Monday, October 29, 2012

Two busy autumn days

Another two international days saw plenty of movement around the world. Germany slaughtered Ireland 6-1 in Dublin and seemed to be on their way to another huge win when they stormed into a 4 goal lead against Sweden in Berlin, but the Swedes hit back in the last half hour to earn an incredible 4-4 draw while the Irish salvaged some pride with a 4-1 win away to the Faroe Islands. Romania returned from Turkey with a 1-0 victory only to be hammered 4-1 by the Dutch while the Turks were beaten 3-1 in Hungary. Belgium stunned their Serbian hosts with 3 goals and drew 0-0 away to the Czech Republic while the Serbs lost by a single goal in Macedonia. Cyprus were beaten 3-1 on their own turf by Norway who had drawn 1-1 in Switzerland. The Swiss went on to win 2-0 in Iceland who had returned from a 2-1 success in Albania. Israel hit Luxembourg for 6 on their travels while Lithuania scored a double in  Liechtenstein, and Ukraine returned from a goalless draw in Moldova only to suffer 1-0 at the hand of Montenegro. Wales scored late to defeat Scotland 2-1 in Cardiff and Northern Ireland picked up a 1-1 draw in Portugal while Georgia lost 2-0 in Belarus and Spain were held to a 1-1 draw at home to France who had just been beaten by Japan in a friendly match at Saint Denis. In South America, champions Uruguay continued to plummet in the rankings as they were thumped 3-0 in Argentina and humiliated 4-1 in Bolivia while Ecuador enjoyed a 3-1 home win over Chile. In North America Canada were hammered 8-1 in Honduras and in Oceania New Caledonia conquered the Solomon Islands 6-2 while in Asia there were 1-0 wins for Iran at home to South Korea and Uzbekistan away to Qatar.
There were shocks in the Caribbeans in the past month as Barbados lost 1-0 at home to the Dominican Republic who had earlier drawn 2-2 with Aruba, and French Guiana enjoyed an astonishing 3-0 triumph at St Kitts & Nevis.  
In the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Niger celebrated a 2-0 home win over Guinea while Ethiopia did the same against Sudan, and DR Congo lost 2-1 at Equatorial Guinea. Tunisia were held to a goalless draw at home to Sierra Leone while Mozambique were soundly beaten 4-0 in Morocco and Liberia were demolished 6-1 in Nigeria. Botswana whipped Mali 4-1 while Central African Republic were brushed aside 3-1 in Burkina Faso and Angola put 2 past their visitors from Zimbabwe. Ivory Coast won 2-0 in Senegal while Zambia lost 1-0 in Uganda but went through on penalties. A narrow win for Cameroon against Cape Verde was not enough to prevent the former African giants crashing out of the competition as the minnow made history by qualifying for the finals for the first time ever.
In a tournament in Myanmar, East Timor enjoyed 5-1 and 3-1 wins over Cambodia and Laos respectively while in another friendly tournament in the Philippines Guam put 3 past Macao without reply.