Scotland vs England12th Jun 2017 |
The greatest classic in the entire world of football went down in Glasgow on Saturday as Scotland hosted England at Hampton Park. The three lions were the favourites for the game, but it took until the 70th minute to get a goal. It seemed like Southgate’s men would do the job after all. But that was until the Celtic super striker Leigh Griffiths loaded his gun for a free kick in the 87th minute. The shot went straight into the goal to give Scotland 1-1. Just three minutes later, the same Griffiths got the same chance, but he chose to put in the opposite corner this time. Scotland had gone from 0-1 to 2-1 in just three minutes, and every kilt wearing Scottish patriot thought that they would get a great victory over their old rivals and get three massively important points. That was until Harry Kane scored on a volley in the 93rd minute. As Gareth Southgate celebrated, Gordon Strachan threw his water bottle down to the ground in pure anger.
Slovakia won 2-1 in Vilnius against Lithuania a few hours later; this was a bad result for both teams. The Slovaks are now just two points behind England, while Scotland is four points away from 2nd place. England will face Slovakia at Wembley on the 4th of September in a game that might well cost The Three Lions a place in the world cup. If Scotland defeats Slovakia at home on the 5th of October, there are still opportunities. The result between England and Slovakia will tell us a lot about the possible opportunities, and the game will be highly interesting.
Northern Ireland, on the other hand, has every reason in the world to be happy about this weekend. It seemed for a long time that they would return from Baku with only one point from a game that looked like it would end in a 0-0. But Stuart Dallas gave them the victory at the very end of the game, placing Northern Ireland at 13 points. The Czech Republic is their fiercest rivals for the playoff place, and they were the greatest favourites against a Norwegian side that has been utter rubbish in the entire qualification stage. But the Vikings gave Northern Ireland a big helping hand that night, holding them to a 1-1. That gives Northern Ireland a breathing space of four points. The next game will be Northern Ireland-Czech Republic in Belfast on the 4th of September. I am already looking forward to that game.
Ireland and Wales
The two teams are trying to reach Russia from group D, where Austria and Serbia are the main competitors. They both managed a 1-1 draw against Austria and Serbia respectively. It is not in any way a catastrophic result for any of them. Ireland still holds the 2nd place in the group, but not managing to defeat Austria must feel very heavy when Serbia only picked one point against Wales. As the group stands now, Serbia tops it with 12 points, which is the same number as Ireland. Wales holds eight points, the same number as Austria. Ireland’s next three games will be against Serbia, Georgia, Wales and Moldova. Wales will face Ireland, Austria, Georgia and Moldova. It is still possible for Wales and Ireland to be the two teams that takes the 1st and the 2nd place of the group, but it looks difficult. For that to happen, Serbia would have to lose to both Ireland and Austria. Difficult, but not in any way impossible.