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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Euro 2008 qualifying clockwatch
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Slovakia (FT) Northern Ireland 2-1 Sweden (FT) Italy 2-0 Scotland (FT) Andorra 0-3 England (FT) Wales 3-0 San Marino (FT)


By Andrew McKenzie

2210: That's it for tonight folks. Hope you enjoyed an absorbing evening of international football. Important wins for Republic of Ireland, England and Wales but performance of the evening goes to Lawrie Sanchez's Northern Ireland side for beating Sweden. Tune in to see highlights of those victories - and Scotland's loss in Italy - on Match of the Day at 2240 BST on BBC One.

2202: PLAYER RATER Ryan Giggs on 8.46 was so far ahead in the Player Rater that manager John Toshack took him off with 17 minutes left. Looks like no chance of catching him now though.

2159: FULL-TIME Wales 3-0 San Marino
Craig Bellamy comes close to a late fourth before the whistle ends this evening's action. A routine win for Wales, but you suspect John Toshack will get a little less stick for this 3-0 win than England counterpart Steve McClaren.

2158: It seems 20 minutes ago I did Preston a terrible, terrible disservice. Of course they have had internationals since 1958. That should have been their first England international since Sir Tom. Apologies to Prestonians the world over.

2156: PLAYER RATER There are no arguments when it comes to England's best player, at 6.56 Steve Gerrard is the best of a bad bunch and a ridiculously low score for a man-of-the-match. Still time for you to push those marks up (or down!).

2153: FULL-TIME Andorra 0-3 England
It is all over at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona. The three points go to England and they score three goals for the first time since, well, the last time they played Andorra. Can we play you every week perhaps? Imagine having to watch England every week. No thanks.

2151: The goal goes to David Nugent. It was hardly John Barnes at the Maracana but what a way to cap your England debut.

2149: GOAL Andorra 0-3 England
England score a third late on, but who will it go to - Jermain Defoe or David Nugent? Defoe shoots at goal and the keeper takes the sting off the ball but it rolls towards the goal. As the ball is about to cross the line Preston's Nugent crashes it into the net.

2149: PLAYER RATER He was beaten twice by big striker Luca Toni, but Scotland keeper Craig Gordon is still winning your vote for man-of-the-match. Agree? Have your say on the Rater.

2146: Steven Gerrard shoots narrowly over with a snapshot from distance after a neat chest down from David Nugent. A minute later Nugent shoots narrowly wide - he really should have scored but at least the youngster is having an impact.

2143: England new-boy David Nugent plays in Kieron Dyer but the Newcastle player scuffs his shot and the ball dribbles wide.

2140: FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 2-1 Sweden
Lawrie Sanchez's men hold on for a tremendous victory at Windsor that sees them leap above the Swedes to sit pretty on top of Group F. They are now six points clear of Denmark in third, although the Danes have a couple of games in hand.

2138: FULL-TIME Italy 2-0 Scotland
It is all over in Bari as Scotland slip to a sixth defeat in six games away to Italy. Another shock for the Scots never appeared likely and Alex McLeish's side are made to pay for two defensive lapses.

2138: Preston's David Nugent comes on for Andy Johnson. He is North End's first international since Sir Tom Finney retired in 1958.

2136: GOAL Andorra 0-2 England
Steven Gerrard - England's best player - scores his second of the night after collecting a neat lay-off from Jermain Defoe and slotting the ball low and across goalkeeper Koldo Alvarez.

2136: Goal-hero Luca Toni comes off to a generous reception from happy locals in Bari - the three points are in the bag for Italy.

2135: FULL-TIME Republic of Ireland 1-0 Slovakia
It is all over at Croke Park and Ireland record a second win in five days at their new home. It's hardly vintage from Steve Staunton's side but it is the three points his side needed as they join Czech Republic and Germany on 13 points.

2134: PLAYER RATER The stadium announcer at Croke Park reveals Richard Dunne as the Republic of Ireland's man-of-the-match, but you don't agree, putting Damien Duff and Kevin Doyle way ahead of the central defender. Still plenty of time for you to have your say though.

2133: We're only a couple of minutes away from full-time in Bari and it looks like Scotland will be slipping down to third in Group B.

2131: Northern Ireland are five minutes from going top of Group F. It could have been made easier but David Healy just misses out on a hat-trick.

2128: Kris Boyd comes on for Lee McCulloch - Scotland coach Alex McLeish has got to take a wild gamble to salvage something from this game.

2127: Kieron Dyer - who has looked good since coming on - should score but miscontrols a good pull-back from Aaron Lennon six yards from goal. Cue boos. England might be winning but the crowd are far from satisfied.

2125: GOAL Wales 3-0 San Marino
Jason Koumas' spot-kick hits the legs of San Marino's keeper Aldo Simoncini and trickles just inside the post.

2123: Wigan's David Cotterill earns Wales a penalty as he goes tumbling on the edge of the box. It looked like it might be just outside the area but referee - and I have to say big unit - Ararat Tchagharyan from Armenia awards a penalty.

2120: Micah Richards is stretchered from the field, replaced by Kieron Dyer. Jermain Defoe comes on for Wayne Rooney, who is not looking at his most composed and been at loggerheads with Andorra's Oscar Sonejee all night long. His run without a competitive England goal extends to 16 games.

2118: Wayne Rooney goes into the book - meaning he will miss the match in Estonia on 6 June.

2117: A bit of fortune for Northern Ireland when Stephen Craigan's attempted clearance from an Johan Elmander cross hits a post and out to safety.

2117: PLAYER RATER David Healy is aiming for a second successive hat-trick and his mark is pretty prolific too, the Leeds striker boasting a mark to match his shirt number. (That's nine, by the way).

2115: GOAL Italy 2-0 Scotland
Italy forward Luca Toni seems to end Scotland's hopes of a comeback with another easy headed goal. Gary Naismith gifts possession to Mauro Camaronesi after Shaun Maloney put him in trouble with a short pass and the Italian's delightfully-weighted cross was nodded home unchallenged from close range by Fiorentina's big striker.

"I feel mightily relieved with that goal. But the only good news is the scoreline."
Five Live commentator Alan Green

2112: GOAL Andorra 0-1 England
Steven Gerrard scores with a crisp strike from the edge of the area after Wayne Rooney lays the ball into his path. It is England's first goal in the qualifying campaign since Peter Crouch scored against Macedonia in September. There is more a feeling of relief than joy.

2112: Antonio Di Natale is being made to pay for his profligacy in front of goal and is replaced by Italy's ageing darling Alessandro del Piero

2111: Steven Gerrard is fouled, winning England a free-kick in a dangerous position. More disappointment - and booing - follows as Owen Hargreaves strikes the wall. The misery continues.

2110: PLAYER RATER It may only be San Marino, but Ryan Giggs is having a field day. A goal and a rating of 8.70 - and still the second half to go. They are back under way at the Millennium by the way.

2110: The game in Bari has gone quiet again after a flurry of dangerous activity from Italy in the Scotland box.

2108: Andorra have scored one and conceded 19 in their previous four Euro 2008 qualifiers. Their only goal came in Israel - one more than England managed in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

2105: GOAL Northern Ireland 2-1 Sweden
If there was a retractable roof on Windsor Park it would be blown off by now as David Healy puts them ahead and on course to top the group. Healy meets Damien Johnson's cross at the nearpost and flicks the ball past keeper Andreas Isaksson. It is Healy's ninth goal in qualifying campaign - that is nine more than Wayne Rooney.

2104: The second half is under way in Barcelona with no changes for England. Another 45 minutes of potential pain awaits.

2102: A nervous moment for Northern Ireland as Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a header cleared off the line by Grant McCann.

2101: Some say Italy are happy to settle for a 1-0 win, but that's not the way it's looking in Bari. There's no doubt the World Champions are looking to kill Scotland off in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Antonio Di Natale has missed two sitters and a Luca Toni header drifted inches past of Scotland's right-hand post.

"The worrying thing is we'll win this game and keep him in the job. I'm depressed, really depressed."
From Spetznaz on 606


"Aside from McClaren's tactical ineptitude its also clear we have a bunch of overrated players not fit enough to wear the shirt. If McClaren goes, we must re-evaluate some of the players in the current England set-up, as some aren't simply good enough. I'd rather have a team of good players who play as a team, than a few supposedly "great players" who can't clearly function as a team unit."
From RibbleValleyRover on 606

2056 Minutes later Antonio Di Natale darts through the heart of Scotland's defence and looks certain to double Italy's lead but Craig Gordon again keeps Scotland in the match, this time with an outstretched left leg.

2054: Craig Gordon prevents a certain second goal for Italy when he palms away Antonio Di Natale's strike as the Italian cut in ominously from the left and unleashed a goal-bound effort after a quick breakaway.

2052: PLAYER RATER The world champions are catching your eye, with Italy goalscorer Luca Toni the main man so far. But there is still time for Scotland to come back - and for you to give them the big-up.

2051: HALF-TIME The half-time whistle goes in Cardiff. Wales are looking comfortable and it is probably just a case of how many they can rack up in the second half.

2051: The second halves have started again in Bari and Belfast.

2049: PLAYER RATER The Republic of Ireland are back out for the second half and you are liking what you have seen so far. Goalscorer Kevin Doyle is out in front having broken through the 8 out of 10 barrier.

2048: HALF-TIME A nasty opening half comes to an end. There has been plenty of niggles, stray elbows and swearing on the pitch - but not much quality. And the atmosphere emanating from the stands - ugly. The half-time whistle brought with it a cacophony of boos the likes of which England's well paid and heavily-pampered stars will have rarely heard.

2047: Wales go close to a third when Ryan Giggs races through on goal but he chips over the bar.

2046: A late chance in the half for England as Stewart Downing shoots wide.

2043: Four minutes of injury time in Barcelona.

2039: At this stage in Andorra's previous four qualifiers they have been at least 2-0 down. The England fans are upping the boo-ometer.

2038: Perhaps hoping to avoid some super high-level booing at the break, England start to threaten. Andy Johnson forces a save with a crisp strike on the turn. He can be satisfied with his work in the first half.

2038: Jason Koumas hits the bar with a delicate lob as Wales enjoy some much-needed shooting practice against San Marino.

2038: HALF-TIME The whistle goes in Bari and Scotland have held their own but were made to pay for a moment of slackness at the back.

2038: PLAYER RATER After a positive start, England's players are on the slide, with Stewart Downing's miss in front of goal doing nothing to aid a woeful mark of 4.76 out of 10.

2036: Kenny Miller misses a glorious opportunity after Gary Naismith's probing cross finds him free in the box, but he cannot direct his header on target.

2035: Approaching half-time in Bari and the game has slowed down, with Scotland looking reasonably comfortable having just defended two back-to-back free-kicks from Italy.

2034: A chance for England! Stewart Downing meets Micah Richards' cross but his cushioned volley flies wide. The Boro man should really have done better.

2033: HALF-TIME It is half-time both at Croke Park and Windsor Park. So far it is looking pretty decent for both sides.

2030: Maybe not that comfortable. Andorra shoot at goal - but Justo Ruiz's effort flies high over Paul Robinson's goal. Meanwhile, "what a load of rubbish" is sounding from the stands. Andorra or England fans? Wayne Rooney's verbal war with big Oscar Sonejee continues - not one for the faint hearted.

2027: If Steve McClaren is looking for some crumbs of comfort, England are looking very comfortable at the back.

2025: More ugly scenes inside the Olympic Stadium - this time a stray Andorran elbow lands in Steven Gerrard's face. Not the first of the match and a previous recipient - Owen Hargreaves - makes his thoughts known in no uncertain terms. Andy Johnson shoots narrowly over.

2023: GOAL Wales 2-0 San Marino
Gareth Bale doubles Wales' lead with a sublime left-footed effort from outside the penalty area that lobs the San Marino keeper and nestles just under the bar.

2022: Lee McCulloch takes a pot-shot on the half-volley from 25 yards out from Barry Ferguson's knock down, but he fails to get any real power behind the shot and Gianluigi Buffon gathers easily.

2020: England win their first corner of the game - but it comes to nothing. There are plenty of boos sounding inside the Olympic Stadium on what is becoming an increasingly frustrating night for everyone - apart from the Andorra players.

2019: GOAL Northern Ireland 1-1 Sweden
Just four minutes after falling behind Lawrie Sanchez's side are level from a superb equaliser from David Healy, who turns and shoots into the top corner from 18 yards.

2018: Ryan Giggs almost lobs the San Marino goalkeeper from 40 yards out, but Aldo Junior Simonici just manages to get his fingertips to the ball and then saves Craig Bellamy's follow-up effort.

2018: England's first real sniff of a goal comes from a Steven Gerrard shot that the keeper Jesus Luis Alvarez just about manages to keep out.

2016: Italy are breaking at high-speed and look capable of opening up Scotland at will, with Mauro Camoranesi particularly menacing down the left flank.

2014: GOAL Northern Ireland 0-1 Sweden
Northern Ireland go a goal down from the first real attack of the game. Striker Johan Elmander holds off Aaron Hughes before firing past Maik Taylor from close range.

2013: Kenny Miller gets room in the box and wins a corner but from the resulting corner the Scotland striker cannot get hold of an overhead kick after David Weir's header falls to him unmarked.

2012: Scotland are producing a spirit response to going a goal behind early doors, but as yet not a lot of goalmouth joy to be had against those pesky Italian defenders.

2011: England striker Andy Johnson is felled as he races in on goal and just fails to keep his feet. From the free-kick Wayne Rooney's effort is just wide of the mark.

2008: Not much action from the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, where England are facing Andorra. Wayne Rooney exchanges a few less-than-friendly words with Oscar Sonejee. Calm down Wayne.

2006: GOAL Wales 1-0 San Marino
There are no early Stuart Pearce-type woes for Wales against San Marino as Ryan Giggs gives them the perfect start, slotting home after a through ball from Jason Koumas.

2003: Wales' must-win game at home to San Marino is off, completing our Wednesday kick-offs.

2003: We are 15 minutes in at Windsor Park and the fans are doing their bit - but no chances so far in a scrappy opening.

2001: GOAL Italy 1-0 Scotland
Not good news from Bari as Luca Toni is left alone by Stephen McManus in the Scottish area and he powers a header home. Not good news at all but it was coming.

2000: England against Andorra is off and running.

1958: GOAL Republic of Ireland 1-0 Slovakia
The Republic are off the mark through a fine header from Kevin Doyle. Damien Duff whips in an inswinging free-kick and Doyle does well to get in front of his man and glance the ball just inside the near post.

1957: Scotland are finding themselves under a little bit of pressure in Italy already. Italian defender Marco Materazzi has a free-kick deflected wide for a corner.

1954: England have slipped even further down Group E without kicking a ball. Israel go above them courtesy of a 4-0 win over Estonia. Perhaps that 0-0 draw wasn't too bad after all!

1952: As well as looking to stay ahead of their Group B rivals, Scotland are also playing for the Unofficial Football World Championships, which they regained by beating Georgia at the weekend. No, I'm being serious. It's a bit of a long story, so if you want to know more click on the link on the right - but don't take long as you might miss some action.

1950: The Scots get things under way in Bari.

1947: The Republic are under pressure early doors, with Robert Vittek firing in a shot that looked headed wide but Shay Given made sure by turning it around the post.

1946: Both Irelands are off and running.

1945: A bit further north, Northern Ireland are about to get under way against Sweden, who are skippered by Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg.

1944: The anthems are over at Croke Park and we're close to the start of proceedings.

1933: Scotland look to end a run of five defeats in Italy and they have opted for one man up front in Kenny Miller. The Celtic forward has been struggling for goals recently though, he has managed just three goals since October.

1929: In the Republic's group, Czech Republic moved joint top with Germany after scraping a 1-0 win over Cyprus.

1927: Scotland have been joined at the top of Group B by Ukraine, who made hard work of beating Lithuania.

1922: Northern Ireland and Scotland could both be on top of their groups at the end of the evening, while a win for the Republic will see them go level on points at the top of Group D. It is not looking so promising for Wales and England, who will be looking for morale-boosting wins over two of the continent's minnows.

1920: The Republic of Ireland v Slovakia game will now start at 1945 BST because of travel congestion in the Croke Park area.

1917: It is a busy evening of international football, with England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic all in action.

"You are playing Andorra - I think they have scored one goal and Steve McClaren will be looking to play it simple. You don't need to be clever or tactically astute for a game like this."
Five Live summariser Graham Taylor.

1906: England name their side for the game, with three changes from Saturday's goalless draw in Israel. Preston striker David Nugent is also named on the bench.

If he comes on Nugent will become the first Championship player to appear for England since Michael Gray in 1999.


Scotland make one change from the side which won on Saturday with Kris Boyd out and replaced by Scott Brown, who makes his first start for his country.

Team: Gordon, Graham Alexander, Naysmith, Weir, McManus, Ferguson, Teale, Hartley, Brown, McCulloch, Miller. Subs: McGregor, McNamara, Pressley, Boyd, Beattie, Maloney, Dailly.

England are without Frank Lampard, who has a broken wrist, so Stewart Downing comes in on the left and Aaron Lennon moves to the right. Ashley Cole returns after suspension and Micah Richards replaces Phil Neville.

Team: Robinson, Richards, Ashley Cole, Gerrard, Ferdinand, Terry, Hargreaves, Downing, Rooney, Johnson, Lennon. Subs: Foster, Carragher, Barry, Dyer, Carrick, Nugent, Defoe.

Northern Ireland bring in Grant McCann for the suspended Keith Gillespie, while Warren Feeney comes into the attack and Kyle Lafferty dropping to bench.

Team: Taylor, Duff, Hughes, Craigan, Evans, Johnson, McCann, Davis, Brunt, Healy, Feeney. Subs: Carroll, Webb, Sproule, Lafferty, Quinn, Elliott, Jones.

Republic of Ireland bring in Kevin Doyle for the suspended Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady replaces Jonathan Douglas while Shay Given skippers the side.

Team: Given, O'Shea, Finnan, McShane, Dunne, Carsley, Ireland, McGeady, Kilbane, Duff, Kevin Doyle. Subs: Colgan, Hunt, Douglas, Quinn, Long, Kelly, Stokes.

Wales make three changes from the side that lost at Republic of Ireland on Saturday. Jason Koumas, Carl Fletcher and Jermaine Easter come in for Carl Robinson, Lewin Nyatanga and Joe Ledley.

Team: Coyne, Ricketts, Evans, James Collins, Bale, Fletcher, Koumas, Simon Davies, Giggs, Bellamy, Easter. Subs: Danny Collins, Nyatanga, Duffy, Parry, Cotterill, Ledley, Ward.

International photos
28 Mar 07 |  Football


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