Category: Archive

Euro 2000 Roundup: Yugoslavia rally after loss to Irish

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

A day after Ireland’s 1-0 stoppage time loss to Croatia, Yugoslavia blasted Macedonia 3-1 in Belgrade last weekend to complete an eventful 24 hours for the Republic, who dropped from first to third position in Group 8, ahead of today’s penultimate round of Euro 2000 qualifiers.

Yugoslav skipper Dragan Stojkovic, who missed his side’s 2-1 defeat in Dublin on Sept. 1, led the charge against Macedonia with two goals (36th, 54th). He was replaced in the second half by Dejan Savicevic, who finished off the visitors with a third goal after Sasa Ciric (64th) had pulled one back from the penalty spot.

The win lifted Yugoslavia (4-1-1, 13 points) into second place going into today’s return game in Macedonia — a game that Irish coach Mick McCarthy would probably like to see end in a tie.

But regardless of the outcome in Skopje, an Irish victory in Malta today will mean the three-way battle for first place in Group 8 going to the wire on Oct. 10. That’s when leaders Croatia (4-2-1, 14) host Yugoslavia in Zagreb, and Ireland (12) travel to Skopje to face fourth-placed Macedonia (7).

North Rocked

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Turkey dedicated their Group 3 qualifier with Northern Ireland in Belfast to the victims of that horrific earthquake last month and then proceeded to rock their hosts. Midfielder Arif Erdem hit a hat trick in a four-minute playing span (45th, 47th 49th) to give the Turks (15) a 3-0 victory ahead of their visit to Moldova today.

Germany, who are at home to Northern Ireland today, stayed on top of the group on goal difference after Oliver Bierhoff’s brace (2nd, 17th) sunk Finland 2-1 in Helsinki. Janne Salli (63rd) was the Finn scorer.

Shearer magic

Striker Alan Shearer bolstered England’s hitherto waning qualifying hopes in Group 5 with a hat trick in the 6-0 annihilation of Luxembourg at Wembley Stadium.

Shearer struck in the 12th (pen), 28th and 34th minutes. Steve McManaman chipped in with two goals (30th, 44th), while the returning Michael Owen iced it with the best goal of the match (90th).

The real test for the English (3-3-1, 12), however, comes in Warsaw today against Poland (12), who they bumped out of second place on goal difference. A tie will suffice to earn Kevin Keegan’s men a playoff berth.

In Stockholm, undefeated Sweden (16) all but wrapped up Group 5 with a 1-0 win over Bulgaria on Niclas Alexandersson’s 65th effort. Victory in Luxembourg today will clinch it for the Swedes, whose only European championship appearance was in 1992 as hosts.

Scots stay alive

Don Hutchison (13th) and Billy Dodds (45th) produced an improbable 2-1 road win for Scotland over Bosnia in Sarajevo to stay on course for the playoffs. Elvir Bolic (23rd) got Bosnia’s goal.

Another positive result for the Scots (11) away to Estonia (10) today could clinch it. Estonia also stayed in contention with late goals by Martin Reim (88th) and Raio Piiroja (93rd) in a 2-0 decision over the Faroe Islands in Toftir.

The Czech Republic, the hottest team in the Euro 2000 qualifiers, maintained their 100 percent record (8-0, 24) in Group 9 with a 4-0 romp over 10-man Lithuania in Vilnius. Pavel Nedved (60th, 63rd) and Jan Koller (68th, 90th) did the damage after the home side’s Edgaras Jankauskas was ejected in the 19th minute.

The Czechs are in Bosnia today, while Lithuania visit the Faroe Islands.

Giggs delivers

Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs nodded in an 85th minute goal to lift Wales to a 2-1 win over Belarus in Group 1. The hosts had led 1-0 after 30 minutes through Baranov, but Dean Saunders (41st) tied it up before Giggs delivered for the third-placed Welsh (3-0-4, 9).

Denmark stayed two points ahead of Wales by edging Switzerland 2-1 in Copenhagen. Allan Neilsen (54th) and Jon Dahl Thomasson (81st) connected for the Danes who tackle group leaders Italy (14) in Naples today. The Turkish-born Kubilay Tuerkyilmaz (79th) replied for Switzerland.

Norway triumph

Norway improved to 6-1-1 (19) at the top of Group 2 with a 1-0 romp over Greece in Oslo, on Oyvind Leonhardsen’s 34th-minute strike.

In Oslo today are second-placed Slovenia (17), who pipped Georgia 2-1 in Ljubljana, courtesy of Milenko Acimovic (48th) and Zlatko Zahovic (80th). Shota Arveladze (55th) was Georgia’s marksman.

Also in Group 2, third-placed Latvia (12) returned from Albania with a point in a 3-all tie. Vitalits Astafjevs (20th, 62nd) and Andrejs Stolerc (70th) were on target for the visitors, while Alban Bushi (29th, 78th) and Devi Muka (90th) replied for Albania.

France draw

There was no change in Group 4 following the goalless tie in Kiev between pace-setters Ukraine (16) and World Cup holders France.

But there’s a three-way tie for second place with Russia and Iceland joining the French at the 15-point mark after their victories over Armenia (2-0) and Andorra (3-0), respectively.

Vladimir Beschastnych (7th pen) and Valery Karpin (70th) struck for the Russians in Moscow, while Thordur Gudjonsson (29th) Hermann Hreidarsson (32nd) and Eider Gudjonsson (90th) iced Andorra in Reykjavik. Today’s schedule is Armenia-France, Iceland-Ukraine and Andorra-Russia.

Spaniards cruise

Group 6 leaders Spain (15) dispatched Austria 3-1 in Vienna with goals by Raul (23rd), Fernando Hierro (50th) and Luis Henrique (88th). Austria hit back through a Hierro own goal (49th).

Cyprus climbed into second place (12) with a 3-2 triumph over Isr’l in Limassol. Panayotis Engomitis (27th), and Milenco Spoljaric (53rd, 86th pen.) starred for the Cypriots, while Walid Badir (32nd) and Yossi Benayoun (58th) were the Isr’li scorers.

In Group 7, Romania knocked Portugal off the perch with a 5-1 rout of Slovakia in Bratislava. Adrian Ilie (6th), Gheorghe Hagi (30th), Liviu Ciobotariu (66th), and Viorel Moldovan (88th, 90th) connected, while Vladimir Labant (22nd) had Slovakia’s consolation goal.

Romania (20) opened up a one-point lead over Portugal, who needed a last gasp Luis Figo goal (90th) to avoid defeat to Azerbaijan in Baku. The hosts had led 1-0 through Zaur Tagizade (51st).

In another Group 7 tie, Liechtenstein and Hungary battled to a 0-0 stalemate in Vaduz.

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