Euro 2012 Qualifier Roundup: Match Day 2

Portugal's loss was Norway's gain as influential captain Cristiano Ronaldo could play no part in the match in Oslo. Norway would eventually win 1-0.

Group A

Belgium 2-3 Turkey

Probably the most exciting game of the day. Turkey thoroughly outclassed Belgium for the first thirty minutes, which made Daniel van Buyten's goal on the half hour mark a little surprising. In what ended up being an incredibly entertaining back and forth match, Turkey equalised  through Hamit Altintop, Belgium had Vincent Kompany dismissed for a second yellow card, then both Turkey and Belgium scored within twenty second half minutes. Arda Turan made it 3-2 Turkey with ten minutes left, and that proved enough to send the home team to their second consecutive victory.

Kazakhstan 0-2 Austria

Austria left it late against Kazahkstan, scoring twice in injury time to seal three points. Goalkeeper Andrey Sidelnikov was a major thorn in the home team's side, repeatedly denying Austria with some fine saves. As the match progressed, Kazakhstan grew increasingly adventurous, hoping to steal more than just one point, but their forays forward were to prove their undoing as Roland Linz and Erwin Hoffer both netted in stoppage time.

Germany 6-1 Azerbaijan

It was a walk in the park for Germany at home against Azerbaijan, save for an embarrassing misplay by Manuel Neuer, who dropped a corner into the goal for Azerbaijan's lone goal. Since the home side were already 4-0 up at the time, it was an inconsequential mistake - two first half stoppage time goals from Lucas Podolski and Miroslav Klose had already put the game out of reach. Ultimately the most important part of the game for the Germans was Per Mertesacker's early injury, which forced him off the field after 11 minutes.

Group B

Slovakia 1-0 Russia

Slovakia mounted a smash and grab raid in Moscow to come away with an impressive victory against the best team in the group. Ex-Chelsea midfielder Miroslav Stoch was the hero, smashing home an impressive long-range shot after a mistake by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had gifted him possession in the 27th minute. Russia had most of the ball throughout the game and were probably unlucky not to have scored one or two, but Slovakia still defended their lead heroically and deserved full points from an enthralling match.

Armenia 2-2 Macedonia

In a humdrum game with an amazing finish, Armenia failed to put Macedonia away to record their first win of the campaign. The visitors twice led only to see the home side equalise shortly thereafter. Yura Movsisyan took advantage of a half-clearance to lash the ball in from distance in the 40th minute only to see that effort cancelled out by Mario Gjurovski 20-yard shot in the 42nd. More drama was to come as Armenia scored what looked to be an injury time winner, only for defender Sargis Hovsepyan to handle in the penalty box seconds later. Ilco Naumoski slammed the spot kick home to salvage a draw for the resilient Macedonians and leaving Armenia to rue their many missed chances.

Andorra 1-3 Ireland

Robbie Keane found the net as Ireland cruised to a comfortable victory over minnows Andorra, who will be happy to come away from Dublin with a goal to their name. Kevins Kilbane and Doyle made it 2-0 before Andorra scored a shock goal on the verge of halftime authored by Christian Martinez. If that unsettled Ireland, it didn't show, as Keane secured the points shortly after the break with a right footed finish from 12 yards. Ireland find themselves at the top of the group, ahead of Slovakia on goal difference.

Group C

Slovenia 1-1 Serbia

It took a late goal from Birmingham City striker Nikola Zigic to rescue the game for Serbia, who were dominant throughout without producing anything to show for their efforts until the 86th minute. Slovenia defended in numbers and scored against the run of play early in the second half, Milivoje Novakovic volleying home a neat cross from Andraz Kirm. Serbia redoubled their efforts in reply, and eventually scored a deserved equaliser with a cross of their own four minutes from time.

Faroe Islands 0-5 Italy

Italy should be expected to destroy teams like the Faroe Islands at home. They did. Five different players got on the scoresheet as the Azzuri put their World Cup nightmare happily behind them. There's not much else to say - Italy were quite good, and the islanders were quite bad. Surprise!

Group D

Romania 0-0 Belarus

After Belarus managed to beat France in Paris they might have been expecting better than a goalless stalemate at home to Romania, but both sides looked flat and the game was devoid of many meaningful chances. Romania came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half, but goalkeeper Yuri Zhevnov was equal to Bogdan Stancu's shot. At the other end, Sergeis Kornilenko and Kislyakboth came close but failed to hit the target. Games don't get much more bore-draw than this one.

Luxembourg 0-1 Albania

Albania saw off 10-man Luxembourg with a first half goal from Hamdi Salihi. Mario Matsch was sent off for a second bookable offence shortly after half time, and Luxembourg, barely capable with eleven men, were hardly going to be able to chase the game down a player.

France 2-0 Bosnia

A bounceback game for France after their hilarious home loss against Belarus. Bosnia are supposed to be France's  toughest competition in Group D, and a loss in Sarajevo for Les Bleus would have been disastrous. Instead of going at the French all guns blazing, Bosnia settled for a slow, boring game designed to secure one point rather than three. It looked to be working for some time, but then Karim Benzema and Florent Malouda struck in quick succession to sink Bosnia and haul France back into contention.

Group E

San Marino 0-6 Sweden

Sweden played the majority of the match down a man but that didn't stop them demolishing their less prestigious opponents. The Swedes had 71% of possession as the visitors could do nothing even with a numerical advantage after Olaf Mellburg was shown a straight red in the 34th minute. Zlatan Ibrahimovich opened the scoring in the eight minute and also added Sweden's 5th in the 77th.

Moldova 1-2 Hungary

Hungary made hard work of the home win over Moldova but ultimately two long range shots were enough to secure victory. After Hungary were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Gergely Rudolf and Vladimir Koman, Moldova poured forwards, scored with 15 minutes left, and gave the Hungarian defence plenty to think about as they defended their lead. Ultimately, the home side did just enough to squeak through.

Finland 1-2 Netherlands

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a brace as Holland struggled to beat Finland at home. After the score was 2-0 in the 17th minute, Holland might have been excused for thinking that they were home and dry, but Mikael Forsell headed home a reply just two minutes later and the home team were more or less on the back foot for the rest of the game. It wasn't the most inspiring of performances from the World Cup finalists, but three points is three points, and Holland will be happy with six from two games.

Group F

Israel 0-0 Georgia

Georgia continued their strong start to the qualifying campaign by holding Israel to a goalless draw. The game was full of half-chances but had very few clear-cut opportunities; the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock was when the home side rattled the crossbar with a vicious 35 yard free kick. Both sides remain unbeaten in their group so far.

Latvia 2-0 Malta

Boring boring 2-0 Latvia boring boring.

Greece 0-0 Croatia

A couple of goals disallowed for offsides wasn't enough to put the spark into a tiresome game in Zagreb. Greece defended in numbers against the home side, who dominated possession without ever really penetrating the visitor's lines. Croatia's Nikica Jelavic and Greece's Fanis Gekas both were denied by the linesman's flag before the hosts stormed forward at the last, putting huge pressure on Greece for the final 15 minutes. The Greek defence, as is their wont, battened down the hatches and rode out the storm, leaving Croatia with a disappointing draw.

Group G

Montenegro 1-0 Bulgaria

Elsad Zverotic smashed home a long range effort to condemn Bulgaria to a home loss, a defeat which had further ramifications than mere dropped points - coach Stanimir Stoilov announced his resignation immediately after the match. Bulgaria, who were dire against England at Wembley last Friday, were not much better for most of the match, holding the ball without creating chances and letting Montengro attack on the break. They did have one chance to equalise at the death, but the crossbar denied them and Bulgaria now sit at the bottom of the group.

England 3-1 Switzerland

WAGNH recap.

Group H

Iceland 0-1 Denmark

The home side left it late as Morten Skoubo secured victory for Denmark in stoppage time, converting a Dennis Rommedahl cross in the 91st minute. While Iceland never seemed likely to score, they were holding out for a point resolutely, and for a long time it looked as though the Danes were not going to be able to break the deadlock. They had plenty of chances to score, and Skoubo's goal will spare the blushes of Thomas Kahlenburg in particular, who shot straight at the goalkeeper when it seemed easier to score.

Portugal 0-1 Norway

Portugal continued their dismal run of form with an away defeat against Norway. While the visitors had the better of play for much of the first half, they found themselves behind thanks to Erik Huseklepp's sidefooted shot, and as the game went on the Portuguese were guilty of rushing things as they desperately pushed for an equaliser. In the very last minute, they had a great chance to salvage something from the game, but Bruno Alves somehow contrived to steer the ball wide whilst standing virtually on the goal-line. Portugal have looked totally lost without captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who is out with an ankle injury, and they might already be in too big a hole to dig themselves out of.

Group I

Lithuania 1-0 Czech Republic

Oh dear. Milas Baros will get a lot of stick for missing a penalty that could have tied the game, but Darvydas Sernas's 25th-minute header should not have presented an insurmountable obstacle for the hosts. It was a classic example of an away team sneaking an early goal and hoping that their luck held for the rest of the match, and no matter what the Czech's tried (they even committed goalkeeper Petr Cech to the attack at one point) they just couldn't get the ball in as the Lithuanian goal led a charmed life.

Liechtenstein 1-2 Scotland

Scotland came extraordinarily close to recording the worst result in their history, requiring a 97th minute goal (5 minute of added time were supposed to have been played) to secure victory against a country whose population is significantly lower than the capacity of Hampden Park. While Stephen McManus can make some claim to be a hero, it was a dark day for Scottish football as they failed to stamp their authority on a side which is regarded as one of the worst teams in the world. Mario Frick gave the visitors the lead in the 46th minute, and although Scotland smashed home an equaliser though Kenny Miller shortly thereafter they looked like a team that had simply run out of ideas - until, that is, a very late cross produced a very late headed winner.

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