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With all the excitement this month of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and African Nations Cup together with the European Club Competitions and Olympic Qualifying matches, not to mention the ongoing saga of who is going to be awarded the 2006 World Cup, the first month of the Preliminary matches for World Cup 2002 have largely gone unnoticed in the press.

As we reach the end of March, the first round matches in the CONCACAF Caribbean Zone have all now been completed.

Guyana were the first team to be put out without kicking a ball following their suspension by FIFA due to political problems caused by the election of officers to the Guyana Football Association.

The honour of scoring the first goal in World Cup 2002 fell to Marvin Andrews of Trinidad and Tobago in their match against Netherlands Antilles.

The first match to be decided by a "Golden Goal" was the match between Grenada and Barbados when, after two two all draws, Llewellyn Riley scored in the 96th minute to put Barbados through to the second round tie against Aruba.

Surinam went though against St. Lucia when, with the scores equal after extra time in the second match, they won the first penalty shoot out by three goals to one.

Bermuda scored the most goals putting nine past British Virgin Islands in Hamilton, a match that also saw Wendell Nicholls of British Virgin Islands having the dubious pleasure of being the first player sent off in a World Cup 2002 match.

Two matches have now been played in each of the CONCACAF Central American groups with both Belize and Nicaragua failing to gain a point in either of their two matches.

With March starting with 200 people watching the Anguilla against Bahamas match, it finished with 60,000 watching Uruguay beat Bolivia by one goal to nil in Montevideo in the first round of the South American round robin matches.

Argentina's four goals to one win over Chile in Buenos Aires puts them top of the table, but with eighty five matches still to be played, positions are bound to change.

The coming month of April will see the second round CONCACAF matches being played as well as another round of South American matches at the end of the month.

The first round two legged matches in the African Confederation will also be played, so with over sixty matches being played during April the Preliminary Round matches are well under way.