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Oct 15, 2013

Switzerland seeded for World Cup

Switzerland will definitely be seeded in the draw for the World Cup finals after they overtook Italy in the FIFA World Rankings.

Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of the game to give Switzerland the victory.
Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of the game to give Switzerland the victory.

Colombia and Uruguay also secured their seeds with wins on Tuesday night, ensuring both Italy and Netherlands will be unseeded for the World Cup draw, as long as Uruguay beat Jordan in an inter-confederation playoff.

The eight seeded teams will be Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay (as long as they qualify) and Switzerland. The seeds will become official with the Thursday release of October's FIFA rankings.

Switzerland knew they had an excellent chance of being in the top pot for December's ceremony if they won at home to Slovenia, and Granit Xhaka's 74th-minute goal ensured they claimed the three points with a 1-0 win.

That meant the Swiss needed only one of Colombia, Italy or Uruguay to slip up, as ESPN revealed on Monday, and it came when the Italians could only muster a 2-2 draw at home to Armenia. Switzerland now have 1138 points to Italy's 1136.

And there was worse news to come for Italy as Netherlands won 2-0 away in Turkey through Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder goals -- leaving the Dutch with an exact score of 1135.95 points to Italy's 1135.61.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli had demanded a victory over Armenia to ensure the Azzurri would be seeded, but now they will be at the mercy of the draw. Colombia beat Paraguay 2-1 and Uruguay beat Argetina 3-2 in CONMEBOL qualifying to shore up their ranking points.

If either one of Colombia or Uruguay had failed to win, then Netherlands would have been seeded on Dec. 6. The Dutch still have a chance to be seeded if Uruguay fail to overcome Jordan in their inter-confederation playoff in November.

Meanwhile, Sweden's 5-3 home defeat to Germany -- after leading 2-0 just before half-time -- cost them a place among the seeds in the European playoff draw. The defeat allowed Ukraine to leapfrog them, with Ukraine edging out France 871 points to 870.

Seeded: Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Ukraine.
Unseeded: France, Sweden, Romania, Iceland.

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