In another evening of gripping action across Europe plenty of big teams struggled, once again, in EURO 2016 qualifying on Tuesday.
[RELATED: Monday’s EURO 2016 roundup]
World Cup champions Germany let in a last-minute equalizer to the Republic of Ireland in Gelsenkirchen, while Northern Ireland handed Greece a shock 2-0 defeat in Athens.
Serbia vs. Albania was abandoned after severe unrest in the stands during the game, while Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal to victory late on in Denmark.
Below is a brief blurb on all nine matches, as European qualifiers are now over until November. But if the past two weeks are anything to go by, next month can’t come soon enough.
Germany 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Toni Kroos gave the World Champions a second half lead but the Irish dug in and battled for every ball. Their never say die attitude pay dividends late on as John O’Shea popped up in stoppage time to hand the Irish a point as Germany continue to struggle. Ireland now sit top of the group on seven points with Poland, while Germany are in fourth with four points. Not good for Joachim Low.
Gibraltar 0-3 Georgia
First half goals from Gelashvili and Okriashvili set Georgia on their way, then Kankava added some gloss to the scoreline for their first win in Group D.
Poland 2-2 Scotland
Honors even in the Polish capital in a gripping match between two much-improved teams. The home side went ahead in Warsaw after Krzysztof Maczynski struck in the 11th minute but the Scots came roaring back as Anya played in Shaun Maloney to make it 1-1 soon after, then Steven Naismith gave Scotland a 2-1 lead. However, the Poles came back and equalized through Arkadiusz Milik.
San Marino 0-4 Switzerland
Haris Seferovic scored twice in the first half as the Swiss rolled to victory away at minnows San Marino. Switzerland lost their opening games to England and Slovenia but bounced back with a big win as Dzemaili and Shaqiri made it 4-0. Job done.
Faroe Islands 0-1 Hungary
Adam Szalai scored the game-winner for the Hungarians who secured their first victory in qualifying away in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Finland 0-2 Romania
Bogdan Stancu quietened the home crowd in Helsinki as Romania jumped ahead of Suomi into second place. Alexander Ring was sent off in the second half, with his red card sandwiched in-between Stancu’s strikes.
Greece 0-2 Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland are top of Group F with three wins from three to open things up. Wonderful. Derby County’s Jamie Ward scored the opener, then Kyle Lafferty added another in Athens as Claudio Ranieri continues to struggle. No wins in three for the Greece’s new manager.
Denmark 0-1 Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game-winner in injury time as Portugal secured their first qualifying win. It wasn’t pretty, but you can always count on Cristiano to come up with the goods.
Serbia A-A Albania
UEFA confirmed that the match was “abandoned due to a disturbance on the pitch” as trouble broke out shortly before half time. More news on that here.