguay and Ecuador joined already-qualified Brazil and Argentina from South America, while host Costa Rica beat the United States, 3-0, to earn the third berth out of CONCACAF. Mexico and the United States have already qualified.

Carlos Hernandez scored twice in the second half for Costa Rica.

"We're in Germany, by God," Costa Rica coach Alexandre Guimaraes said.

"We wanted to look at different combinations of players," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena, who didn't bring many of the top Americans to San Jose. "We did achieve that."

Four Asian teams - Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea - have already qualified for the tournament.

The Netherlands made it with a 2-0 victory against the Czech Republic. The win also meant England and Poland reached the finals of the 32-team tournament.

"It's a great feeling, we're going to the World Cup in Germany. I'm a guy that won't get many more chances," Netherlands goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar said.

England defeated Austria, 1-0, on Frank Lampard's 24th-minute goal. Poland did not play, but is guaranteed - along with England - of either winning Group 6 or finishing as one of the two best second-place teams.

Under European qualifying rules, the eight group winners and the two best second-place teams advance. The remaining six second-place teams play off next month for three more spots.

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