Soccer on TV: It’s on to Jamaica for the USMNT in World Cup qualifying
Plus, Canada-Mexico and the rest of Tuesday's games in Concacaf, how to watch the Union's African stars in big World Cup qualifiers, the UEFA women's Champions League, and more.
Nigeria vs. Cape Verde
Tuesday, 11 a.m. (ESPN+)
Here’s the big moment for Jamiro Monteiro and Cape Verde. The Blue Sharks took care of business at home on Friday with a 2-1 win over the Central African Republic, giving themselves a shot to reach the final round of African World Cup qualifying if they can pull off an upset win over Nigeria in Lagos.
Nigeria will be favored thanks to the firepower of strikers Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Iheanacho. But the Super Eagles played at Cape Verde in September, and they needed an own goal to win 2-1. Nigeria only needs a tie this time, while Cape Verde must win to finish first.
» READ MORE: The Union’s African stars are chasing World Cup dreams amid the team’s MLS playoff run
Oman vs. Japan
Tuesday, 11 a.m. (Paramount+)
After a rough start to World Cup qualifying, Japan has righted itself and climbed up to third place in its group. But not all is well quite yet, as shown by the Samurai Blue winning by just 1-0 at last-place Vietnam last Thursday. This will be another tricky road test, and neither side will have forgotten Oman’s 1-0 win at Japan in September that put Japan in a hole from the start.
Cameroon vs. Ivory Coast
Tuesday, 2 p.m. (ESPN+)
This is one of the great rivalries of African soccer, especially French-speaking West Africa, featuring stars over the years like Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o. Now the Union’s Olivier Mbaizo gets to play in this game for the first time, and it’s a big one. Cameroon needs a win to top the group, while the Ivory Coast needs just a tie. A crowd of 25,000 will be allowed into the 42,500-seat Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital, to cheer the Indomitable Lions on.
Netherlands vs. Norway
Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+, TUDN.com)
The Netherlands had a chance to book a World Cup ticket on Saturday, but blew a 2-0 lead in an eventual 2-2 tie at Montenegro. Now the Dutch are just two points ahead of Norway and Turkey, (20 to 18), with Turkey in second by one goal in goal difference.
Turkey plays at Montenegro on Tuesday (2:45 p.m., ESPN+ and TUDN.com), and suddenly that’s not such an easy game for the visitors. If Norway and Turkey win, the Netherlands will miss a second straight World Cup. That would be stunning for a team with Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Virgil van Dijk, and other stars.
» READ MORE: More World Cup qualifying games to watch this week
Jamaica vs. United States
Tuesday, 5 p.m. (Universo, Paramount+)
Riding high after Friday’s 2-0 win over Mexico, the U.S. must now be careful to fall into the same trap it landed in when it beat Jamaica last month then lost at Panama three days later. And the Americans will be without two key starters, Weston McKennie due to yellow card accumulation and Miles Robinson due to a late red card.
The Americans still should be favored, to be sure. And we saw another sign of Jamaica’s woes on Friday when it gave up what would have been a massive win at El Salvador by conceding a 90th-minute equalizer. A U.S. victory here will put the Americans close to the finish line, with home games coming in January against El Salvador and Honduras around a visit to Canada.
But just to be sure, save the celebrating until after this game is over.
» READ MORE: Zack Steffen was quietly outstanding in the USMNT’s statement win over Mexico
Argentina vs. Brazil
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. (Pay-per-view, Fubo.tv)
South America’s World Cup qualifiers haven’t been featured here because it costs far too much money to watch them: $29.95 for TV pay-per-view, $72 for a FuboTV monthly streaming subscription in English, or $33 for Fubo’s Spanish channels. But this is Argentina-Brazil, so it gets mentioned. The home team will just about clinch a berth in Qatar with a win, guaranteeing Lionel Messi one last World Cup in which to star.
Panama vs. El Salvador
Tuesday, 8 p.m. (Paramount+, TelemundoDeportes.com)
As big as the U.S. win was, the biggest story overall in Concacaf might have been further down the standings. Panama now has a five-point lead in fourth place over El Salvador, Jamaica and Costa Rica. If the U.S. and Panama win on Tuesday, the gap will be already be close to insurmountable for the rest of the field.
Costa Rica vs. Honduras
Tuesday, 8 p.m. (Paramount+, TelemundoDeportes.com)
Honduras had a 2-0 lead after an hour against Panama on Friday, and ended up losing 3-2. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good your manager is or isn’t if your players blow a lead like that — and this was the first game in charge for Honduras’ new boss, Hernán Darío Gómez, the man who coached Panama to the World Cup.
Costa Rica lost at Canada, 1-0, on Friday. It was a narrow score line, but the Ticos rarely looked threatening. Still, a win here would keep the Ticos in the race for fourth.
Canada vs. Mexico
Tuesday, 9 p.m. (Telemundo 62, Universo, Paramount+)
This is the game of the night in Concacaf, and not just because of the soccer. With temperatures expected to be well below freezing in Edmonton, another massive crowd is expected at Commonwealth Stadium to see if Canada can win and jump over Mexico in the standings.
If that happens, Alphonso Davies and the Canucks will have all but clinched their first men’s World Cup berth since 1986 — and El Tri manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s seat will be scorching hot after back-to-back losses.
» READ MORE: Friday's USMNT win might have been the last great U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier
Bayern Munich vs. Lyon
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN, atafootball.com)
Bayern gave Lyon a serious fight last Wednesday, losing just 2-1 in France. Now the scene shifts to Germany, and let’s see if the home team can pull off the upset this time.
Wolfsburg vs. Juventus
Thursday, 12:45 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN)
The 2-2 tie between these teams in Turin last Wednesday lived up to the hype. Let’s see if Juve can do it again, this time on the road.
Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Thursday, 3 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN, atafootball.com)
Paris Saint-Germain thumped Real Madrid 4-0 in Paris last Tuesday, then got thumped 6-1 at rival Lyon on Sunday. Lyon was already up 2-0 when PSG’s Ashley Lawrence was sent off in the 24th minute, then things snowballed from there. The Parisians need a win here to continue their good form in Europe, even if they’ve likely lost their shot at the French league title.
» READ MORE: The rest of this week's women's Champions League schedule