World Cup qualifying started badly for Argentina, and now it's getting a whole lot worse.
The wife of a Chinese soccer player gave her husband a red card Wednesday for playing away, claiming that spending too much time with his mistress led to his embarrassing gaffe in a crucial World Cup qualifier.
A resurgent Brazil squad under new management became the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday, the same day archrival Argentina heightened its risk of missing a spot at Russia 2018.
Germany, England and Poland all took another step toward World Cup qualification but the Netherlands' failure to do the same cost national coach Danny Blind his job on Sunday.
The Netherlands' hopes of reaching the World Cup finals suffered a major setback on Saturday when the three-time runners-up slumped to a shock 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria.
Halfway through European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, there is little to divide some of the teams.
Marcello Lippi earned his biggest win since taking over as coach of China, 1-0 against South Korea in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
Brazil was not intimidated by more than 60,000 raucous fans at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, beating second-place Uruguay 4-1 in South America's World Cup qualifying group to retain the lead in the standings after 13 matches.
In his last international game in a 13-year career, Lukas Podolski struck a brilliant winning goal to sign off by giving Germany a 1-0 win over England in a friendly on Wednesday.
Marcello Lippi faces his biggest challenge as China coach, needing a win against South Korea to keep alive any hopes of qualifying for Russia 2018.