Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 11, 2006

Greece beats Bosnia 4-0 in Euro 2008 qualifier

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 7:51 am

The News Review:

* England in need of that old David Beckham magic
* Scotland fans attacked in Ukraine
* Koller levels for Czechs in 1-1 Euro 2008 qualifying draw at Ireland
* Greece beats Bosnia 4-0 in Euro 2008 qualifier
* Soccer: Macedonia cruises to victory
* Lokomotiv hint at O’Connor reason
* Smith rues missed chance in Kiev
* Toshack hails dominant Wales win
* N Ireland 1-0 Latvia
* Croatia 2-0 England
* Poland upset Portuguese with Smolarek double
* Henry closes within three of Platini’s French record
* Southall gives Jones full backing
* Richards steps up for England
* Bruce relief after Bendtner scan
* Scotland suffer first qualifying defeat
* Republic of Ireland 1-1 Czech Republic
* Teenage star Adu set for training stint with United
* Wednesday’s football gossip

England in need of that old David Beckham magic
Taipei Times – Oct 11, 2006
He sat in tears after limping out of the quarter-finals against Portugal and watched his teammates lose in a penalty shootout. Dropped
Taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson after the World Cup, McClaren phoned Beckham and told him he had been dropped. While England was struggling on Saturday against Macedonia, a Euro 2008 qualifying opponent it should have beaten easily, Beckham was nowhere near Old Trafford, the stadium where he learned his trade with Manchester United. He wasn’t playing for Real Madrid either. There were no Spanish league games over the weekend because that country’s national team was in Sweden for another Euro 2008 qualifying match. It wasn’t as if Beckham was pursuing the other lucrative side of his millionaire lifestyle, appearing at photo shoots for sunglasses, watches, razors or soft drinks. Or at his wife’s side at a Paris fashion show… Now, after dropping two points at home, England faces a tough visit to Croatia today to stay atop its qualifying group. With Steven Gerrard suspended and Aaron Lennon injured, it should be the ideal situation for Beckham to be recalled on the right side of midfield, his regular position. Although McClaren said he had not “closed the door” on Beckham, he made it clear that the 31-year-old midfielder was not part of his plans. He believes that changing his mind would undermine his credibility to make important decisions. McClaren has never said it, but the word from inside the England camp was that Beckham was too old and too slow and too much of a showbiz personality. He was considered indispensable by Eriksson and his camera-hogging marketing appeal made him look bigger than the team. Humble pie
But Beckham never gave less than complete commitment whenever he pulled on the England shirt and McClaren should swallow his pride and bring him back.

Scotland fans attacked in Ukraine
Irish Times – Oct 11, 2006
The SFA said: “Following the incident, which was entirelyunexpected, the SFA have advised fans to be careful in the city andto avoid any possible further provocation. “A spokesman for the British Embassy in Kiev said he had heardabout trouble in Independence Square, but did not know how manypeople were involved. He was he was not aware of anyone who neededhospital treatment. Scotland currently sit at the top of their Euro 2008 qualifyinggroup after beating France 1-0 in Glasgow at the weekend.   PA© 2006 ireland.

Koller levels for Czechs in 1-1 Euro 2008 qualifying draw at Ireland
International Herald Tribune – Oct 11, 2006
The Czechs lead the group with 10 points from four games. Ireland has one point from three games in the group, which also includes Germany, Slovakia, Wales, Cyprus and San Marino. “The attitude has been magnificent and tonight we were unfortunate not to get three points,” Ireland coach Steve Staunton said. “We’ll keep battling on. The group isn’t dead. ” Staunton was without 13 players because of injury, including his first- and second-choice goalkeepers. He was also without suspended defender Richard Dunne after he was sent off against Cyprus.

Greece beats Bosnia 4-0 in Euro 2008 qualifier
International Herald Tribune – Oct 11, 2006
Bosnian fans booed and several supporters waved Turkish flags while the Greek national anthem was played before the start of the game. More than a dozen home fans were arrested after the match for causing trouble outside the stadium. Wednesday also marked the last international game for Greece captain Theo Zagorakis, who did not start but came on for a limping Giorgos Karagounis in the 37th to earn his 119th international appearance. Turning 35 this month, Zagorakis was captain when Greece unexpectedly won the 2004 European Championship in Portugal. ___ Lineups: Bosnia: Kenan Hasagic (Almir Tolja, 46), Dalibor Silic (Senijad Ibricic, 70), Emir Spahic, Zlatan Bajramovic, Sasa Papac, Ivica Grlic (Vladan Grujic, 62), Zvjezdan Misimovic, Sergei Barbarez, Mirko Hrgovic, Mladen Bartolovic, Alen Skoro. Greece: Antonis Nikopolidis, Giourkas Seitaridis (Christos Patsatzoglou, 57), Sotiris Kyrgiakos, Panagiotis Fyssas, Georgios Anatolakis, Stelios Giannakopoulos (Yiannis Amanatidis, 88), Angelos Basinas, Georgios Karagounis (Theo Zagorakis, 37), Costas Katsouranis, Angelos Charisteas, Georgios Samaras.

Soccer: Macedonia cruises to victory
International Herald Tribune – Oct 11, 2006
Pavel Pogrebnyak scored in the 78th minute and Dmitry Sychev added another goal in injury time for Russia. The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Raio Piiroja was sent off in the 89th minute. Russia has five points from three games in Group E, and Estonia has lost all three matches… "We will all have to wait and see. "Mexico's previous coach, Ricardo La Volpe of Argentina, left after the World Cup and is now the coach of the Argentine club Boca Juniors. Klinsmann did not respond to messages seeking comment. When Arena was informed after the World Cup that his contract would not be extended at the end of the year, he took a job with the New York Red Bulls, and that put Gulati under pressure to act quickly. But by rushing to hire a new coach, Gulati and the United States could miss out on some top club and national team coaches (Gérard Houllier of Lyon in France and Luiz Felipe Scolari of Portugal, for example) who remain under contract and would not be immediately prepared to make the move. Klinsmann is believed to want time off to tend to his business interests in Southern California, where he lives with his wife and family.

Lokomotiv hint at O’Connor reason
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
O’Connor’s agent phoned to say that the striker, who has now returned to Moscow without explaining his actions, would not be rejoining the squad on Sunday. And Lokomotiv spokesman Alexander Udaltsov said: “He has told us there were personal reasons for his absence. “That is what he will be telling the Scotland coach. ”

O’Connor has promised to tell Smith his reasons sometime after Wednesday’s game… “There has never been a problem with Garry over discipline and we really were surprised something had happened in Scotland. “He did not want to discuss his personal reasons with everybody, but I think he will also be talking to our coach about it. “Everything is okay for Garry here, although we are disappointed he will not be playing against Ukraine. ”

O’Connor had appeared in weekend newspapers saying that he might seek a transfer at the end of the Russian season in January. It has been suggested that his girlfriend, Lisa, has not settled in Moscow. “We have not heard anything about that,” insisted the Lokomotiv spokesman.

Smith rues missed chance in Kiev
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
After some stout defending, Scotland eventually lost out to a 60th minute goal from Olexander Kucher and a late Andriy Shevchenko penalty. The Scots also had Steven Pressley dismissed for denying Shevchenko a clear run in on goal. But Smith did not believe the Hearts captain was the last defender and thought the decision harsh. “At first viewing from the dug-out, Gary Caldwell would have got the ball quite clearly,” he said. “Therefore, it is not a circumstance where they had a goalscoring opportunity… “But I feel we are getting yellow cards when other sides are getting away with similar fouls. ”

James McFadden and Darren Fletcher will also be suspended for Scotland’s next qualifying match, at home to Georgia in March, after picking up bookings. Scotland have nine points from their opening four matches in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. France, who Scotland surprised at the weekend are also on nine, while Italy sit two behind, with Ukraine three off the pace, having played a game less. It is a very respectable tally for Walter Smith’s men but goalkeeper Craig Gordon was deflated after the defeat in Kiev. “We got greedy after the last game and we wanted to go out here and get another three points,” he told BBC Sport. “We would have settled for one but it just was not our day.

Toshack hails dominant Wales win
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
“We are pleased to see some goals go in but I thought we could have scored more – maybe four or five would have been a fairer reflection,” said Toshack. “But fortunately we’ve managed to get some points on the board and we are very, very happy with the result. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see the young players perform so well… I just hope people realise that. Wales manager John Toshack

“I’ve not known one result to cause such sensationalism,” he said. “I know when you get beat 5-1 at home it’s not very nice and you would expect to have some criticism. “But [the critics] have been quiet for 12 months and then all of a sudden after Saturday out they came of the woodwork. “I suppose some of it might have been justified – we don’t mind constructive criticism but it’s been a tough two or three days. “We hadn’t conceded three goals in any game, so to concede three in 45 minutes on Saturday wasn’t normal – particularly after he had had most of the play. “You might think that’s an accident but you’re frightened to say it in case it happens again.

N Ireland 1-0 Latvia
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
The home side dominated the first half but spurned a number of chances before Healy struck after 35 minutes. The Leeds United striker escaped his marker before slotting low into the bottom corner. Latvia posed more threat after the break with Maik Taylor blocking Girts Karlsons’ close-range shot… A clever dinked header took the country’s record scorer clear of his marker and he beat keeper Algksanors Kolinko to the ball before cooly slotting into the bottom corner. Lafferty and Johnson were off target with further openings as Northern Ireland pressed for a second before the break. Not surprisingly there was attacking intent from the Latvians early in the second half but they failed to deliver with the final ball. It was now an even contest but Lawrie Sanchez’s side remained dangerous going forward and Healy’s curling shot on the hour mark forced Kolinko to push the ball to safety. Aston Villa midfielder Steve Davis netted four minutes later but he was denied a goal by a debatable offside decision. Latvia created their best opportunity of the game on 74 minutes when Karlsons shot from close range but saw his effort blocked by Taylor with Jonny Evans finally kicking the ball clear. Sammy Clingan dragged an 81st minute shot wide in the last goal-mouth action of the match.

Croatia 2-0 England
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
Eduardo’s header had given Croatia a deserved 61st-minute lead before keeper Robinson was involved in a nightmare moment eight minutes later. Gary Neville’s back-pass struck a divot as Robinson went to clear, and he watched in agony as the ball rolled in. Robinson had previously produced a string of saves to keep Croatia at bay… It was a clear sign of just how poor England had been – and McClaren’s game-plan will rightly attract a torrent of criticism. Croatia: Pletikosa, Simic, Simunic, Robert Kovac, Corluka, Rapaic (Olic 76), Nico Kovac, Modric, Kranjcar (Babic 89), Eduardo (Leko 81), Petric. Subs not used: Runje, Knezevic, Seric, Klasnic. Booked: Nico Kovac. Goals: Eduardo 61, Gary Neville 69 og. England: Robinson, Carragher (Wright-Phillips 73), Ferdinand, Terry, Gary Neville, Carrick, Parker (Defoe 72), Lampard, Cole, Rooney, Crouch (Richardson 72). Subs not used: Kirkland, Jenas, Bent.

Poland upset Portuguese with Smolarek double
rte.ie – Oct 11, 2006
The hosts fully deserved their victory and picked up all three points thanks to a brace from striker Ebi Smolarek inside the opening 20 minutes. A late Nuno Gomes consolation was not enough to prevent Portugal’s first defeat in their bid to qualify for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland. Poland coach Leo Beenhakker named the same starting XI that beat Kazakhstan at the weekend, while Luiz Felipe Scolari only made one change to the Portugal team that confidently brushed aside Azerbaijan, Nuno Maniche dropping to the bench in favour of Armando Petit. But it was the hosts who came out of the blocks the quicker of the two sides, dominating the opening exchanges and enjoying the majority of the possession… The hosts fully deserved their victory and picked up all three points thanks to a brace from striker Ebi Smolarek inside the opening 20 minutes. A late Nuno Gomes consolation was not enough to prevent Portugal’s first defeat in their bid to qualify for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland. Poland coach Leo Beenhakker named the same starting XI that beat Kazakhstan at the weekend, while Luiz Felipe Scolari only made one change to the Portugal team that confidently brushed aside Azerbaijan, Nuno Maniche dropping to the bench in favour of Armando Petit. But it was the hosts who came out of the blocks the quicker of the two sides, dominating the opening exchanges and enjoying the majority of the possession. And it was no surprise when they broke the deadlock after only nine minutes. Smolarek picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and calmly placed his effort past the despairing Ricardo and into the back of the net.

Henry closes within three of Platini’s French record
International Herald Tribune – Oct 11, 2006
Playing against the Faeroe Islands was a good tonic for both. Henry’s 22nd-minute goal Wednesday helped Les Bleus topple the overwhelmed Faerosese 5-0 and put the Arsenal striker within three of Platini’s record. “It’s not something I think about when I go out on the pitch,” Henry said about Platini’s 41-goal mark. “But if I do beat the record it will obviously be an honor for me. ” Henry’s performance had a little bit of everything the striker is known for: great skill, astute passing, an unselfish attitude and sometimes wasteful finishing. He set up the opening goal for Louis Saha after only 36 seconds with a headed pass across goal that left the Manchester United striker with a simple tap-in. “I saw that I had a tight angle and that it would be hard for me to finish,” Henry said… It was a move he’s repeated more successfully dozens of times for Arsenal. He almost doubled his tally before halftime, latching onto a 50-meter pass from captain Patrick Vieira and poking the ball just wide at full stretch. He appeared to add a second in the 56th, following up a shot from Jeremy Toulalan to sidefoot home, but the goal was ruled offside — France’s fourth disallowed goal in Euro 2008 qualifying. Henry had one more go at goal just before being replaced by Nicolas Anelka after 61 minutes. His departure saw three more goals for France — one by Anelka and a brace by David Trezeguet. Even if he wasn’t there to score them, Henry was please. “It’s the whole team that plays for each other,” he said.

Southall gives Jones full backing
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
The QPR stopper, 39, has been blamed for at least two of the goals in Wales’ 5-1 drubbing by Slovakia on Saturday. “I think they’ve got to keep Paul in there because the rest of the team is made up of kids,” Southall said. Southall, who won 92 caps, says there are other things wrong with the team and Jones should not be singled out. “I don’t think they’ve got a way of playing at the moment that suits the team,” added Southall, speaking on BBC Radio Five… But Southall does have some sympathy with the lack of depth in the current Wales squad. However, despite Toshack having managed the likes of Real Madrid in the past, Southall believes he needs help from current Wales U21 boss Brian Flynn. “I’m not John Toshack’s greatest fan, in all fairness, but it is quite a difficult position because Wales are in transition with a lot of kids,” Southall said. “But I don’t think he’s been used to working with a lot of kids. “He did well at Swansea with veterans, he did well in Spain with older players. “Brian Flynn would be ideal to make a step up and help Tosh at the moment, because he’s probably better with kids than Tosh is.

Richards steps up for England
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 11, 2006
If Kirkland stands down, Scott Carson should get the nod (with Robert Green). Carson’s superb form needs acknowledging. The squad will not be short of pace, with Aaron Lennon and Andrew Johnson certain to return after injury. McClaren, however, faces a difficult balancing act in Holland between seeking to experiment and the need to restore confidence following the chastening trip to Croatia. Defeat to Marco van Basten’s dangerous hosts would be no disgrace, yet if England’s Euro 2008 qualifying rivals also win that night, so pushing McClaren’s men to fourth in Group E, the winter of discontent will certainly intensify. Van Basten has ignored Ruud van Nistelrooy and allowed Edwin van der Sar to catch his breath at Manchester United, but Holland will still be stocked with familiar faces, including an attacking triumvirate of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt… The squad will not be short of pace, with Aaron Lennon and Andrew Johnson certain to return after injury. McClaren, however, faces a difficult balancing act in Holland between seeking to experiment and the need to restore confidence following the chastening trip to Croatia. Defeat to Marco van Basten’s dangerous hosts would be no disgrace, yet if England’s Euro 2008 qualifying rivals also win that night, so pushing McClaren’s men to fourth in Group E, the winter of discontent will certainly intensify. Van Basten has ignored Ruud van Nistelrooy and allowed Edwin van der Sar to catch his breath at Manchester United, but Holland will still be stocked with familiar faces, including an attacking triumvirate of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt.

Bruce relief after Bendtner scan
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
The on-loan Arsenal striker was hurt in Denmark’s Euro 2008 qualifier with Northern Ireland but scans revealed just a tear in his medial ligament. “Thankfully after checks, we found he’s not done anything too serious,” Bruce told the Birmingham Mail. “I expect him to be there or thereabouts maybe for the Norwich game, or possibly Derby a week on Saturday.

Scotland suffer first qualifying defeat
rte.ie – Oct 11, 2006
Chelsea forward Andriy Shevchenko converted from the penalty spot late on, after Olexander Kucher had given the home side the lead. In a further blow for the Scots, a red card for Steven Pressley rules him out of the next match against Georgia, along with James McFadden and Darren Fletcher who both picked up their second bookings of the campaign. Scotland headed into the game still basking in the glow of their triumph over France at Hampden Park on Saturday and determined to continue their impressive start to the qualifying campaign. When the teams were read out by the PA announcer in the imposing 82,000-capacity Olympic Stadium, the biggest cheer was reserved for the Chelsea forward… Graham Alexander took the free-kick and set up Barry Ferguson for the shot but he screwed his effort wide. Gordon then had to pull of a decent save to block Andriy Voronin’s effort at the near post after he had taken advantage of a mistake by Pressley. Ukraine were unfortunate not to take the lead just two minutes after the restart. Shevchenko squeezed the ball under the body of Gordon, which looked like trickling over the line but hit the post instead. The danger was cleared as the Scots breathed a sigh of relief. Scotland were under pressure again when Hartley hauled down Andriy Nesmachniy 20 yards out but Ukraine failed to capitalise on the free-kick when Kalinichenko blasted well over. Nesmachniy then tried his luck with a thunderous, speculative strike, which cannoned off Gary Caldwell and over the crossbar.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Czech Republic
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
Simon Davies slips him through and he clips a shot just inside the near post for his first goal since John Toshack’s first game in charge in February 2005. It is enough to make Toshack smile. 2130: No wonder Lawrie Sanchez is not looking too happy. Latvia are having a good spell and outplaying Northern Ireland. Maik Taylor stands big to deny Girts Karlsons. 2129: Lawrie Sanchez’s sartorial elegance is not up there with the big Welshman. He is wearing a raincoat, but, like John Toshack, he looks pretty stern… “Scotland will be sore about this one, especially as Kenny Miller missed a good chance with the goal at his mercy. It was a gritty performance and there are many things to suggest that Scotland are the awkward squad in this group. “Roddy Forsyth, BBC Five Live in Kiev

1953: FULL-TIME Ukraine 2-0 ScotlandAnd there goes Scotland’s 100% record in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. They could stay top depending on what happens between France and the Faroe Islands who kick off at 2000 BST. “England stifled Croatia in the first half, but there’s nothing positive to say about their performance in the second half. They had a very, very poor game and we got absolutely zero from them in the second half. Croatia didn’t have to play that well.

Teenage star Adu set for training stint with United
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 11, 2006
The American will not be able to sign for the Premiership leaders until next June, when he turns 18, but the two-week training stint will heighten speculation that a deal could eventually happen. “I still don’t know the details, but if it happens, it will be exciting,” Adu told the Washington Post. The newspaper claims that he will arrive at Old Trafford on Nov 18, although he will return to Washington at the end of the fortnight… But Garber stressed that he would still have to meet expectations on the pitch. Abel Xavier, the Middlesbrough defender who was suspended for 12 months after a positive test for the banned drug methandionone, has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season. The Football Association will vigorously contest Uefa’s charge of improper conduct by a minority of England fans before last month’s Euro 2008 qualifier in Zagreb at a hearing today in Nyon, Switzerland. Bolton’s El-Hadji Diouf has been bailed for a second time after he was questioned over claims he assaulted his wife last weekend. The Senegal international’s wife, Valerie, reportedly called police to their Bolton home to complain of suffering a cut lip. Newcastle captain Scott Parker has expressed regret after a row with his team’s supporters during Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Sheffield United. Alan Buckley, 55, is expected to begin a third spell as Grimsby manager today.

Wednesday’s football gossip
BBC News – Oct 11, 2006
(Sun)

West Ham have received a formal takeover approach from an Icelandic businessman. (Daily Telegraph)

The Clydesdale Bank is to take over from the Bank of Scotland as sponsor of the Scottish Premier League in an ?8m deal next season. (Record)

Lokomotiv Moscow say Garry O’Connor has told them that personal reasons led to him missing Scotland’s Euro 2008 qualifier in Ukraine. (Express)

Hibernian’s Tony Mowbray is West Brom’s number one target as they hunt for a new manager. (Mirror)

Cowdenbeath’s Mixu Paatelainen is favourite to take over as Hibernian manager should Tony Mowbray move to West Brom. (Sun)

Jerzy Dudek has blown his chances of replacing error-prone Jose Reina as Liverpool keeper by getting sent off for the reserves. (Daily Mirror)

Steve Staunton will be sacked as Republic of Ireland boss if they lose to the Czech Republic on Wednesday… (Independent)

Andy Webster is poised for his Wigan debut against Man Utd. (Independent)

Newcastle’s battle to win increased compensation from the FA for Michael Owen’s knee injury is close to settlement. (Guardian)

Dunfermline Athletic midfielder Stephen Simmons does not know when he will be fit again after a scan to twisted knee ligaments. (Record)

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