Euro qualifier action

The four home nations and the Republic of Ireland all see action today. So far it seems like a day for goal feasts. Northern Ireland were deservedly beaten 3-0 by Iceland. Scotland hammered the Faroe Islands 6-0. England stomped Andorra 5-0. Wales lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic and the RoI lost 1-0 to Germany.It was a return to the bad old days for Northern Ireland. During the McIlroy era, the defence had a habit of falling apart if the opposition scored in the first 20 minutes of a half, and history repeated itself when the Icelanders scored in the 13th minute and two more in the first half. Tony Capaldi, who dropped defensive clangers in the Finland game, carried on in the same form today. The Iceland attack quickly realised they had the beating of him and took full advantage down the left-hand side with the 3-0 scoreline at half-time almost a disappointment for them. In the second half, Northern Ireland put together a more attacking game but this had much to do with Iceland sitting back on their comfortable lead. Healy did hit the net but was disallowed because of a prior foul by Elliott. Just as poor as Capaldi was Quinn. There is little point of having a big man to control and hold up the ball and win it in the air if he singularly fails to do either nor seems to have heard of the concept of running. Playing long, high balls against a team whose average height is about 4 inches taller than your team seems pointless too although the water-logged pitch offers some excuse for not playing it on the floor. The only ray of hope was the hardworking midfield performances of Clingan, Gillespie, Elliott and Davis. Sanchez has his work cut out before the more daunting task of Spain on Wednesday. Capaldi and Quinn need some of this stuff.