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Make or Break for Messi and Argentina

Lionel Messi and Argentina will be fighting for their World Cup lives on Tuesday as the South American heavyweights take on Ecuador aiming to avoid a humiliating failure to qualify for next year's finals in Russia.

The eyes of the football world will turn to Quito's Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa to see if the once unthinkable prospect of a World Cup without Messi is to become a stunning reality.

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Gareth Bale at Crossroads after Wales Heartbreak

A powerless spectator as Wales's World Cup dreams were crushed by the Republic of Ireland, Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has arrived at a crucial tipping point in his career.

Sidelined by the latest in a succession of calf injuries, Bale could only watch forlornly from the stands at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday as Ireland's 1-0 win gave them a World Cup play-off berth at Wales's expense.

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Aussies End War-Torn Syria's World Cup Hopes in Extra Time

War-torn Syria's hopes of qualifying for next year's World Cup ended in a 2-1 extra-time loss to Australia.

Tim Cahill again delivered for his country with two goals in a comeback win in an Asian playoff on Tuesday that ended moments after Omar al-Soma hit the base of the post with a free kick that could have instead earned Syria the place in the final stage of qualifying.

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New Generation Sweeps Egypt to World Cup

Many of Egypt's footballers were not even born when the Pharaohs last played in a World Cup, but the new generation of young stars have steered them to Russia 2018.

Mohamed Salah, Ramadan Sobhi, and Ahmed Hegazy -- all 26 or under -- helped end Egypt's 28-year wait by beating Congo 2-1 on Sunday, catapulting them back on to football's biggest stage.

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Salah Goals Take Egypt to 2018 World Cup

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah converted a stoppage-time penalty to give Egypt a dramatic 2-1 win over Congo Brazzaville Sunday and a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Salah put Egypt ahead during the second half in Alexandria only for Arnold Bouka Moutou to equalize two minutes from the end of regular time.

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Netherlands Need World Cup Miracle, Says Robben

Unless the Netherlands can beat Sweden by a seven-goal margin on Tuesday the inventors of the beautiful game will be absent from the 2018 World Cup finals.

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Xavi Open to Being Qatar World Cup 2022 Coach

Xavi Hernandez said he is open to being Qatar's coach when it hosts the 2022 World Cup and rebuffed critics by claiming he is "very proud" to be in Doha.

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World Cup Hope Brings Relief and Divisions in Syria

The prospect of reaching football's World Cup and creating one of the biggest shocks in the competition's history is giving Syrians something else to think about after years of grinding war.

Syria's underdog team, who because of the war are based in Malaysia, take on Australia in Sydney on Tuesday with the score from the first leg of their playoff poised at 1-1.

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France on Brink of World Cup, Dutch Hopes All but Over

Blaise Matuidi's early goal saw off Bulgaria 1-0 on Saturday and kept France top of European World Cup qualifying Group A, while the Netherlands' hopes are hanging by a thread despite a 3-1 win in Belarus.

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Formula One: Vettel's Title Hopes Frazzled by Gremlins

Sebastian Vettel's Formula One title hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow Sunday after he was forced to retire from the Japanese Grand Prix with engine failure.

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