Thursday. Zagreb. Croatia – Greece – 4:1. 13th minute. Luka MODRIC celebrates the first goal in gate of Greeks. Photo: Reuters
CROATIA – GREECE 4:1 (3:1)
Goals: Modric, 13 – penalty (1:0). N. Kalinic, 19 (2:0). Papastathopoulos, 30 (2:1). Perisic, 33 (3:1). Kramaric, 49 (4:1).
Croatia: Subašić, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Strinić, Kramaric (Vlašić, 82), Brozović, Rakitic, Modric (Pasalic, 89), Perišić, N. Kalinic (Rebić, 76).
Greece: Karnezis, Maniatis (Recos, 46), Papadopoulos, Papastathopoulos, Tzavellas, Convict, Samaris (Tachtsidis, 62), Tziolis, Fortunes, Stafylidis (Bacasmas, 71), Mitroglou.
Punishment: Karnezis, 12. The convict, 21. Bacasmas, 79 (warnings).
Judge: Rocky (Italy).
9 Nov. Zagreb. The Maksimir Stadium.
In Croatia there is a tradition: every two years before the final part of the qualifying stage of a major tournament fired there head coach. In 2013, just before the joints Igor Stimach was replaced by Niko Kovac. In 2015 over the two rounds to finish the group stage flew the head of Kovacs, and appointed in his stead Ante Čačić was sacked a month ago.
Unobvious and unexpected decision by the head of the Croatian football Union of Davor Suker in the two previous cases appeared to be true. And for the world Cup, and Euro “checkers” hit. So when it became known about dismissal Cacica, few were surprised in Croatia. But raised questions name a new coach, 51-year-old Zlatko Dalic since 2010 worked in clubs from the Middle East, and the level of football over there is low.
Apparently, the scheme of Suker would work this time. In the first game on the new post Delich beat Ukraine in Kiev, and the second – conquered Greece. The Greeks had a problem with structure: Central defender Manolas was serving a silly suspension for a failed “reset” of yellow cards.
But another defender papastathopoulos Greeks Croats scored a beautiful head kick, which, however, does guests did not help.
By the time the “checkers” has already scored twice Modric converted the spot-kick and kalinic gracefully flicked the ball into the goal after the transfer of Strinic.
Before the break the Croats scored a third goal scored with Perisic. And in the beginning of the second half, a blunder made Stafylidis: chest trying to throw the ball back to the goalkeeper, gave a perfect pass to the opponent.
The Croats looked very serious, often attacked, played and won logically. Greece was completely ineffective on the counter. It is hard to imagine that the team of Michael, Skibbe will score three times in the second leg.
NORTHERN IRELAND – SWITZERLAND – 0:1 (0:0)
Goal: R. Rodriguez, 58 – penalty (0:1).
Northern Ireland: McGovern, McLaughlin, John.Evans, McAuley, Brunt, Magennis, C. Evans (Saville, 65), Davis, Norwood, Dallas (Ward, 52), Lafferty (Washington, 78).
Switzerland: Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Akanji, Sher, R., Rodriguez, Shaqiri, Zakaria, G. Xhaka, Dzemaili (Fry 83), Zuber (Mehmedi, 87), Seferovic (Ambolo, 77).
Punishment: Cher, 5. C. Evans, 57 (warning).
Judge: Hategan (Romania).
9 Nov. Belfast. The Stadium “Windsor Park”.
The Northern Ireland from the first minute carefully dried match so it was fresh. Star Switzerland was not able to hack bunk of the defense of the British game, although we possessed the ball 70 percent of the time. But produced a victory – Rodriguez confidently converted from the penalty spot, but his appointment sparked a loud controversy. Referee Ovidiu Hategan felt that Corry Evans has played a hand, although the ball probably hit the back of the severoirlandtsev.
However, the hosts after conceding a goal, not rebuilt and 90 minutes has never hit the target. Switzerland won again. Amazingly, the team of Vladimir Petkovic has won 10 of 11 matches of the qualifying stage, but can still fly past the world Cup.
Gosha CHERNOV, Sport-Express
SWEDEN – ITALY – 1:0 (0:0)
Goal: Johansson, 61.
Sweden: Olsen, Kraft (Svensson, 83), LindelEf Granqvist, Augustinsson, Klasson, SEB.Larsson, Ekdahl (Johansson, 57) Forsberg, Toivonen, Berg (Thelin, 74).
Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli, Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Verratti (Insigne, 76), Darmian, Immobile, Belotti (Eder, 65).
Penalties: Berg, 2. Verratti, 29 (warnings).
Referee: Cakir (Turkey).
10 Nov. Stockholm. “Friends Arena”.
For Italy it was more than a match of the year. It was enough just to look at the cover of the leading sports Newspapers, to read all these slogans, written in large letters: “We believe!”, “We Are Italy!”, “Take us to the world Cup!”, and at a distance to feel the excitement that swept the Apennines.
Italy was afraid. Probably not so much a rival but herself: the weakness of the generation called the poorest talent in the country’s history, questionable decisions by the coach Giampiero Ventura (which is only a suicidal 4-2-4 lineup against Spain), which already led to the failure of the ending group of the qualifying tournament, as well as the enormous pressure from all sides.
It would seem, little more than a year ago, Antonio Conte has shown at the Euro-2016 the whole football world how to build a quality team, with star players. Now the situation has reached the point that self-esteem of a once-great football nation plummeted. Many in Italy have seriously admit that for the first time since 1958 (!) the world championship will be held without their favorite team…
The first half showed that the concerns of the guests were not in vain: Sweden looked much faster and meaner, a better understanding of what to do on the field, attacked more and defended more confidently. Already the opening minutes was allowed to feel the mood of owners: first, Toivonen love to have an elbow in the nose Bonucci, then Forsberg got the opportunity to take a free-kick from a dangerous point, followed by the same Toivonen broke free to kick in a game situation. Let the ball every time he passed just by, however ibrahimović, located on the podium, aggression of the native team was satisfied.
Continue, however, not followed – despite the apparent advantage, chances were given to Sweden with work, it was not the highest class offensive line. And the trio of Chiellini – Bonucci – Barzagli with Buffon behind – the only structure in Italy that’s not yet collapsed under the influence of time and genius Ventura.
But the Swedes had at least approaches and attempts, and their opponents could not boast. On the game “, Italy squadra Azzurra” in the opponent’s half to watch without tears was impossible. The transition from defence to attack is based on two simple principles: either Bonucci stupidly threw the ball forward on a couple of forwards or the ball followed on the flanks, where Darmian and candreva tried to stir up the onset of individual races. Happened only once in the first half, and in the beginning, when Belotti, after the canopy was perevisa all in the air and softly struck towards the far corner. Slightly missed.
It was the only attempt of beating Italy for the first time. The Central Midfielders off the field without the ball, Immobile and wide of the post bullied to the head, desperately raised hands and overlap with each other, and one of the brightest of today’s players in the country – beautiful Insigne of “Napoli” – sat on the substitute, the victim of the tactics of 3-5-2. While the poor man Verratti, who really were only a tackle in the opponent’s half of the field. The referee assessed a foul a yellow card – this means that in the second leg of Ventura will have to do without their leader.
If the first half was for the “Italy Azzurra” just plain, the second half did bring the Italians to disaster. Poorly played on the rebound after a timeout with his penalty in the 60th minute, the visitors allowed substitute Johansson to strike. He is 27-year-old Greek AEK it does not work – the ball flew slightly to the side of Buffon. But on the way hit the foot of De Rossi and treacherously dived into another corner.
In the remaining time Italians have had to risk and push forward to fire the penalty area numerous innings, and the gate – long-range shots. However, the moment the guests have created, perhaps the only one – Darmian rattled the bar from distance. In the 76th minute Ventura still thrown into battle Insigne, but it was too late: the Swedes stood by the wall.
Yes, 0:1 before the home game – not the most bad result. But when you look at this sad, tired team of Italy with dull eyes and unprincipled attacks, absolutely no confidence that it can win in the return match on Monday, November 13, on “San Siro”.
Mikhail GONCHAROV, Sport-Express
DENMARK – IRELAND – 0:0
Denmark: Smigel, Ankersen, Bjelland, Kjær, Stryger Larsen, Delaney, Kvist, Eriksen, Cornelius (Poulsen, 64), Jørgensen, Sisto (Bendtner, 72).
Ireland: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, O Dowd, Hendrik (Hourihan, 90+3), Arter (Whelan, 88), Brady, Macklin, Murphy (S. Long, 74).
Punishment: it was not.
Referee: Magic (Serbia).
11 Nov. Copenhagen. The Parken Stadium.
The previous meeting between these teams was held in the Danish Aarhus ten years ago, and then the “Boys in green” made uniform beating of the Scandinavians with four unanswered goals. However, in tournament games, the Irish had not beaten the Danes 38 years – from the qualifying round of Euro-1980. Then, the current mentors of the two teams Norwegian age Hareide and Martin O’neill didn’t even know me. This is the beginning of the 80s of the last century, fate brought them first to the “Manchester city”, and then “Norwich”, where almost the same age (O’neill over a year) have become real friends. One time charade was even picked up from a friend’s house, and, as Martin joked in an interview with the official FIFA website, still have not paid for it.
Brings together for the first time became the opponents of specialists and the fact that they are attracted to their staffs as assistants to former players of the national team. However, according to charisma recently hung up his boots Jon Dahl Tomasson is noticeably inferior to the legendary captain of Manchester United and Roy Keane team. Perhaps the main motivator in the current Irish team, which, by the way, most any of the European teams participated in the “joints” of the largest international tournaments. The Danes on the decisive battle raised a fantastic atmosphere at the Parken stadium.
After a cautious opening, the owners have created the first dangerous moment. Kjaer performed a sumptuous diagonal metres forty, connection to the attack, Larsen beat from a tight angle, but Randolph coped with this threat, and with the rebound of Cornelius. When the shot is not too confident reflected the Eriksen volley from distance, saved the Irish only lost sight Sisto.
In General, the first half can be stated: the hosts looked better, but they were far from the relics of famous in the 80s of the last century, “the Danish dynamite”, and Ireland originally came to Copenhagen to fight, to endure and to wait. Is working in the group stage exit model (+3=2) and then was able to give the result before the break. Murphy beat Hendrick on the right touchline, and the defender Christy suddenly discovered the talent of the dribbler. However, with the ability to complete the attack having problems, and teammate Randolph at Middlesbrough lost the duel Smihily.
About what happened on the field in the second half, the best they could to tell other episode involving Christie, when the defender bravely took the brunt of Larsen. The Irish seem to have been knocked down, but fortunately, his head was strong, like a good boxer. Although without the intervention of doctors was not.
In turn, the coaches have tried to make adjustments to the game focused on attack substitutions. On the field appeared alternately Poulsen, Bendtner with the hosts and long. The latter two, at the moment, the top scorers of their teams from among those in demand of players. It did not help. Game, balovatsa football aesthetes, was divided into episodes because of the abundance of single combats and minor fouls. Although, in the end Denmark almost snatched the victory, but the “Boys in green” was again saved by Randolph, stretched out from under the crossbar the kick attack with the “second floor” of Poulsen.
Andrey KUZICHEV, Sport-Express
The first matches
HONDURAS – AUSTRALIA – 0:0
Honduras: Escobar, Izaguirre, Palacios, Beckeles, Figueroa, Mejia, Lopez (Martinez, 66), Claros, Kyoto, Lozano (Costly, 73), Lance (Chirinos, 60).
Australia: Ryan, Sainsbury, Wright, Behich, Risdon (Degener, 84), German, Jedinak, Luongo, MUI, Irvine (Logic, 74), Juric (Mitten, 89).
Punishment: Bekeles, 19. Palacios, 37. Risdon, 39. Jarman, 47. Sainsbury, 48. Claros, 64. Luongo, 87. Martinez, 90+3 (warnings).
Referee: Orsato (Italy).
10 Nov. San Pedro Sula. The city stadium.
NEW ZEALAND – PERU – 0:0
New Zealand: Marinovic, Reid, Smith (Durant, 67), Boxall, Wynn, Kolvi, McGlinchey, Rojas (Tuiloma, 78), Thomas, Lewis (Wood, 74), Barbarouses.
Peru: Gallese, Rodriguez, Ramos, Corso, Trauma, Farfan, Cueva (Polo, 90+1), Jotun (Aquino, 86), Carrillo (Hurtado, 77), Tapia, Flores.
Punishment: Jotun 24. McGlinchey, 68. Boxall, 75 (warnings).
Referee: Geiger (USA).
10 Nov. Wellington. The city stadium.
The third round
6-th round. Group A. DR Congo – Guinea 3:1 (sidibé, 61, own goal. Bolini, 90+2, penalty. Cabano, 90+3 – Karmacoma, 71).
Tunisia – Libya – 0:0.
The final table
AND IN N P M ABOUT
1. TUNISIA 6 4 2 0 11-4 14
2. DR Congo 6 1 4 1 13 14-7
3. Libya 6 1 1 4 4 4-10
4. Guinea 6 1 0 5 6-14 3
Group B. Algeria – Nigeria – 1:1 (Brahimi, 88, penalty – OGU, 62).
Zambia – Cameroon – 2:2 (Dhaka, 26. Mwila, 64 – Zambo, 31. Banana, 90+1).
The final table
AND IN N P M ABOUT
1. NIGERIA 6 4 2 0 12-4 14
2. Zambia 6 2 2 2 8-7 8
3. Cameroon 6 4 1 1 7-9 7
4. Algeria 6 0 2 4 4-11 2
Group C. Côte d’ivoire – Morocco – 0:2 (Dirar, 25. Of benatia, 30).
Gabon – Mali – 0:0.
The final table
AND IN N P M ABOUT
1. MOROCCO 6 3 3 0 12 11-0
2. Côte d’ivoire 6 2 2 2 7 7-5
3. Gabon 6 1 3 2 2-7 6
4. Mali 6 0 4 2 1-9 4
Group D. The rematch of the 2nd round. South Africa – Senegal – 0:2 (Sako, 12. Mkhize, 38, own goal).
AND IN N P M ABOUT
1. SENEGAL 5 2 3 0 8-2 11
2. Burkina Faso 5 1 3 1 6-6 6
3. Cape Verde 5 2 0 3 6 4-8
4. South Africa 5 1 1 3 6-8 4
6th tour 14 November: Senegal – South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde.
Group E. Congo – Uganda – 1:1 (Beaudry, 10 – Charissa, 11).
Ghana – Egypt – 1:1 (Gyasi, 64 – Shikabala, 61).
The final table
AND IN N P M ABOUT
1. EGYPT 6 4 1 1 8-4 13
2. Uganda 6 2 3 1 3-2 9
3. Ghana 6 1 4 1 7-5 7
4. Congo 6 0 2 4 5-12 2
In the final tournament came Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal and Egypt.