Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Home Nations and Euro 2008 qualification.

Four wins and a loss for the home nations this morning.

I was up at 6.30am to cheer on the Irish against Slovakia. Kevin Doyle's goal did the business. Duff had a great game though sometimes a bit aimless with his crossing, and the game was an enjoyable affair. Keeps the Irish in with a shout of qualification - but with the Czechs also winning against Cyprus the Czech Republic and Germany are still in the strongest position to do so. Its getting nice and close though. Come on Ireland! We've only qualified for one out of the last 6 major tournaments (ie out of the last 3 euro champs and last 3 world cups we only made 2002 and a heart-breaking loss to Spain on penalties that turned out to be as well). Prior to that though 1990 and 1994 had seemed to herald good fortunes for Ireland. Bring back Jack Charlton - brilliant ex Leeds and England centre-half of the 60s/70s and legendary Irish manager of the early 90s!

Wales had a 3-0 win over San Marino. But then everyone beats San Marino. Wales don't really have any realistic chance of qualification but its still nice to see them do well. Hopefully they can help the Irish by thwarting the Germans and Czechs whenever they next may play them.

England beat Andorra 3-0 and if they hadn't won it would have been a huge shock. Andorra are after all over 150 places behind them in the rankings I believe. It took until the second half to get any goals as well. Russia and Croatia are in the best positions to qualify from this group but it would be foolish to discount England - despite the fact that Steve McClaren is a bit of a useless turd.
Northern Ireland had a fantastic 2-1 win over Sweden. That's 5 goals in 2 games for David Healy. He can't seem to replicate his form for Leeds but that could either be because our shower of shite don't link up and play him in very well, or maybe he's just more motivated for his country. Come on David - you've got 7 games to fire us to survival - please do it! Northern Ireland have never been much cop, and their current team aren't exactly fantastic but David Healy really is the toast of Northern Ireland - and qualification practically rests on his shoulders. They are in a pretty good position to qualify but don't expect the likes of Spain to give up the fight yet - qualification could still easily implode for the Northern Irish.

Scotland had a 2-0 loss to Italy leaving them in a bit of a vulnerable position. They are on 12 points alongside Ukraine and France, with Italy just behind on 10. But Scotland have played one more game than the other 3. This group should go down to the wire.
Come on the Home Nations - lets see Ireland, N. Ireland, Scotland and England qualify. Would be bloody nice for a change. But reckon only 1 or 2 at the most will end up making it.

Only time will tell.

No comments: