England Wins Again; Germany Rolls; Portugal Loses; France Rebounds


Wayne Rooney’s 1st international goal in England’s last twelve matches spanning a year highlighted their 3-1 win over Switzerland in Basle in Euro 2012 Group G.  Rooney and England had been under a lot of scrutiny this week (when are England not under a lot of scrutiny?) because of allegations that came out this week about Rooney involved in marital infidelity but the controversy didn’t seem to affect the Man U striker as he broke his international goal drought.  England did have to wait for their second goal, scored by Adam Johnson (who has scored two in two matches for the Three Lions) only after the Swiss were reduced to ten men and following a goal pulled back by the Swiss Darren Bent finally sealed the deal for England with a goal a couple minutes from time.


A brace from Miroslav Klose and another international goal from Lukas Podolski led the German squad in a 6-1 win thumping of Caucasus region country Azerbaijan in Group A.  The Azerbaijani squad offered little fight as the Germans continued to use virtually the same squad that led them to a third place finish at the recent World Cup.

A Ronaldo-less Portugal lost in Oslo to Norway 1-0 and find themselves currently behind Cyprus, who they surprisingly drew with 4-4 on friday in Group H, level on one point but with a worse goal difference than the Cypriots.  A 21st minute goal by Brann’s Erik Huseklepp was all the Norwegians needed to best the Portuguese.

France rebounded in Bosnia with a 2-nil win although they had to wait until the 72nd minute to break the deadlock with the Bosnians.  Karim Benzema, who was not taken to South Africa on France’s World Cup squad, put the French in front and Florent Malouda scored a few minutes later following a swift counterattack.  Laurent Blanc made a few changes from the 1-0 disaster against Belarus on Friday including starting Benzema & going with more muscle in central midfield with the pairing of Alou Diarra & Abou Diaby.  France is now 3rd in an already fascinating Group D behind Albania & Belarus (Good calls in this group so far, Bobby!).


Rundown of remaining Tuesday Euro 2012 qualifiers:

Group A
Turkey led by a veteran Hamit Altintop goal outlasted Belgium, 3-2 andis currently second in the group on only goal difference to Germany.   Two stoppage time goals saw Austria down Kazakhstan, 2-0.

Group B
Young midfielder Miroslav Stoch’s goal saw the visiting Slovakians shock Russia with a 1-nil victory.  Macedonia andArmenia drew 2-all in Skopje.   Ireland tops Group B on goal difference over Slovakia following their 3-1 win over Andorra in Dublin.

Group C
Serbia and Slovenia played to a 1-all draw in Belgrade and the Azzurri with five goals from five different players crushed the Faeroe Islands in Florence and top Group C.

Group D
Albania with a lone goal from Hamdi Salihi downed Luxembourg and currently top Group D over Belarus who drew nil-nil against Romania in Minsk.

Group E
Sweden destroyed San Marino 6-0 led by a brace by Milan newboy Zlatan Ibrahimovic while the Dutch bested the Finns 2-1 led by formerMilan player Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.  In the remaining Group E match the Magyars of Hungary got all three points with a 2-1 victory versus Moldova.

Group F
Georgia and Israel battled to a nil-nil draw in Tbilisi as did Croatia and Greece in Zagreb.  Latvia scored the only Group F goals of the day as they defeated a host Maltan side, 2-nil.

Group G
Bulgaria remains pointless after two matches as they lost to Europe’s newest official nation, Montenegro on a goal by Elsad Zverotic who currently plays for FC Luzern of Switzerland.

Group H
Denmark led by a Thomas Kahlenberg goal got the best of Iceland, 1-0, with the Icelanders getting a valiant performance in goal from Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson who was finally bested by Kahlenberg in extra time.

Group I
The Czechs were stunned at home by Lithuania in their opening Euro 2012 match on a goal five minutes before the half hour mark scored by Darvydas Sernas andScotland needed a last minute goal by defender Stephen McManus to get by a surprisingly stern Liechtenstein side.

Current Euro 2012 Qualifying Standings