Round up of the European Championship qualifiers

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lorenzo bernardi

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  • Round up of the European Championship qualifiers

Round up of the European Championship qualifiers

 

On a weekend when club football all over Europe took a sabbatical, it was an interesting night of International football that saw David Villa becoming the highest ever goal scorer for Spain while Frank Ribery and Patrice Evra made a return to the internationals after their controversial misdeeds at the world cup in South Africa.

David Villa was the hero for Spain as it was his two goals that spared the World and European Champions’ blushes in a tight encounter against Czech Republic in Granada.

Spain were playing on home soil but looked nothing like a home team as the Czech Republic took the game to their illustrious and far more superior opponents in the first half. And the visitors were duly rewarded at the half hour mark when Jaroslav Plasil’s long range effort found its way into the back of the net to stun the home crowd.

But Spain upped the ante in the second half with Villa leading the charge and midway through the second half he brought the game to level terms when he beat Chelsea goalie, Petr Cech with a low shot and then went on to become the record goal scorer for his country bagging his second of the night from the penalty spot.

With his two goals last night Villa forged ahead of the legendary Raul taking his tally to 46 goals from just 72 appearances in the red of Spain.

Raul may still be regarded as the best Spain striker but the stats suggest otherwise as Raul took 102 matches to notch up 44 goals while Villa’s 46 have just come from 72 games.

 The victory also ensured that Spain remained in charge of group I, maintaining their 100% record in the qualifying.

Also maintaining a 100% record in the qualifying were the Netherlands who spanked a hapless Hungary side 4-0 in a group E encounter.

The win was 5th consecutive for ‘the Oranje’ who now are a cruise control of the group with 15 points from 5 games played.

Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield maestro, Rafael van der Vaart gave his country an early lead in the game in the the 8th minute and just before the breather Ibrahim Affelay added another to reflect the Dutch supremacy at half time.

After the break Dirk Kuyt made it 3-0, beating the offside trap finishing with remarkably effortless ease. Robin Van Persie finally completed the rout in the 62nd minute when he scored from close range.

With the win the Dutch moved 6 points clear of the second places Hungary in group E and only a catastrophical collapse can now stop them from qualifying for the Euro 2012 in Hungary and Poland.

In another match Italy had Thiago Motta to thank as they beat Slovenia 1-0 in Ljubljana. Motta was only playing his second international game but showed no nerves when he fired a low shot into the corner for his first ever international goal.

With the win Italy have now secured 13 points from 5 games, while second place Slovenia have only 7.

In another match France beat Luxembourg 2-0 but more important than the result was the return of Frank Ribery and Patrice Evra to the international fold.

Evra and Ribery had been forced into international exile by Laurent Blanc after their misdemeanors at the world cup in South Africa.

But as a matter of face their return did not affect the team as much as the scoreline was the same as when these two sides met in an international friendly a few months back.

The goals on the night were scored by Phillipe Mexes and Youan Gourcuff.

 

 

 

Friday, 25 March 2011

 

European Championship Qualifying

Austria 0-2 Belgium

Hungary 0-4 Netherlands

Luxembourg 0-2 France

Serbia 2-1 Northern Ireland

Slovenia 0-1 Italy

Spain 2-1 Czech Republic

 

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