International Round Up

Draws were the order of the day for the Irish international sides tonight, with the Republic- Montenegro and Northern Ireland- Czech Republic matches both ending in scoreless draws. The Scots got their campaign back on track with a hard fought 2-1 win in Iceland, whilst England were particularly impressive in hammering Croatia 4-1 in what should have been their trickiest fixture of the entire campaign. Wales lost earlier in the day to Russia 2-1.

  • Brian Walker

    Phew what a relief for devolution! (Now there’s a name for a side)! And for IONA of course.

  • Doctor Who

    Useful point for ROI, NI can´t really complain with a point either and as ever the GAWA in good voice at Windsor Park. The draw is probably disapointing because the Czechs weren´t at their game tonight.

    Well done to Arsenal´s Theo Walcot scoring a hat trick for England.

    See ya in Slovenia.

  • Dewi

    Astonishing Welsh performance – should have won really – and missed a second penalty in two days. Really proud – a bloke came on from Wrexham in the last 10 minutes – the first time a non-league player has represented Wales in 78 years.

  • Quagmire

    Great point for the Republic. 4 points from 2 away games, very useful indeed. Thought the north should have prob won tonight. The Czechs will win the group so maybe a point gained rather than 2 lost. If neither Irish team make it to South Africa then surely it must be time to think about an all Ireland team.

  • Colin

    Thought Ireland could have won tonight in Montenegro, but overall a good 4 points from two tricky away fixtures at the start of the campaign.

    Solid defence, hard working midfield and a team that has clearly bonded with each other and the manager.

    Still think Andy Reid has a part to play in the qualifiers, but overall a competent display by the Boys In Green.

    Roll on the trip from Belfast to Dublin for the first home game against Cyprus in mid October.

  • Quagmire

    Hopefully heading down myself too for the match Colin. Haven’t been to Croker for a soccer match yet so I’m really looking forward to it. Might stay over for a few libations to celebrate a win hopefully.

  • borderline

    I cannot see how an all-Ireland team would be much better than either of the two current teams.

    With respect youd be talking about 2-4 NI players to be added to the ROI team.

    That marginal improvement would be lost in the big picture of form, luck, management etc.

    And the supporters are too far apart to unite behind one team. They weren’t 50 years ago, and they might not be 50 years hence, but that’s the way I see it for now.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good on England. And on Capello for telling it like it is, and suggesting publicly to the British sports press that his players are a bit nervous playing at home (I wonder why?).

    It seemed to confuse Alan Green on the Today Programme this morning, which was nice!

  • RG Cuan

    Good performance by the south, some of the passing was excellent.

    Quietly confident of qualification…

    Hard luck Cymru Dewi!

  • Dewi

    “Good on England” – Mick – what on earth have you got against Croatia ? Terribly biased – is it a religious thing?……

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Must say i thought Capello was bonkers with his selection but appears to have got it spot on. I think all the home nations have started fairly well – good stuff.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Is this where we can discuss Sunday football…..i notice that the bbc ni website has a poll which 79% people who have responded support it…….

  • Mick Fealty


    When you’ve lived amongst the Sasanaigh as long as I have, you begin to see the humanity beneath the shirt.

  • abucs

    Great result for England and a decent one for Northern Ireland.

    I think as well Cypress will be very dangerous in the Irish Republic group. They could have had Italy the other night if the ball bounced the other way.

  • happy with that result for Northern Ireland especially without Davis who is pretty sharp at the moment – also no Lafferty and with the subs coming on i felt the team looked solid enough… Healy is obviously suffering from lack of match play so hopefully that will change in next month or so… Czechs were for the taking though…

  • Carson’s Cat

    If we’d have had Davis and Lafferty on the pitch last night then who knows. The midfield was definitely lacking something without Davis and Healy definitely needs more support up front. Its really not fair that there’s such a roar of expectation just because he happens to get the ball. He really needs someone who could have maybe taken a few of those longer balls which were coming up front.

    However, we had quite a few lucky escapes last night too and if a few balls had bounced differently then we could easily have found ourselves at least 1-0 down.

    That said NI made a few good chances and managed to get a few half decent balls into the box. Bit of luck on the other side and who knows. Good result with 2 key players missing.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Good on England. And on Capello for telling it like it is, and suggesting publicly to the British sports press that his players are a bit nervous playing at home (I wonder why?).”

    I guess because England fans are sick of their team’s piss poor performances and the claims of players (as well as the press) that they could win some of the major tournaments of recent years?

  • Greenflag

    Those 2 points given up in Montenegro may/will come back to haunt us. Thanks to the Italian management we have made a fair start

    Amazing performance by England – Walcott the Great and ahem again the Italian ‘management ‘.:) Credible performance by NI and as for the Welsh well missing a penalty is 99% of the time ‘death’ at this level of competition .Scotland made up for thier Macedonian blunder so it’s even stevens for the haggis eaters at this stage 🙂

  • Driftwood
    I’m concerned about Uruguay after their goalless draw with Ecuador. A match they really should have won.

  • consul

    Although we were a little toothless going forward, I would have to say that last night was the first time in 5 or 6 years that the team went to the other side of Europe to play in a hostile atmosphere and not look like they would give up a goal. I think that it is good that Trap is concentrating on shoring up the defence as he was always going to do, because the first step to prolonged success is to develop a culture of not conceding as a rule. This will hopefully lend itself to a growing confidence in the team that should lead to the kind of football which makes for a steady flow of chances. Even from one end of the match to the other last night it was noticeable how the players moved from survival mode in the early stages to actually getting a foot on the ball, at times playing triangles and asking the opposition some questions. There are some signs I believe that the confidence that has been absent for some years is threatening to return and this is important as anyone can tell you that in order to achieve the sort of results necessary for qualification, that bit of swagger, just that touch of arrogance that comes from knowing that you’ve got your opponent’s number is an indispensable commodity.

  • Driftwood
    Good to see our boys flying ahead of the pack. Like to see them go through as well as Montevideos finest.
    That’s the sort of ‘guay’ I am.

  • Republic of Connaught

    4 points from 6 is decent but I haven’t been overly impressed by Ireland. Stephen Hunt is totally brainless. He looked worse than Dirk Donkey at Anfield and that’s saying something. Andy Reid is a vastly superior option to Stephen Hunt, even if Reid always looks like he lives in McDonalds.

    NI got a good result but have little chance to qualify. I’d prefer Sanchez to Worthington.

    England surprised everyone. The talent is there so maybe Don Fabio will get them to improve.
    England and Trap’s Ireland will be the two home nations off to South Africa. Can’t see Bulgaria stopping us.

  • pat

    In the short time Trap had been with Ireland, he is already moulding a team that looks robust and solid in defence.

    O’Shea and Dunne are forming a good partnership in the Cente back roles and the return of Finnan has been important.

    The team worked well as a unit and we may well be in the mix, come the end of the campaign.

    Good wins for England and Scotland, Wales had the chance to Draw away to Russia and the North are finding out that teams may well be happy enough to come to Windsor and take the draw, and with such a poor away record i can’t see them featuring in the fight for qualification.

  • consul

    Well to be honest RoC I know Dunphy and Giles have been waxing lyrical about Reid quite a bit lately but I’ve always seen him as a bit of an up and down player. His form for me tends to be streaky enough, one night he’s quite good, the next night he’s hopeless. And when he’s not doing it on the ball he goes missing because he just doesn’t believe in defensive duties, he’s a passenger. Hunt gives away the ball quite a bit but then he’s on it a lot. I don’t think anyone regains more possession. In the games against Italy and Bulgaria, I think Hunt will be a better asset than Reid.

  • Republic of Connaught

    I agree Consul, Andy Reid is far from great. But Hunt spent so much time chasing the ball because he can’t retain it and had so little ability to do anything with it. He’s like a dumb cat chasing his own tale. Reid should have came on yesterday simply because Hunt was a joke.

    As a left winger we need much better quality but I suppose Duff will come back in anyway. Not that he is the player he was either, but he’s better than the other two.

  • consul

    True, true.
    Duff 02
    Where are you?


  • Commandant Dan Gallagher

    No one mentioned the USA trouncing Trinidad 3-0.

    Let’s be honest, the USA is probably a better team than anything from the British Isles and it is only our 6th most popular sport (and lacrosse is gaining). No one, apart from hispanic immigrants, follow it at all with the exception of the World Cup.

    Makes you feel real insignificant about your own teams, don’t it.

  • Driftwood

    Diego Forlan will have to do better in future..;=5739

    Not good enough.

  • A comedic look at sports coverage in the North.


  • longshotkickdabucket

    great stuff from Apres Match-don’t know if it was funnier than the real thing, however.

  • lee

    I love my football folks, but don’t forget about the Gee-Gee’s!

    Make sure you have a few quid on Mick’s horse 🙂 next time out, won yesterday at 20/1.

    Slugger O’Toole eased to victory in the Heating And Ventilation News Handicap
    Wednesday, 10 September 2008


    3:45 | 9 Slugger O’Toole (C Catlin, 20-1 ); 10 Harrison George (P Hanagan, 7-1 ); 8 Fathsta (J P Spencer, 10-1 ); 14 ran. 14 Royalist (P Robinson, 9-2 2nd-fav); 7 Carniolan (A Kirby, 3-1 fav);