Daily Archives: September 4, 2011

England stroll, Dutch double figures

Charles le Brun, Alexander and Porus
“Wayne Rooney hit a brace as England took a significant stride towards Euro 2012 with an impressive 3-0 hammering of Bulgaria in Sofia. A decade after that memorable 5-1 win over Germany in Munich, Fabio Capello’s men could not quite come up with a repeat performance. Nevertheless, their hosts had no answer to a three-goal first-half salvo – with defender Gary Cahill opening the scoring – that means four points from their final two games will book England a ticket to next summer’s Finals in Poland and Ukraine.” ESPN

Chris Smalling shows why England is no longer a country for old men
“Looking on the bright side, as Wayne Rooney is prone to doing these days, England have won every away game since the World Cup. The striker’s optimism may overlook some questionable performances at home and a World Cup that was more dire than anything that had gone before, but thanks to England’s success on the road – and Wales doing them a favour against Montenegro on Friday – the route to Euro 2012 qualification now seems straightforward.” Guardian

Scotland 2-2 Czech Republic
“Scotland’s Euro 2012 qualifying hopes are all but over after a controversial last-minute penalty gave Czech Republic a draw in their Group I qualifier at Hampden. Kenny Miller put the home side ahead a minute from the break from a pass by skipper Darren Fletcher but that was levelled in the 78th minute by midfielder Jaroslav Plasil.” ESPN

Ireland 0 – 0 Slovakia
“Hollywood newcomer Robbie Keane fluffed his lines as he passed up a glorious opportunity to keep the Republic of Ireland firmly in the race for the Euro 2012 finals. The 31-year-old LA Galaxy striker, who missed a penalty in the reverse fixture in October, headed wide from just five yards with 16 minutes of a distinctly uncomfortable contest against Slovakia remaining to let slip a victory his side never really deserved.” ESPN

Albania 1 – 2 France
“France had to cling on in Tirana as three points against Albania moved Laurent Blanc’s team closer to an automatic place at Euro 2012. Early goals from Karim Benzema and Yann M’Vila looked to have put Les Bleus in complete control inside the first quarter of the match, but Albania rocked the visitors with a reply from Erjon Bogdani in the opening minute of the second half. The hosts had chances to net an equaliser but France stayed ahead.” ESPN