After a 6-0 victory against San Marino, England is qualified for the 2016 UEFA European Championships in France next summer. Wayne Rooney scored his 49th goal for England through a penalty shot in the 13th minute. This takes him in shared lead as England’s top goal scorer of all times together with Sir Bobby Charlton, who won the World Cup 1966 as well as the Baloon d’Or the very same year. However, in the game against San Marino, another contester for top goalscorer also stroke: Own goals. The 3-0 goal against San Marino was the 49th own goal ever for England. Question is: how good are the three lions really if they are so dependent on the other teams scoring on themselves?
Iceland defeated Netherlands for the second time
Former Swedish coach, Lars Lagerbäck, and his Iceland took a great step towards the Euro 2016 by defeating Netherlands 1-0. That’s the second victory for Iceland against the bronze medalists from 2014 FIFA World Cup. Netherlands had a bad night, with Arjen Robben injured and a red card in the second half together with a penalty shot against them in the second half. Iceland won fair and square and now only has to take 1 point in the last three games against Kazahkstan, Turkey and Latvia. Netherlands are in trouble though. They are in third place in the group, behind Iceland and Czech Republic, and are chased by Turkey. The top two teams of each group together with the best third team are directly qualified for the European Championships, while the rest of the third placed teams need to play play offs. Our guess is that Netherlands will reach the Euro 2016 by play off, but then they need to play a better game of football than they did against Iceland.
Sweden lost against Russia
Sweden went to Moscow with hopes to get at least a draw against Russia who struggle four points behind them in third place of group G. However, they didn’t do very well and Russia could score 1-0 in the first half. Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic injured his back and was replaced by Ola Toivonen in the second half. Sweden could move up their positions and put some pressure on the offense, but failed to convert on their chances. Russia is now only 1 point behind Sweden. Sweden’s match against group leading Austria this Tuesday will be a key for how this group will end. Three points will probably be needed there if Sweden are to keep their second place and reach France 2016 without going through the play offs.
The qualifiers continues a few more days, 6-9th September. We will be back with more news after more matches are finished.