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mark wilson27

We are the Nations of Domination.....Well maybe

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Authors notes: Basically I will be reporting on all the World Cup 2018 Qualification matches and final matches that the Home Nations are involved in.

So lets get started

July 2015:

July 24th:

So its now time for the draw to see what groups each of the Nations will be in. Their will be six seeding pots and they are as follows:-

1st Seeds: Belgium, Croatia, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain

2nd Seeds: Armenia, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, France, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

3rd Seeds: Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden

4th Seeds: Bulgaria, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Ireland, Montenegro. Norway, Slovakia, Wales

5th Seeds: Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, N.Ireland

6th Seeds: Andorra, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, San Marino

The route to qualification is simple, finish top of your group and your through. Results between the top five teams in your group sorts out where you finish in the second placed table. The top eight teams in the second placed table qualify for the two legged play-off round in November 2017

Right its now time for the draw and it has panned out like this:-

Group 1: Croatia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Israel, Albania, Andorra

Group 2: Belgium, Scotland, Wales, Belarus, Romania, Luxembourg

Group 3: Holland, Montenegro, Slovenia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan

Group 4: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ireland, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, England, Moldova

Group 5: Greece, Serbia, Georgia, Norway, San Marino, Cyprus

Group 6: Spain, Iceland, Hungary, Lithuania, France, Malta

Group 7: Germany, Austria, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Faroe Islands

Group 8: Italy, Armenia, Latvia, Sweden, FYR Macedonia

Group 9: Portugal, Turkey, N.Ireland, Denmark, Bulgaria

Now we have to wait until September 2016 for the start of the qualification rounds.

September 2016:

September 1st:

Before we start the qualifiers lets have a look at each of the home nations:-

England:

England are now managed by Roberto Mancini after Roy Hodgson had decided to retire after Euro 2016. England are currently ranked 11th in the word and will face Bosnia & Herzegovina in their first qualifier

Ireland:

Ireland are now managed by Mick McCarthy after Martin O'Neill decided to take over Liverpool. Ireland are currently 41st in the World. Their first qualifier is against Liechtenstein

Northern Ireland:

Northern Ireland are still managed by Michael O'Neill and are ranked 40th in the World. Their first qualifier is an away match against Turkey

Scotland:

The Scottish are still managed by Gordon Strachan and are ranked 37th in the world. They will be playing Belarus in their opening qualifier

Wales:

Wales are managed still by Chris Coleman and are ranked 55th in the World. Their first qualifying match sees them facing Romania

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September 2nd:

England v Bosnia & Herzegovina (Wembley, London) Grp 4

England started slowly and if it wasn't for a last ditch challenge by S.Caulker Bosnia would have taken the lead. On the 15th minute the away side had another chance with a curling effort which J.Hart tipped round the post. Eight minutes later Bosnia finally took the lead as S.Lulic ran through the English side with ease and fired under J.Hart to silence the Wembley crowd. On the half hour England finally had a chance of note as W.Rooney rose above the defence and headed a J.Milner cross wide of the post. With two minutes remaining in the half Bosnia had another chance to score as they broke into the area with far too much ease and fired towards goal but J.Hart saved the day,

The second half was poor for England as Bosnia controlled the play with ease. On the 54th minute they had another chance with a curling effort from outside the area but P.Jagielka headed the ball off the line. Ten minutes later Bosnia had a clear cut chance to score from the spot after S.Caulker fouled in the area but the penalty was as poor as England's play and J.Hart saved with ease. On the 72nd minute Bosnia killed the game as E.Dzeko barged into the area and fired past the outstretched arms of J.Hart. England looked very poor and the fans greeted the final whistle with a chorus of boo's

England 0-2 Bosnia & Herzegovina S.Lulic 23, E.Dzeko 72

J.Hart, J.Stones (G.Johnson), P.Jagielka, S.Caulker, A.Cresswell, N.Chalobah, J.Henderson, J.Milner, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain (H.Kane), R.Sterling, W.Rooney (capt) (D.Sturridge)

Booked: J.Hart, J.Milner

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Ireland v Liechtenstein (Aviva Stadium, Dublin) Grp 4

Ireland started their campaign with a convincing win over Liechtenstein. On the 15th minute they took the lead with a curling shot form the edge of the are by D.Murphy. Eight minutes later Ireland had another chance as S.Long played a one two with D.Murphy but his final shot went just wide of the post. On the 32nd minute Ireland grabbed a second goal with D.Murphy doing the honours from just outside the area to give the keeper no chance of saving. With two minutes remaining in the half Liechtenstein pulled a goal back as a poor pass by S.Duffy was intercepted and R.Wagner fired in under the D.Randolph.

The second half was all Ireland and on the 57th minute they made it 3-1 as A.McGeady headed in a J.McCarthy cross. Fifteen minutes later D.Gibson came close as he ran onto a S.Cox through-ball but he fired wide of the post. It was far too easy for the Irish but they failed to add any further goals in the half.

Ireland 3-1 Liechtenstein D.Murphy 15, 32, A.McGeady 57 / R.Wagner 43

D.Randolph, R.Keogh (capt), M.Wilson, S.Duffy, S.Kavanagh, A.Doran, G.Whelan (S.Cox), J.McCarthy, A.McGeady (J.McLean), S.Long, D.Murpy (D.Gibson)

Booked: M.Wilson

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Belgium and Wales? That's Scotland's chances screwed then. As ever Mark, I'll be following along.

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Hang on a minute, don't England know they breeze through the qualifiers and then disappoint at the tournament?

Will be interesting to see how the Home Nations get on, I'll be following along Mark.

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Cheers Terk, your lot haven't been blessed with a good draw

Dave - It wasn't the best of starts in truth, Like you said England normally batter the qualifying group but then balls it up in the actual tournament

Wales v Romania (Liberty Stadium, Swansea) Grp 2

A minute into the game Wales were forced into a change as H.Robson-Kanu replaced the injured G.Bale. In the 10th minute Romania came close as they broke into the Welsh are and fired towards goal but W.Hennessey saved well to deny them. On the 23rd minute Wales had their first chance with S.Vokes heading wide of the post from a J.Allen cross. Just before the half hour the first goal was scored as H.Wilson ran onto a J.Allen through-ball and fired under the keeper. However on the 32nd minute A.Maxim equalised for Romania after the Welsh defence seemed to fall asleep. With four minutes remaining in the half Wales retook the lead as S.Vokes headed in a B.Davies cross.

The second half was a minute old when S.Vokes grabbed his second of the game and the Welsh's third with a thunderous effort from close range. On the hour mark Romania had another chance to score with a well worked team move which was stopped in its tracks by a brutal B.Davies challenge which earnt him a yellow card. Deep into injury time Wales should have scored again but S.Vokes missed out on his hat-trick as he fired just wide of the post from close range

Wales 3-1 Romania H.Wilson 29, S.Vokes 41, 46 /A.Maxim 32

W.Hennessey, A.Matthews (C.Gunter), J.Chester, A.Williams (capt), Ben Davies, E.Huws (D.Vaughan), A.Ramsay, J.Allen, H.Wilson, G.Bale (inj 1-H.Robson-Kanu), S.Vokes

Booked: B.Davies

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Scotland v Belarus (Hampden Park, Glasgow) Grp 2

Belarus had the first chance of the game as they ran into the Scottish area unmarked and fired towards goal but C.Gordon was on hand to block the effort. On the 19th minute they had another chance with a low shot which was diverted wide of the post by C.Mulgrew. Eight minutes later Scotland had their first chance as R.Snodgrass hitting the upright from outside the area after running on a J.Morrison pass. With two minutes remaining in the half Scotland took the lead as J.Rhodes rose above the defence and headed a R.Snodgrass corner past the keeper after his initial effort was well saved.

The second half saw Scotland controlling the game and on the 67th minute they made it 2-0 with A.Robertson heading a J.McArthur cross past the keeper. Eight minutes later Scotland were forced into a change as D.Fletcher replaced the injured R.Snodgrass. With three minutes left in the game L.Palmer was cursing his luck as the Belarus keeper somehow managed to save his curling effort. A good start to the campaign for Scotland

Scotland 2-0 Belarus J.Rhodes 43, A.Robertson 67

C.Gordon, C.Paterson (A.Robertson), C.Mulgrew, M.Reynolds, G.Shinnie, J.McArthur (Capt), J.McGinn, R.Snodgrass (inj 75-D.Fletcher), J.Morrison, R.Gould (L.Palmer), J.Rhodes

Booked: J.McArthur, J.McGinn, C.Paterson

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September 6th:

Czech Republic v England (Letna, Prague) Grp 4

Czech Republic had their first chance with three minutes as they broke through the defence with ease but J.Hart blocked the effort. On the 15th minute they had another chance with a thunderous effort but J.Hart again saved the day. Twelve minutes after the effort Czech Republic had yet another effort as a poor pass by N.Chalobah was intercepted but my keeper saved the day again with a brilliant finger tip save. Just before the break we had our first chance of the game as J.Henderson crossed into the area but R.Sterling fluffed his header wide of the post.

The second half was again all the Czech Republic and on the 52nd minute J.Hart made another save from a curling effort. Fourteen minutes later J.Hart was called upon again as he blocked a header after the Czech attackers beat my defence to a cross. On the 76th minute though we took all three points as H.Kane half volleyed a punt upfield by A.Cresswell to give us the undeserved win

Czech Republic 0-1 England H.Kane 76

J.Hart, G.Johnson, P.Jagielka, S.Caulker, A.Cresswell, N.Chalobah, J.Henderson, J.Wilshere, J.Milner, R.Sterling, W.Rooney (capt) (H.Kane)

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Just to let you know, this will be the last post for awhile on all my stories as I have some personal cack to sort out my side. I will still be around on the forums but posting stories will have to take a back seat for now

Bosnia & Herzegovina v Ireland (Bilino Polje, Zenica) Grp 4

Bosnia began the better and on the 18th minute Z.Tripic gave them the lead with a fine strike which gave K.Westwood no chance of saving. Six minutes later it was two nil as E.Dzeko tapped in from close range after beating the defence to a low cross. Ireland looked out of sorts but on the 39th minute D.McGoldrick pulled a goal back for the Irish with a low shot which gave the keeper no chance of saving.

The second half was all Ireland after what must have been a rousing team talk. On the 67th minute they levelled the game with D.Murphy hitting a wonderful strike past the keeper and into the top corner. Soon after they had the chance to take the lead but S.Long fluffed his effort on front of goal. With three minutes remaining in the game though Bosnia were awarded a penalty after S.Duffy fouled in the area, S.Prcic stepped up and fired past K.Westwood to give the home side all three points

Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-2 Ireland Z.Tripic 18, E.Dzeko 24, S.Prcic 87 pen / D.McGoldrick 39, D.Murphy 67

K.Westwood, R.Keogh (capt), S.Duffy, R.Stearman, S.Kavanagh, J.Grealish, G.Whelan, C.McCann (D.Gibson), A.McGeady (S.Cox), D.McGoldrick (D.Murphy), S.Long

Booked: G.Whelan

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Romania v Scotland (National Arena, Bucuresti) Grp 2

A tight affair with neither side really going forward however with seven minutes remaining in the half the opening goal was scored as J.Rhodes beat the offside trap and fired under the Romanian keeper.The second half wasn't much better with the only real piece of action being C.Nica receiving his marching orders on the 71st minute after earning a second yellow card. Sorry to say guys that was all the action from this dire game however the Scottish manager will be happy with the three points. Well that's if he managed to stay awake during the ninety minutes

Romania 0-1 Scotland J.Rhodes 38

C.Gordon, L.Palmer (R.Gauld), C.Mulgrew, L.Cooper, A.Robertson, J.McArthur, D.Fletcher (capt) (J.McGinn), J.Russell, S.Naismith, C.McGregor (C.Paterson), J.Rhodes

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Belgium v Wales (Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels) Grp 2

Belgium controlled the game with some excellent play and on the 19th minute they came close with a rasping effort which was diverted wide by J.Chester. Ten minutes later the same player saved the day with a brave clearance. On the stroke of half time Belgium finally broke through as M.Dembele heading in past the keeper after a well struck free-kick.

The second half was four minutes old when Belgium grabbed a second goal as R.Lukaku barged into the area and fired under the onrushing W.Hennessey. Wales never even came close to threatening the Belgium side and on the 75th minute Belgium were awarded a penalty after A.Williams fouled in the area, luckily for him W.Hennessey saved well to deny the Belgium penalty.

Belgium 2-0 Wales M.Dembele 45, R.Lukaku 49

W.Hennessey, C.Gunter, J.Chester, A.Williams (capt), B.Davies, D.Vaughan (S.Church), A.Ramsay, J.Allen, H.Wilson, H.Robson-Kanu (D.Cotterill), T.Bradshaw (S.Vokes)

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Turkey v N.Ireland (Yeni Trabzon, Trabzon) Grp 9

Turkey started the better and on the 21st minute they had the chance to open the scoring with a great team move which saw L.Camp saving well to deny him. Ten minutes later they had another chance as the Turkish attack broke through the defence but L.Camp again saved the day. Just before the break N.Ireland finally had their first chance as S.Davis threaded the ball through the defence but B.McKay's effort went just wide of the post.

The second half was alittle quieter and on the 62nd minute Turkey were reduced to ten men after B.Yilmaz was sent off for a lunge on J.Ward. With six minutes left on the clock N.Ireland had another chance to score with S.Dallas heading straight into the keepers arms when it was easier to score. However a draw in Turkey isn't a bad result

Turkey 0-0 N.Ireland

L.Camp, S.Foster, J.Evans, D.Devine, R.McKeown (J.Doherty), S.Clingan, S.Davis (capt), C.Brunt, J.Ward (R.Donnelly), S.Ferguson (S.Dallas), B.McKay

Booked: J.Doherty, C.Brunt

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World Cup Qualifying Tables: September 2016

Group 2:

|| Pos   | Inf   | Team       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Belgium    | 2     | 2     | 0     | 0     | 5     | 0     | 5     | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Scotland   | 2     | 2     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 0     | 3     | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Wales      | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 3     | 3     | 0     | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Belarus    | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 2     | -1    | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Romania    | 2     | 0     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 4     | -3    | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Luxembourg | 2     | 0     | 0     | 2     | 0     | 4     | -4    | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Group 4:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team                 | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Bosnia & Herzegovina | 2     | 2     | 0     | 0     | 5     | 2     | 3     | 6     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Ireland              | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 5     | 4     | 1     | 3     |
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Czech Republic       | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 3     | 2     | 1     | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Liechtenstein        | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 3     | -1    | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | England              | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 2     | -1    | 3     |
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Moldova              | 2     | 0     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 4     | -3    | 0     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group 9:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team      | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Portugal  | 2     | 2     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 3     | 3     | 6     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Turkey    | 2     | 0     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | N.Ireland | 1     | 0     | 1     | 0     | 0     | 0     | 0     | 1     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Denmark   | 2     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 3     | 4     | -1    | 1     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Bulgaria  | 1     | 0     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 3     | -2    | 0     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Second Placed Table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Scotland   | 2     | 2     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 0     | 3     | 6     |
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Iceland    | 2     | 1     | 1     | 0     | 6     | 4     | 2     | 4     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Montenegro | 2     | 1     | 1     | 0     | 4     | 3     | 1     | 4     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Serbia     | 1     | 1     | 0     | 0     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Ireland    | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 5     | 4     | 1     | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Armenia    | 1     | 1     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 2     | 1     | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Turkey     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Austria    | 1     | 0     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Slovakia   | 1     | 0     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

 

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October 2016:

October 7th:

Scotland v Luxembourg (Hampden Park, Glasgow) Grp 2

Scotland made light work of Luxembourg as they controlled much of the play. The only surprise was that it took till the 28th minute for the opener to be scored as S.Brown beat the offside trap and slotted in under the keeper. With three minutes remaining in the half they made it two nil as J.McArthur ran through the defence with ease and fired with pace past the keeper to send the Hampden Park fans wild.

The second half was three minutes old when Scotland grabbed another goal with R.Gauld doing the honours from outside the area after being left to run with the ball. On the 62nd minute Scotland were forced into a change as M.Reynolds replaced the injured D.Wilson. Luxembourg weren't getting near the ball and on the 73rd minute Scotland scored the final goal with C.McGregor tapped in from close range after the Luxembourg keeper flapped at a simple ball

Scotland 4-0 Luxembourg S.Brown 28, J.McArthur 42, R.Gauld 48, C.McGregor 73

D.Marshall, I.Anya (A.Robertson), D.Wilson (inj 62-M.Reynolds), L.Cooper, G.Shinnie, S.Brown (capt), J.McArthur, R.Snodgrass, C.McGregor, R.Gauld (C.Paterson), J.Rhodes

Booked: L.Cooper

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Wales v Belarus (Liberty Stadium, Swansea) Grp 2

Wales got off to a bad start as four minutes into the game P.Nekhaychik gave Belarus the lead with a thunderous strike which gave K.Darlow no chance of saving. However it didn't take Wales too long to level the scores as on the 19th minute A.Ramsay slotted home from close range after a brilliant cross by J.Allen. Twelve minutes later Wales had another chance with a low shot from H.Wilson but it went just wide of the post.

The second half was all Wales and on the 49th minute they had another chance as S.Vokes curled the ball towards goal from the edge of the area but the Belarus keeper saved well. However on the 63rd minute Wales were countered and S.Komillenko tapped in from close range after a poor attempted save by K.Darlow. Five minutes later though Wales levelled the scores as H.Wilson ran into the area unmarked and headed an A.Ramsay cross past the keeper. Wales upped their game even more but for all their pressure they couldn't add another goal and had to settle for a draw

Wales 2-2 Belarus A.Ramsay 19, H.Wilson 68 / P.Nekhaychik 4, S.Komillenko 63

K.Darlow, C.Gunter, J.Lynch, A.Williams (capt), B.Davies, D.Vaughan (J.Chester), A.Ramsay, J.Allen, H.Wilson, H.Robson-Kanu (D.Cotterill), S.Vokes (S.Church)

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Moldova v England (Republican, Chisinau) Grp 4

England got off to a great start as J.Henderson ran onto a W.Rooney pass to fire under the keeper. Soon after England had another chance as W.Rooney rose above the defence and headed a J.Milner cross wide of the post. It was getting too easy for England and on the 41st minute S.Caulker headed in a T.Walcott corner after W.Rooney's initial effort was well saved.

The second half was seven minutes old when L.Francluc was given a straight red card after fouling W.Rooney on the way too goal, from the resulting free-kick W.Hughes volleyed the ball in after the defence failed to deal with T.Walcott's cross. Moldova never looked like getting anything from the game and on the 81st minute England grabbed their fourth goal as W.Rooney hit a thunderous shot from outside the area

Moldova 0-4 England J.Henderson 4, S.Caulker 41, W.Hughes 53, W.Rooney 81

J.Hart, J.Stones (G.Johnson), P.Jagielka, S.Caulker, A.Cresswell (C.Chambers), W.Hughes, J.Henderson, J.Milner, T.Walcott, R.Sterling (D.Sturridge), W.Rooney (capt)

Booked: J.Stones, G.Johnson

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Ireland v Czech Republic (Aviva Stadium, Dublin) Grp 4

Ireland started well and on the 11th minute they took the lead via a well struck effort from S.Long. However a lack of concentration cost them as three minutes later L.Krejci headaed in the equaliser for Czech Republic. This didn't deter Ireland as they started to up the pressure and on the half hour they retook the lead with a thunderous effort which beat the keeper to the top corner.

The second half was all Ireland and just before the hour mark they should of made it 3-1 but S.Long fired a penalty wide of the post after a handball in the area. With eleven minutes remaining in the game Ireland killed the game off as S.Cox rose above the defence and headed in from a curling corner. Ireland came close to a fourth goal but the Czech Republic keeper saved brilliantly from six yards

Ireland 3-1 Czech Republic S.Long 11, J.McCarthy 30, S.Cox 79 / L.Krejci 14

A.McCarthy, S.Coleman, R.Keogh (capt), S.Duffy, C.Clark (S.Kavanagh), J.Grealish, G.Whelan, J.McCarthy, A.McGeady (J.McLean), D.McGoldrick (S.Cox), S.Long

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N.Ireland v Portugal (Windsor Park, Belfast) Grp 9

N.Ireland started pretty well and on the 7th minute they had the chance to score as a poor clearance was fired back towards goal by C.Brunt but the keeper redeemed himself with a brilliant save. Ten minutes later they had another chance with a low rasping effort but it clipped the outside of the upright. N.Ireland were controlling the game and on the 38th minute they came close again as C.Brunt beat the offside trap and fired towards goal but the keeper again saved the day. The second half was a different story as Portugal came out fighting and on the 50th minute they took the lead as C.Ronaldo hit a thunderous free-kick from 30 yards which rattled into the top corner of net after J.Evans brought down a Portuguese player. N.Ireland looked shell shocked and on the 77th minute they had the referee to thank after he ruled out a goal for a foul on L.Camp. With a minute remaining in the game N.Ireland had the chance to equalise as C.Morris lumped the ball upfield but K.Lafferty fluffed his effort wide of the post

N.Ireland 0-1 Portugal C.Ronaldo 50

L.Camp, R.McLaughlin, C.Morris, J.Evans, R.McKeown, P.McNair (inj 54-B.McKay), S.Davis (capt), P.Paton, S.Fallon (R.Donnelly), C.Brunt, N.McGinn (K.Lafferty)

Booked: P.Paton

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October 11th:

Luxembourg v Wales (Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg) Grp 2

Wales didn't get off to the best of starts as Luxembourg took the lead within a minute as J.Janisch ran through the defence with ease and fired under K.Darlow. However Wales responded well and started to dominate the play. On the 19th minute Wales came close to levelling the scores with a curling effort from H.Robson-Kanu but the keeper saved well to deny him. With eleven minutes remaining in the half Wales finally levelled the scores as A.Ramsay hit a low shot past the keeper and into the back of the net.

The second half was four minutes old when Wales took the lead as S.Vokes ran through the defence and fired under the Luxembourg keeper. It was becoming the Wales show and on the hour Wales thought they had added another goal but S.Vokes effort was adjudged to have been offside. With eight minutes remaining in the game Wales added the final goal with J.Allen jinking through the defence with real ease and wasted no time in firing past the keeper

Luxembourg 1-3 Wales J.Janisch 1 / A.Ramsay 34, S.Vokes 49, J.Allen 82

K.Darlow, A.Matthews, J.Chester, A.Williams (capt), B.Davies, E.Huws, A.Ramsay, J.Allen, H.Wilson, H.Robson-Kanu (G.Williams), S.Vokes

Booked: J.Chester, J.Allen, A.Williams

 

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Belgium v Scotland (Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels) Grp 2

Scotland got off to a poor start as within two minutes M.Dembele gave the Belgians the lead. Soon after it should have been two nil with a long range effort which had C.Gordon tracking back to tip over the crossbar. It was one way traffic and on the 33rd minute R.Martins blocked a powerful effort to deny the Belgians again. With four minutes remaining in the half the game changed as T.Foket was given a straight red card for Belgium after a professional foul on J.Rhodes.

The second half was three minutes old when I.Anya levelled for Scotland with a great header from a R.Snodgrass corner. On the 59th minute Scotland had another chance with R.Gauld fluffing the chance from six yards after some poor keeping. Five minutes later Scotland grabbed the lead as R.Martin beat the offside trap to round the keeper and fire into the empty net. Belgium weren't getting close to the ball and on the 85th minute Scotland had the chance to rub salt in the wounds but J.Rhodes fired a penalty wide of the post after a handball in the area

Belgium 1-2 Scotland M.Dembele 2 / I.Anya 48, R.Martin 64

C.Gordon, I.Anya, R.Martin, L.Cooper, G.Shinnie, S.Brown, D.Fletcher (capt) (A.Robertson), R.Snodgrass, J.Morrison (J.McGinn), R.Gauld (C.McGregor), J.Rhodes

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England v Ireland (Wembley, London) Grp 4

A minute into the game the first goal was scored as S.Long ran in from the wing and fired under J.Hart to give Ireland the lead. However the lead didn't last long as on the 17th minute W.Hughes grabbed the equaliser with a thunderous effort from outside the area which gave the keeper little chance to save. Five minutes later though England were reduced to ten men after J.Flanagan was sent off for a two footed lunge on D.Murphy. Just before the break Ireland had another chance to score as S.Long rose above the English defence but J.Hart saved brilliantly to deny him.

The second half was pretty cagey in truth with the majority of the play in the middle of the pitch. On the 65th minute though England took the lead as J.Henderson ran into the area unmarked and fired low past the Irish keeper after some poor defending. Five minutes later though Ireland pulled level again as A.McGeady hit a curling effort into the top corner after a poor pass by R.Sterling was intercepted. Ireland were starting to control the later parts of the game and on the 84th minute they were awarded a penalty after S.Long was brought down in the area by J.Stones, however the resulting S.Cox penalty was poor and went well wide of the post

England 2-2 Ireland W.Hughes 17, J.Henderson 65 / S.Long 1, A.McGeady 70

England: J.Hart, J.Flanagan, P.Jagielka, P.Jones (C.Chambers, J.Stones), A.Cresswell, W.Hughes, J.Henderson (capt), J.Milner, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain (S.Caulker), R.Sterling, D.Sturridge

Ireland: D.Randolph, S.Coleman, R.Stearman, R.Keogh (capt), S.Kavanagh, A.McGeady (A.Forde), J.McCarthy, J.Hendrick, J.McClean (J.Grealish), S.Long, D.Murphy (S.Cox)

Booked: P.Jagielka (England)

Sent Off: J.Flanagan (England)

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Bulgaria v N.Ireland (Vasil Levski, Sofia) Grp 9

The first half wasn't great as both teams battled it out in the middle of the field with no real attacking play. Their was only the one chance as Bulgaria broke the Irish side down but J.Evans was on the ball to slide in and clear the ball.

The second half was a lot better for the fans and on the 54th minute the first goal was scored as B.McKay beat the offside trap and gave N.Ireland the lead with a rasping effort. Thirteen minutes later it was 2-0 to N.Ireland as S.Ferguson jinked in from the wing and unleashed a thunderous effort into the top corner. However straight from kick off G.Milanov ran through the Irish defence and fired under L.Camp. With twelve minutes remaining in the game N.Ireland should have grabbed the killer goal as R.Donnelly sprinted into the area but somehow managed to miss from close range when it was easier to score. On the 89th minute Bulgaria equalised as V.Bojinov rose above the N.Ireland defence and headed past L.Camp to secure a share of the points

Bulgaria 2-2 N.Ireland G.Milanov 68, V.Bojinov 89 / B.McKay 54, S.Ferguson 67

L.Camp, R.McLaughlin, J.Evans, C.Cathcart, D.Lafferty, D.Devine, S.Davis (capt), O.Norwood, R.Donnelly, S.Ferguson, N.McGinn (B.McKay)

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World Cup Qualifying Tables: October 2016

Group 2:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Scotland   | 4     | 4     | 0     | 0     | 9     | 1     | 8     | 12    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Wales      | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 8     | 6     | 2     | 7     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 3rd   |       | Belgium    | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 7     | 4     | 3     | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Romania    | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 5     | 6     | -1    | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Belarus    | 4     | 1     | 1     | 2     | 4     | 6     | -2    | 4     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Luxembourg | 4     | 0     | 0     | 4     | 1     | 11    | -10   | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group 4:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team                 | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Bosnia & Herzegovina | 4     | 4     | 0     | 0     | 8     | 3     | 5     | 12    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Ireland              | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 10    | 7     | 3     | 7     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | England              | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 7     | 4     | 3     | 7     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Czech Republic       | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 9     | 6     | 3     | 6     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Liechtenstein        | 4     | 1     | 0     | 3     | 4     | 10    | -6    | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Moldova              | 4     | 0     | 0     | 4     | 1     | 9     | -8    | 0     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group 9:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team      | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Portugal  | 4     | 3     | 1     | 0     | 8     | 4     | 4     | 10    | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Denmark   | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 5     | 0     | 4     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Turkey    | 3     | 0     | 3     | 0     | 2     | 2     | 0     | 3     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | N.Ireland | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 2     | 3     | -1    | 2     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Bulgaria  | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 4     | 7     | -3    | 1     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Second Placed Table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team    | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | France  | 4     | 2     | 2     | 0     | 10    | 4     | 6     | 8     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Greece  | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 5     | 0     | 5     | 7     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Ireland | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 10    | 7     | 3     | 7     |  
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Ukraine | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 7     | 4     | 3     | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Croatia | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 6     | 5     | 1     | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Poland  | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 4     | 1     | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Wales   | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 5     | 0     | 4     |  
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Denmark | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 5     | 0     | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Armenia | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 6     | 7     | -1    | 4     | 
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

 

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Scotland are doing alright so far. A five point gap to second is looking good

November 2016:

November 11th:

Wales v Scotland (Liberty Stadium, Swansea) Grp 2

Wales were the dominant side and on the 7th minute they came close with a low effort which had D.Marshall at full stretch to save. Twelve minutes later they had another chance with S.Vokes rattling the outside of the upright after running onto a loose ball in the midfield. On the 25th minute Wales were forced into a change as L.Evans came on for the injured J.Allen. Three minutes later Wales finally grabbed the lead as H.Robson-Kanu curled a great shot past the keeper from the corner of the area. With four minutes remaining in the half Wales were forced into another change as S.Church replaced the injured S.Vokes.

The second half was all Wales again but on the 68th minute Scotland countered their attack and C.Wighton slotted in under W.Hennessey who looked half asleep. Eight minutes later Wales had the chance to retake the lead as S.Church ran through the defence but his final effort was as poor as Scotland's defending and it went well wide of the post. Wales really should have thrashed Scotland but failed to get their attacks on target

Wales 1-1 Scotland H.Robson-Kanu 28 / C.Wighton 68

Wales: W.Hennessey, A.Matthews, J.Chester, A.Williams (capt), B.Davies, E.Huws, A.Ramsay, J.Allen (inj 25-L.Evans), H.Wilson, H.Robson-Kanu (D.Vaughan), S.Vokes (inj 41-S.Church)

Scotland: D.Marshall, L.Palmer, R.Martin (M.Devlin), D.Wilson, G.Shinnie, J.McArthur (capt), J.McGinn (K.McLean), I.Anya, S.Naismith, R.Gauld (C.Wighton), J.Rhodes

Booked: J.McArthur (Scotland)

 

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Bosnia & Herzegovina v England (Bilino Polje, Zenica) Grp 4

Eight minutes into the game England grabbed the lead as A.Oxlade-Chamberlain ran onto a J.Milner through-ball and fired past the diving keeper. Soon after they had another chance with a powerful effort from W.Rooney which beat the keeper but not the crossbar. On the half hour England had the ball in the back of the net as J.Henderson rose above the defence and headed in from close range but his goal was ruled out for a foul on the keeper. With three minutes remaining in the half Bosnia levelled the scores as E.Visca ran in from the wing and unleashed a thunderous effort past J.Hart.

The second half was all England and on the hour H.Kane headed against the crossbar when it was easier to score. Soon after J.Henderson crossed into the area but D.Welbeck fluffed his volley well wide of the post. England were all over Bosnia but they failed to add another goal and had to settle for poor draw

Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-1 England E.Visca 42 / A.Oxlade-Chamberlain 8

J.Hart, J.Stones (N.Chalobah), P.Jagielka, S.Caulker, L.Shaw, W.Hughes (C.Chambers), J.Milner, J.Henderson, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain, D.Welbeck, W.Rooney (capt) (H.Kane)

 

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Liechtenstein v Ireland (Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz) Grp 4

Twelve minutes into the game Ireland were forced into a change as J.Mason came on for the injured J.Grealish. On the 23rd minute the first goal was scored as J.McCarthy sprinted through the defence and unleashed a powerful effort which left the keeper stranded. However after the goal the half seemed to die a death.

The second half was all Ireland as they piled forward and on the 57th minute A.Keogh curled the ball just wide of the post from outside the area after running onto a loose ball. Eleven minutes later S.Cox had the chance to score but his effort was tipped round the post brilliantly by the keeper. Liechtenstein weren't getting close to the ball but luckily for them Ireland couldn't add to their tally. However three points is three points in this game

Liechtenstein 0-1 Ireland J.McCarthy 23

A.McCarthy, S.Coleman, S.Duffy, R.Keogh (capt), C.Clark, A.McGeady, G.Whelan, J.McCarthy, J.Grealish (inj 12-J.Mason), D.McGoldrick (A.Keogh), S.Cox

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World Cup Qualifying Tables: November

Group 2:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Scotland   | 5     | 4     | 1     | 0     | 10    | 2     | 8     | 13    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Belgium    | 5     | 3     | 0     | 2     | 9     | 4     | 5     | 9     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Romania    | 5     | 3     | 0     | 2     | 9     | 7     | 2     | 9     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Wales      | 5     | 2     | 2     | 1     | 9     | 7     | 2     | 8     |
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Belarus    | 5     | 1     | 1     | 3     | 4     | 8     | -4    | 4     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Luxembourg | 5     | 0     | 0     | 5     | 2     | 15    | -13   | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Group 4:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team                 | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Bosnia & Herzegovina | 5     | 4     | 1     | 0     | 9     | 4     | 5     | 13    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Ireland              | 5     | 3     | 1     | 1     | 11    | 7     | 4     | 10    |
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Czech Republic       | 5     | 3     | 0     | 2     | 14    | 6     | 8     | 9     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | England              | 5     | 2     | 2     | 1     | 8     | 5     | 3     | 8     |
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Liechtenstein        | 5     | 1     | 0     | 4     | 4     | 11    | -7    | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Moldova              | 5     | 0     | 0     | 5     | 1     | 14    | -13   | 0     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group 9:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team      | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Portugal  | 5     | 4     | 1     | 0     | 11    | 4     | 7     | 13    | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Turkey    | 4     | 1     | 3     | 0     | 6     | 5     | 1     | 6     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Denmark   | 4     | 1     | 1     | 2     | 8     | 9     | -1    | 4     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | N.Ireland | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 2     | 3     | -1    | 2     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Bulgaria  | 4     | 0     | 1     | 3     | 4     | 10    | -6    | 1     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Second Placed Table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team        | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Ireland     | 5     | 3     | 1     | 1     | 11    | 7     | 4     | 10    |
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | France      | 4     | 2     | 2     | 0     | 10    | 4     | 6     | 8     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Ukraine     | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 10    | 5     | 5     | 7     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Switzerland | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 8     | 4     | 4     | 7     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Greece      | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 7     | 3     | 4     | 7     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Finland     | 4     | 2     | 1     | 1     | 6     | 4     | 2     | 7     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Belgium     | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 6     | 4     | 2     | 6     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Turkey      | 4     | 1     | 3     | 0     | 6     | 5     | 1     | 6     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Latvia      | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 5     | 8     | -3    | 6     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

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March 2017:

March 24th:

Romania v Wales (National Arena, Bucuresti) Grp 2

Wales didn't start well as Romania controlled the majority of the half without even breaking a sweat. Luckily for Wales W.Hennessey was in fine form and kept most of the attacks away from goal. However with ten minutes remaining in the half Romania finally broke the deadlock as P.Papp beat the offside trap and fired under W.Hennessey.

The second half was all Romania and on the 64th minute they had the chance to grab a second goal but the Romanian striker failed to convert a penalty as it went high and wide of the post. Wales weren't at the races at all and failed to create a single real chance

Romania 1-0 Wales P.Papp 35

W.Hennessey, C.Gunter, J.Chester, A.Williams (capt), N.Taylor, G.Higgins (T.Bradshaw), L.Evans, J.Allen, H.Wilson, G.Bale (S.Church), S.Vokes (H.Robson-Kanu)

Booked: A.Williams

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Belarus v Scotland (Dinamo, Minsk) Grp 2

Scotland failed to get going and on the 14th minute Belarus grabbed the lead as S.Komillenko beat the offside trap and fired under the I.Mackay. Two minutes later it was two nil with the same player doing the honours from just inside the area. Scotland were all over the place and just before the break Scotland had the referee to thank as he ruled a goal out for a foul on I.Anya.

The second half was much the same with Scotland rarely getting close to the goal. Luckily for them though was the fact that Belarus never put much forward pressure on. On the stroke of full Scotland pulled a goal as J.Rhodes hit home from 20 yards after running onto a loose ball but it was too little too late for the Scots

Belarus 2-1 Scotland S.Komillenko 14, 16 / J.Rhodes 90

I.Mackay, I.Anya, M.Devlin, M.Reynolds, G.Shinnie, D.Fletcher (capt) (C.Telfer), L.Milne, R.Snodgrass, C.McGregor, R.Gauld (S.Naismith), J.Rhodes

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Ireland v Moldova (Aviva Stadium, Dublin) Grp 4

Ireland made a blistering start as within five minutes they had taken the lead with S.Cox rattling the ball in off the upright from just inside the area. On the 11th it was two nil with a low shot from J.McCarthy which had the keeper sprawling along the goal line in an attempt to save it. Moldova looked shell shocked and it wasn't long till Ireland had the ball in the net again after S.Long headed in but his goal was ruled out for a foul on the keeper. Just after the half hour Ireland came close again with G.Whelan trying his luck from outside the area but the Moldovan keeper saved well to deny him. With three minutes remaining in the half Ireland went three goals up as A.McGeady ran in from the wing and unleashed a thunderous effort into the top corner.

The second half was all Ireland and on the hour mark it should have been four nil but S.Long somehow missed from close range after beating the keeper to a loose ball. Ireland carried on the forward pressure but it took till the 80th minute for the final goal to be scored as R.Keogh rose above the defence and headed a S.Coleman cross past the Moldovan keeper

Ireland 4-0 Moldova S.Cox 5, J.McCarthy 11, A.Mcgeady 42, R.Keogh 80

A.McCarthy, R.Keogh (capt), M.Wilson, R.Stearman, K.Naughton (S.Kavanagh), S.Coleman, G.Whelan (J.Hendrick), J.McCarthy, A.McGeady, S.Cox, S.Long

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Liechtenstein v England (Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz) Grp 4

England made light work of their opposition and on the 3rd minute W.Rooney headed in a R.Sterling cross after the latter player ran with ease down the wing. However after the blistering start England failed to test the keeper till the 34th minute as R.Sterling was brought down in the area, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain stepped up and fired the penalty with pace past the keeper. With two minutes remaining in the half J.Milner grabbed England's third goal with a powerful strike which gave the keeper little chance of saving.

The second half was four minutes old when J.Ward-Prowse jinked in from the wing and slotted into the bottom left corner past the keeper. Liechtenstein weren't offering anything to the game and on the 67th minute Man of the Match R.Sterling grabbed the goal he deserved with a well struck shot which beat the keeper to his near post to give England a convincing 5-0 victory

Liechtenstein 0-5 England W.Rooney 3, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain 34 pen, J.Milner 43, J.Ward-Prowse 49, R.Sterling 67

J.Hart, C.Chambers (P.Jones), P.Jagielka, J.Stones (inj 2-S.Caulker), L.Baines, W.Hughes, J.Henderson (J.Ward-Prowse), J.Milner, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain, R.Sterling, W.Rooney (capt)

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Northern Ireland v Denmark (Windsor Park, Belfast) Grp 9

N.Ireland played the better football in the first half and on the 21st minute they took the lead as B.McKay ran into the area unmarked and fired a low cross past the Danish keeper. Soon after they had another chance with C.Brunt heading a C.Lester cross just wide of the post. On the stroke of half time Denmark came close with a curling effort which had L.Camp at full stretch to save the shot.

The second half was much the same and ten minutes into the half B.McKay grabbed his second goal from the penalty spot after R.Donnelly was brought down. On the 69th minute N.Ireland had another chance with a powerful shot from B.McKay that was tipped onto the post by the Danish keeper. Denmark never really threatened the Irish side and with four minutes remaining in the game B.McKay failed to complete his hat-trick after he fluffed his effort six yards from goal. A great performance by N.Ireland

Northern Ireland 2-0 Denmark B.McKay 21, 55 pen

L.Camp, S.Foster, C.Morris, D.Devine, J.Evans, S.Clingan, P.Paton (C.Evans), C.Lester (R.Donnelly), C.Brunt (K.Lafferty), B.McKay

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World Cup Qualifying Table: March

Group 2:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Scotland   | 6     | 4     | 1     | 1     | 11    | 4     | 7     | 13    |
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Belgium    | 6     | 4     | 0     | 2     | 19    | 4     | 15    | 12    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Romania    | 6     | 4     | 0     | 2     | 10    | 7     | 3     | 12    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Wales      | 6     | 2     | 2     | 2     | 9     | 8     | 1     | 8     |
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Belarus    | 6     | 2     | 1     | 3     | 6     | 9     | -3    | 7     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Luxembourg | 6     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 2     | 25    | -23   | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Group 4:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team                 | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Bosnia & Herzegovina | 6     | 4     | 2     | 0     | 10    | 5     | 5     | 14    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Ireland              | 6     | 4     | 1     | 1     | 15    | 7     | 8     | 13    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | England              | 6     | 3     | 2     | 1     | 13    | 5     | 8     | 11    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 4th   |       | Czech Republic       | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 15    | 7     | 8     | 10    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Liechtenstein        | 6     | 1     | 0     | 5     | 4     | 16    | -12   | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Moldova              | 6     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 1     | 18    | -17   | 0     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 


Group 9:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team      | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Portugal  | 5     | 4     | 1     | 0     | 11    | 4     | 7     | 13    | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Turkey    | 5     | 1     | 4     | 0     | 7     | 6     | 1     | 7     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | N.Ireland | 4     | 1     | 2     | 1     | 4     | 3     | 1     | 5     |
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Denmark   | 5     | 1     | 1     | 3     | 8     | 11    | -3    | 4     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Bulgaria  | 5     | 0     | 2     | 3     | 5     | 11    | -6    | 2     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Second Placed Table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team        | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Ukraine     | 5     | 3     | 1     | 1     | 13    | 6     | 7     | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Switzerland | 5     | 3     | 1     | 1     | 10    | 5     | 5     | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Ireland     | 5     | 3     | 1     | 1     | 11    | 7     | 4     | 10    |
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | France      | 5     | 2     | 3     | 0     | 12    | 6     | 6     | 9     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Greece      | 5     | 2     | 2     | 1     | 8     | 4     | 4     | 8     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Turkey      | 5     | 1     | 4     | 0     | 7     | 6     | 1     | 7     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Belgium     | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 6     | 4     | 2     | 6     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Latvia      | 4     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 5     | 8     | -3    | 6     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Austria     | 4     | 1     | 1     | 2     | 8     | 7     | 1     | 4     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

 

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September 2017:

September 8th:

Wales v Belgium (Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff) Grp 2

Wales started well and on the 14th minute they took the lead as G.Bales fired in from the penalty spot after S.Vokes was brought down in the area. Soon after they had another chance with a rasping effort from H.Wilson which saw the Belgian keeper at full stretch to save. On the 33rd minute Wales went two goals up as J.Allen curled in a powerful effort from 25 yards. The second half though was all Belgium and on the 54th minute K.De Bruyne headed in from a corner to give Belgium a goal back. Wales weren't getting close to the ball but they struggled to get through the stubborn defence. However on the 88th minute Belgium levelled the game as D.Origi hit a thunderous effort into the top corner of the net to give them the share of the points

Wales 2-2 Belgium G.Bale 14 pen, J.Allen 33 / K.De Bruyne 54, D.Origi 88

W.Hennessey, C.Gunter (A.Richards), P.Dummett (J.Loveridge), J.Lynch, B.Davies (inj 87-No Replacement), J.Pritchard, A.Ramsay (capt), J.Allen, H.Wilson, G.Bale, S.Vokes (C.Morgan)

Booked: J.Allen

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Scotland v Romania (Hampden Park, Glasgow) Grp 2

Three minutes into the game Scotland were forced into a change as B.Spittal came on for the injured R.Snodgrass. On the 15th minute the first goal of the game was scored as P.Anton headed in past D.Marshall to give Romania the lead. Eight minutes later Romania had another chance to score as they broke through the defence but D.Marshall saved well to deny the striker. With six minutes remaining in the half Scotland pulled level as J.Rhodes ran through the defence with ease and fired under the onrushing Romanian keeper.

The second half was pretty even with both teams battling it out in the middle half, however the game never really moved on from the centre third of the pitch and their wasn't another effort in the final forty five minutes

Scotland 1-1 Romania J.Rhodes 39 / P.Anton 15

D.Marshall, J.Naismith, M.Devlin, D.Wilson, A.Robertson, S.Brown (capt), F.Fyvie, R.Snodgrass (inj 3-B.Spittal), J.Morrison (J.Bryan), R.Gauld (S.Naismith), J.Rhodes

Booked: J.Naismith

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England v Czech Republic (Wembley, London) Grp 4

England started the better and it wasn't long till they came close to scoring with a rasping effort from D.Welbeck which beat the keeper but not the upright. On the 22nd minute they had another chance with a thunderous shot from R.Sterling which was well saved by the keeper. Eleven minutes later England were forced into a change as A.Young came on for injured R.Sterling. With six minutes remaining in the half England finally made the breakthrough as D.Welbeck barged into the area and half volleyed a J.Milner cross into the roof of the net.

The second half was four minutes old when the next goal was scored as V.Darida fired in a penalty after L.Baines hauled down a player in the area. The goal seemed to lift the Czech Republic players and on the 55th minute they had another chance but C.Chambers was on hand to clear the effort. Six minutes later they had another chance with a powerful effort which saw F.Forster at full stretch to save. On the 67th minute though England countered a Czech Republic attack and A.Oxlade-Chamberlain finished the move off with ease. England came close to adding the killer goal three minutes later but A.Young failed to complete a great team move. On the 88th minute Czech Republic had their final chance of the game as they broke the English side down but C.Chambers again saved the day with a fine interception

England 2-1 Czech Republic D.Welbeck 39, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain 67 / V.Darida 49 pen

F.Forster, J.Stones (P.Jones), C.Chambers, S.Caulker, L.Baines, D.Poyet (W.Hughes), J.Henderson (capt), J.Milner, A.Oxlade-Chamberlain, R.Sterling (inj 33-A.Young), D.Welbeck

Booked: S.Poyet

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Ireland v Bosnia & Herzegovina (Aviva Stadium, Dublin) Grp 4

The game started slowly with not a lot of action from both sides however on the 29th minute it finally came to life as S.Long rose above the defence to nod home a C.Lester cross. With three minutes remaining in the half it was two nil with D.McGoldrick running in from the wing to fire with power past the keeper and into the back of the net. The second half was much the same with Ireland controlling the play without really breaking through the Bosnian defence. With eight minutes remaining in the game Bosnia pulled a goal back with E.Visca showing the Irish defence a thing or two and wasted no time in firing under the keeper. However Bosnia's joy didn't last long as on the 84th minute S.Long grabbed his second of the game with a powerful effort which gave the keeper no chance of saving

Ireland 3-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina S.Long 29, 84, D.McGoldrick 42 / E.Visca 82

A.McCarthy, S.Coleman, S.Duffy, R.Keogh (capt), S.Kavanagh, A.Doran, M.Wilson (C.McCann), J.Hendrick, A.McGeady (J.Masson), D.McGoldrick (J.McLean), S.Long

 

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N.Ireland v Turkey (Windsor Park, Belfast) Grp 9

N.Ireland never got started and on the 15th minute they went a goal down as H.Calhanoglu fired in from the penalty spot after C.Cathcart handled in the area. Nine minutes later it was two nil with B.Yilmaz doing the honours from close range after beating the keeper to a loose range, Turkey were all over Ireland but failed to add any further goals in the first half. The second half was two minutes old when Ireland gave themselves a glimmer of hope as B.McKay fired in under the Turkish keeper. However straight from kick off Turkey regained their two goal advantage as M.Pektemek curled in from the edge of the area. Turkey carried on the pressure with some excellent play but the keeper was on fine form and saved them from a mauling.

N.Ireland 1-3 Turkey B.McKay 47 / H.Calhanoglu 15 pen, B.Yilmaz 24, M.Pektemek 48

M.McGovern, S.Foster, J.Evans, C.Cathcart (P.McNair), R.McKeown, S.Clingan, S.Davis (capt), C.Brunt (C.Evans), C.Lester, B.McKay, C.Lavery (R.Donnelly)

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September 12th:

Luxembourg v Scotland (Josy Barthel, Luxembourg) Grp 2

As expected Scotland dominated the game and it wasn't long till they had the first chance with J.Rhodes trying his luck from outside the area but the keeper managed to block the effort. Scotland were all over the home side and on the 27th minute they finally got the goal they deserved as J.Rhodes headed in a B.Spittal cross. Straight from kick off it was two nil as J.Rhodes ran onto a C.Telfer through-ball and fired under the keeper. The second half was all Scotland and on the 54th minute J.Rhodes completed his hat-trick with a fine strike from just inside the area after some woeful defending. Luxembourg never got close to the ball and on the 75th minute the fourth and final goal was scored as S.Naismith played a one two with J.Rhodes and slotted in under the onrushing keeper.

Luxembourg 0-4 Scotland J.Rhodes 27, 28, 54, S.Naismith 75

C.Bell, C.Paterson (J.Naismith), D.Wilson, M.Reynolds, A.Robertson, S.Brown (capt), C.Telfer (J.McGinn), B.Spittal, J.Morrison, R.Gauld (S.Naismith), J.Rhodes

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Belarus v Wales (Dinamo, Minsk) Grp 2

Belarus grabbed an early lead as on the 2nd minute S.Krivels slotted home from close range to beat K.Darlow to his left. Three minutes later it didn't get any better as Belarus grabbed a second with a fine strike from S.Komillenko. Belarus were all over the Welsh and the away side had the referee to thank as he ruled a goal out just after the half hour for a foul. With a minutes remaining in the half J.Loveridge came on for Wales in place of the injured J.Pritchard. The second half was pretty quiet in truth with Wales failing to get close to pulling anything back from the game.

Belarus 2-0 Wales S.Krivels 2, S.Komillenko 5

K.Darlow, A.Richards, J.Lynch, A.Williams (capt), N.Taylor, J.Pritchard (inj 44-J.Loveridge, H.Robson-Kanu), L.Evans, J.Williams, H.Wilson, G.Bale, T.Bradshaw (S.Vokes)

Booked: A.Williams, J.Pritchard

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Czech Republic v Ireland (Letna, Prague) Grp 4

The Czech Republic took an early lead as a poor pass by R.Keogh was intercepted and L.Krejci fired in with pace under A.McCarthy. Soon after they had another chance to score but a great last minute challenge saw S.Duffy clearing the ball. Ireland were getting outplayed and just before the break they had the referee's assistant to thank after he ruled out a goal for offside. The second half was all the home side but they failed to get past the impressive Irish defence and with seven minutes remaining in the game they were punished as S.Long finished off a great counter attack to give Ireland an undeserved point.

Czech Republic 1-1 Ireland L.Krejci 8 / S.Long 83

A.McCarthy, S.Coleman, S.Duffy, R.Keogh (capt), K.Naughton (C.Sammon), J.Walters, M.Wilson (A.Doran), J.Hendrick, J.Grealish, S.Long, A.Rooney (S.Kavanagh)

Booked: R.Keogh

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England v Moldova (Wembley, London) Grp 4

England got off to a brilliant start as on the 4th minute W.Rooney barged into the area and fired past the Moldovan keeper. Twelve minutes later it was two nil as D.Welbeck rose above the defence and headed in a J.Henderson cross. However on the 22nd minute a poor clearance by J.Ruddy was intercepted and A.Suvorov fired in past the diving keeper. England responded well and with eight minutes remaining in the half J.Henderson gave England their third goal with a low effort which beat the keeper into the bottom corner. The second half was all England but they struggled to break down the Moldovan defence which had parked the bus in front of goal.

England 3-1 Moldova W.Rooney 4, D.Welbeck 16, J.Henderson 37 / A.Suvorov 22[/b]

J.Ruddy, J.Stones, C.Chambers, S.Caulker, L.Baines, W.Hughes (D.Poyet), J.Henderson (J.Milner), J.Ward-Prowse, R.Sterling (H.Kane), W.Rooney (capt), D.Welbeck

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Portugal v N.Ireland (Estadio Nacional (Portugal), Lisbon) Grp 9

N.Ireland made a good start and on the 17th minute they grabbed the lead as B.McKay beat the offside trap and slotted home under the onrushing keeper. Four minutes later though Portugal levelled as S.Varela barged into the area and headed in a looping cross. On the half hour N.Ireland had another chance to score with S.Ferguson rattling the upright from outside the area after the Portuguese midfield failed to deal with a loose ball. With two minutes remaining in the half Portugal took the lead as N.Oliveira tapped in from close range after some poor Irish defending. The second half was all Portugal but they couldn't get past the Irish defence. On the 82nd minute Portugal were reduced to ten men after Pepe was sent off for a second yellow card. Four minutes later a poor challenge on B.McKay saw N.Ireland awarded a penalty, C.Lavery stepped up and fired the penalty hard and to the left of the keeper to give the Irish a share of the points

Portugal 2-2 N.Ireland S.Varela 21, N.Oliveira 43 / B.McKay 17, C.Lavery 86 pen

L.Camp, S.Foster, D.Devine, J.Evans, J.Dudgeon, C.Evans, S.Davis (capt), C.Brunt (B.Reeves), R.Donnelly (O.Norwood), S.Ferguson (C.Lavery), B.McKay

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World Cup Qualifying: September

Group 2:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | Scotland   | 8     | 5     | 2     | 1     | 16    | 5     | 11    | 17    |
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Belgium    | 8     | 5     | 1     | 2     | 23    | 6     | 17    | 16    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Belarus    | 8     | 4     | 1     | 3     | 11    | 9     | 2     | 13    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Romania    | 8     | 4     | 1     | 3     | 11    | 10    | 1     | 13    | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Wales      | 8     | 2     | 3     | 3     | 11    | 12    | -1    | 9     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Luxembourg | 8     | 0     | 0     | 8     | 2     | 32    | -30   | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group 4:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team                 | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | England              | 8     | 5     | 2     | 1     | 18    | 7     | 11    | 17    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Ireland              | 8     | 5     | 2     | 1     | 19    | 9     | 10    | 17    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Bosnia & Herzegovina | 8     | 5     | 2     | 1     | 15    | 8     | 7     | 17    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Czech Republic       | 8     | 3     | 2     | 3     | 17    | 10    | 7     | 11    | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Moldova              | 8     | 1     | 0     | 7     | 4     | 21    | -17   | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Liechtenstein        | 8     | 1     | 0     | 7     | 4     | 22    | -18   | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Group 9:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team      | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Portugal  | 7     | 5     | 2     | 0     | 15    | 7     | 8     | 17    | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Turkey    | 6     | 2     | 4     | 0     | 10    | 7     | 3     | 10    | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | N.Ireland | 6     | 1     | 3     | 2     | 7     | 8     | -1    | 6     |
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Bulgaria  | 6     | 1     | 2     | 3     | 6     | 11    | -5    | 5     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Denmark   | 7     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 9     | 14    | -5    | 4     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Second Placed Table:

| Pos   | Inf   | Team        | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   |       | France      | 7     | 3     | 4     | 0     | 16    | 7     | 9     | 13    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   |       | Switzerland | 6     | 4     | 1     | 1     | 13    | 6     | 7     | 13    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Ireland     | 6     | 3     | 2     | 1     | 15    | 8     | 7     | 11    |[/b] 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Ukraine     | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 13    | 8     | 5     | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 5th   |       | Belgium     | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 10    | 6     | 4     | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 6th   |       | Turkey      | 6     | 2     | 4     | 0     | 10    | 7     | 3     | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 7th   |       | Poland      | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 10    | 8     | 2     | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 8th   |       | Norway      | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 7     | 8     | -1    | 10    | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 9th   |       | Sweden      | 7     | 2     | 2     | 3     | 10    | 13    | -3    | 8     | 
| --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

 

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October 2017:

October 13th:

Scotland v Belgium (Hampden Park, Glasgow) Grp 2

A dire game for the fans as Scotland just sat back and let Belgium do all the work. However the Belgians weren't much better as they failed to get close. The only piece of action in the first half saw R.Gauld picking up an injury and being replaced by A.Robertson. The second half wasn't much better but on the 63rd minute Belgium grabbed what turned out to be the winner as K.De Bruyne rattled the ball in off the crossbar from outside the area. Not a great game at all for the Scottish and the chorus of boo's at the end of the game let the players know what they thought of the performance

Scotland 0-1 Belgium K.De Bruyne 63

C.Bell, J.Naismith, S.Findley, D.Wilson, G.Shinnie, S.Brown (capt), J.McArthur, R.Snodgrass (D.Handling), J.Morrison (L.Griffiths), R.Gauld (inj 24-A.Robertson), J.Rhodes

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Wales v Luxembourg (Liberty Stadium, Swansea) Grp 2

Wales controlled the game as expected and on the 24th minute A.Ramsay curled in a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards after M.Done was brought down on the way too goal. Soon after they had another chance as H.Wilson beat the offside trap but his final effort was pretty poor and easily saved by the keeper. Just before the half time interval Wales had another chance with a rasping effort from J.Allen which had the keeper at full stretch too save. The second half was four minutes old when Wales grabbed another goal as H.Robson-Kanu dinked the ball over the keeper after running onto an A.Ramsay through-ball. Luxembourg weren't getting close to the ball and on the 87th minute M.Done completed the goal scoring as he fired in from an A.Ramsay cross.

Wales 3-0 Luxembourg A.Ramsey 24, H.Robson-Kanu 49, M.Done 87

W.Hennessey, C.Gunter, J.Chester, J.Lynch, B.Davies (A.Williams), E.Huws (J.Williams), A.Ramsey (capt), J.Allen, H.Wilson, H.Robson-Kanu (N.Taylor), M.Done

 

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Moldova v Ireland (Republican, Chisinau) Grp 4

Ireland took awhile to get going on a poor pitch and it was Moldova who had the first effort as they broke through the defence and fired towards goal but A.McCarthy saved well to deny him. However on the half hour Ireland took the lead as J.Hendrick played a one two with S.Long and fired in under the keeper. With five minutes remaining in the half it was two nil with S.Long running onto a J.Hendrick through-ball and hitting the ball hard and low past the Moldovan keeper. On the stroke of half time Moldova were reduced to ten men after V.Laevschii was given a second yellow card followed by a red. The second half was all Ireland as expected but it took till eleven minutes from time for the final goal to be scored as J.Grealish curled in a wonderful effort from 25 yrds which gave the keeper no chance of saving

Moldova 0-3 Ireland J.Hendrick 30, S.Long 40, J.Grealish 79

A.McCarthy, R.Keogh (capt), M.Wilson, S.Duffy, K.Naughton (D.O'Dea), S.Coleman, G.Whelan (J.Mason), J.Hendrick, J.Grealish, D.McGoldrick (C.McCann), S.Long

 

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England v Liechtenstein (Wembley, London) Grp 4

A good start for England saw them taking the lead in the 10th minute as D.Welbeck rose above the defence and headed in a R.Sterling cross. Nine minutes later it was two nil with W.Rooney running through the defence with ease and he wasted no time in firing under the keeper. It was becoming too easy for England and on the 22nd minute J.Henderson curled in from outside the area after running onto a loose ball. It was complete dominance for England and with two minutes remaining in the half England made it 4-0 with W.Rooney grabbing his second of the game with a fine strike. The second half saw England relax too much and they failed to get close to the goal. With twelve minutes remaining in the game the final goal of the game was scored as R.Wagner tapped in for Liechtenstein after the English defence seemed to fall asleep. A great first half for England but not the best of second halves.

England 4-1 Liechtenstein D.Welbeck 10, W.Rooney 19, 43, J.Henderson 22 / R.Wagner 78

J.Hart, J.Stones (P.Jones), C.Chambers, S.Caulker, L.Baines, N.Chalobah, J.Henderson, J.Ward-Prowse (J.Milner), R.Sterling (H.Kane), W.Rooney (capt), D.Welbeck

 

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Denmark v N.Ireland (Telia Parken, Copenhagen) Grp 9

N.Ireland got off to a good start as within ten minutes they took the lead as C.Lester curled one in from the corner of the area to beat the Danish keeper into the top corner. On the 19th minute Denmark had their first chance of the game with a low shot which had L.Camp scrambling along his lines to save. Four minutes later N.Ireland were forced into a change as C.Lavery came on for the injured B.McKay. It didn't get any better for the Irish as on the 29th minute C.Cathcart came on for the injured P.McNair. The second half was all Denmark though as they started to up the gears and on the 54th minute they came close with a great attacking move but J.Evans slid in at the last minutes to save the day. Nine minutes later the equaliser came as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg rose above the defence and headed in from a free-kick after S.Davis had fouled. Denmark were piling on the pressure and just before the full time whistle they had another chance to score but L.Camp produced a heroic save to deny them the three points

Denmark 1-1 N.Ireland Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 63 / C.Lester 10

L.Camp, S.Foster, D.Devine, P.McNair (inj 29-C.Cathcart), J.Evans, S.Clingan, S.Davis (capt) (P.Paton), C.Brunt, C.Lester, S.Dallas, B.McKay (inj 23-C.Lavery)

Booked: D.Devine

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