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Switzerland

1

vs.

3

England

Xherdan SHAQIRI 71’

Attendance = 39,700

Wayne ROONEY 10’

Adam JOHNSON 69’

Darren BENT 88’

Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G

Ref = Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

St. Jakob-Park (Basel)

ENGLAND continued their winning start to their Euro 2012 qualifying group with a 3-1 away win in a rainy Switzerland last night in what was on paper, our hardest game of the group. 🙂

Wayne Rooney scored 😉 his first England goal in a year with just ten minutes gone to put England 1-0 up. Glen Johnson crossed the ball from the near side as we looked at it, Theo Walcott and Jermain Defoe either dummied or missed the ball, leaving Rooney on his own in the six-yard box to tap it in.

The highs...

But England’s celebrations were cut short when it emerged that during the build up to the goal, Walcott had gone over on his right ankle and had to be stretchered off. He expects himself to be fit again in less than two weeks, so Arsenal fans don’t be too disappointed.

...and the lows.

England totally dominated the first half, and should have gone into half-time 3-0 up at least. Defoe could have easily scored four goals in the first 45 minutes, but he either: shot over, was too short to reach the ball, saw an effort saved or missed a header. Do you get the feeling that it just wasn’t his day?

Such was the away side’s dominance the roughly 4,000 travelling English fans gave you the impression that the game was in London rather than Basel. Chants like: “1-0 to the Ing-er-land” and “We’re on the p*** and we’re having a laugh” put a wide smile on my face.

What took said smile off of my face was the antics of the England keeper Joe Heart. On three separate occasions in the first half he almost got charged down by a Swiss forward because he was taking so long to clear the ball. I know the pitch was soaking wet with rain water but there is a limit. The heavy tackling displayed by the Swiss wasn’t pleasing on the eyes either.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were nothing special, but the game exploded into life on the hour mark.

From almost nowhere, Switzerland put the England goal under pressure for three solid minutes. Then two minutes later when England finally had the ball in the Swiss half, their number two, Stephan Lichtsteiner was given a second yellow card for a tackle on James Milner and the home team were down to 10-men.

Four minutes later, Adam Johnson scored his second England goal in two games to give England a 2-0 lead. But Switzerland hit back just when my Dad told me that a 10-man team could be dangerous. Xherdan Shaqiri smashed the ball home for his first international goal from 20+-yards, and there was nothing Joe Heart in the England goal could do about it. 1-2, game on.

Both sides pushed hard for the next decisive goal for the rest of the match. Fortunately, that goal was scored just two minutes from time by Darren Bent, and England finished the night with six points to their name in Group G.

In the other game in this group, Montenegro beat Bulgaria 1-0 in Sofia, proving that they mean business. England’s next match in this group is at home to Montenegro on 12 October.

Some other Euro 2012 Qualifying results

Germany 6 – 1 Azerbaijan

Russia 0 – 1 Slovakia

Republic of Ireland 3 – 1 Andorra

Italy 5 – 0 Faroe Islands

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 – 2 France

Sweden 6 – 0 San Marino

Netherlands 2 – 1 Finland

Norway 1 – 0 Portugal 😮

Czech Republic 0 – 1 Lithuania 😮

Scotland 2 – 1 Liechtenstein (Just) 😦

PS: In an International Friendly in Buenos Aires, Argentina destroyed World and European Champions Spain 4-1. 😮

Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

England

2

2

0

0

7

1

+6

6

2

Montenegro

2

2

0

0

2

0

+2

6

3

Wales

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

4

Switzerland

1

0

0

1

1

3

-2

0

5

Bulgaria

2

0

0

2

0

5

-5

0

Group winners and best runner-up all qualify for the finals in Poland and Ukraine automatically. The remaining group runners-up qualify for the Play-Off round.

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