Sunday, June 12, 2016

Continents calling

With the 2016 European Championships and Copa America Centenario just around the corner several warm-up matches took place in which South American champions Chile suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Jamaica and European champions Spain were stunned 1-0 at home to Georgia. In other friendly matches Armenia smashed Guatemala 7-1 in Carson USA while Slovakia humbled world champions Germany 3-1 in a drenched Augsburg and the Republic of Ireland were embarrassed 2-1 at home to Belarus. Poland lost 2-1 at home to Euro absentees the Netherlands while the Czech Republic suffered the same result against South Korea in Prague and newly recognised Kosovo defeated the Faroe Islands 2-0 in Germany. Australia lost 2-1 at home to Greece and Syria lost 2-0 in Vietnam while Myanmar had a mixed bag losing 1-0 to Singapore but ending on a high with a 3-0 win over Hong Kong to finish 3rd as they hosted the Aya Bank Cup which was won by Vietnam. In an Asian Cup qualifier Cambodia achieved a 2-2 draw away to Taiwan.
In the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Swaziland celebrated a 1-0 victory over their visitors from Guinea and Kenya defeated Congo 2-1 while DR Congo thumped hosts Madagascar 6-1 and South Africa were 4-0 winners in Gambia. Botswana lost 2-1 at home to Uganda and Zambia were 3-2 loser in Guinea Bissau while Egypt won 2-0 in Tanzania and Mozambique continued to rise in the football rankings with a 3-2 victory in Rwanda. The Central African Republic put 3 past visitors Angola without reply while Senegal won 2-0 in Burundi and a single goal gave Sierra Leone a home win over Sudan.     
In the Caribbean Cup second round qualifiers Grenada lost at home to Puerto Rico on penalties after a 3-3 draw and were later thumped 5-1 away to Antigua and Barbuda while Martinique were brushed aside 4-0 in Dominica. The Dominican Republic stunned hosts Bermuda 1-0 before returning home to defeat French Guiana 2-1 and qualify for the next round as group 4 winners with the match between the 2 losers having been postponed due to heavy rain in French Guiana. Guyana who were pummelled 5-2 in Curacao travelled to the US Virgin Islands where they gave the natives a 7-0 spanking.
Papua New Guinea hosted the 2016 Oceania Nations Cup and began with a 1-1 draw against New Caledonia, eventually winning their group on goal difference but losing the final on penalties to pre-tournament favourites New Zealand on penalties after a goalless draw. The Kiwis won their group 6 points ahead of the other teams with a less that convincing 1-0 win over the Solomon Islands who had begun their campaign with a 1-0, but had fallen by the same scoreline to Fiji. The result of the tournament was Fiji's shock 3-2 defeat to Vanuatu.