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Could champions Spain miss 2014 World Cup qualification?

Modified 25 Mar 2013, 17:12 IST

Spanish players react after Finland scored the equalizer on Friday.

Spain has been the team of the last few years in international football, having won the 2010 FIFA World Cup plus the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships, but La Furia Roja are in danger of missing out on direct qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Until a few years ago, the Spaniards were regarded as the underachievers of world football, but their golden generation has changed all that, with Spain being the team to beat over the last five/six years.

But on Friday, Spain once more dominated a match but ended only with a one-all draw against lowly Finland in Gijon, which puts them under immense pressure against a resurgent France, who have a two point lead over Spain in Group I ahead of Tuesday evening’s clash at the Saint-Denis in Paris.

A win to France and the Equipe Tricolore can plan for Brazil, while even a draw could see them through in the end, while only a Spanish win will put La Furja Roja back in control of the group.

Many are already speculating if it is the end of an era in which Spain won everything, or if this qualification round has made the Spaniards become human again.

After Tuesday evening, we could know more about where Spain and its football team stand on their path to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Finishing second in the group isn’t the end of the road. As the top second-placed team, they could still qualify directly for the World Cup or go into a playoff.

Published 24 Mar 2013, 16:45 IST
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