Date:Tuesday September 9 2008
Its still a bit quiet at Southampton with the squad off for a few days, so lets take a look at the International games played on Saturday and those coming up on Wednesday.
Saturday 6th September
World Cup Qualifier - Game 1
Slovakia 2-1 Northern Ireland
The damage was done in the first 25 minutes of the second half when the Slovaks raced into a two-goal lead and despite a late flourish from Northern Ireland it wasn't enough to salvage at least a share of the spoils.
Andorra 0-2 England
A second half brace from Joe Cole ensured England began their World Cup Qualifying campaign with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Andorra in Barcelona. My only question is: why didnt he start?
Wales 1-0 Azerbaijan
Wales boss John Toshack revealed he was 'pleased and relieved' by his side's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Wales had dominated the match and even missed a penalty against the 10-man Azeri side. Jason Koumas had seen his spot-kick, and follow-up effort, saved before 18-year-old Sam Vokes grabbed a late winner in this opening Group Four qualifier.
Georgia 1-2 Repulic of Ireland
Richard Dunne has spoken about the benefits of the playing system employed by Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni ahead of Wednesday`s 2010 World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in Podgorica. Dunne was an immense presence in the Irish defence during the course of Saturday`s 2-1 win.
Macedonia 1-0 Scotland
If Scotland are to have any chance of doing well at South Africa 2010 then they will have to get used to playing in temperatures like this. That is, of course, if they qualify. In a game that many would have expected to win, the Scots looked a shadow of the side that fought so bravely under Walter Smith and Alex McLeish during their respective tenures.
Wednesday 10th September
World Cup Qualifier - Game 2
Czech Republic v Northern Ireland
Midfield dynamo Chris Brunt says confidence is high ahead of Northern Ireland`s game against the Czech Republic despite Saturday`s defeat to Slovakia. The West Brom man said: "It`s not that we didn`t create chances against Slovakia. We have had a look at the stats and we had more of the chances but we just didn`t put the ball in the net when we had the opportunities. It`s a bit of a knock but hopefully we can put it right on Wednesday night'
Croatia v England
The Three Lions now head to Zagreb where they lost 2-0 two years ago in an ultimately unsuccessful Euro 2008 campaign that also ended with defeat against Croatia at Wembley.
Russia v Wales
Midfielder Jason Koumas (Wigan Athletic) will not travel to Moscow. It has been decided that it is in the best interests of the player if he returns to his club to rest his ankle problem. Full back Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) is fit and will be available for selection. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) and Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) have left the senior squad to join Brian Flynn's Under 21 squad for the UEFA qualifier in Iasi, Romania, on Tuesday.
Montenegro v Repulic of Ireland
Montenegro, will have ambitions of finishing the six-nation group in the top two spots. They were desperately unlucky not to open the campaign with victory over Bulgaria on Saturday, as they were denied the three points by a stoppage time equaliser in the 2-2 draw.
Iceland v Scotland
Twelve years is a long time not to have played at a major finals and results like the one against Macedonia on Saturday are likely to extend that barren period to 14 years.
Date:Tuesday September 9 2008
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