On Friday, ahead of the latest batch of Euro 2016 qualifiers, we asked a number of questions about what lay in store.
Rooney moves level with Charlton, but record must wait
Needing two goals to become England’s leading all-time goalscorer, the Manchester United striker struck once from the penalty spot against San Marino, but had to settle for drawing level with Bobby Charlton’s longstanding record. Rooney has another opportunity to set a new mark when England face Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday night.
Revenge for Germany as natural order is restored
Germany gained revenge for last October’s 2-0 defeat to Poland with a hard fought 3-1 victory in Frankfurt. The pick of the goals was this wonderfully worked opener, finished off by the ever-alert Thomas Muller.
The result means Germany now top Group D with Poland two points adrift in second place. In what is turning into a highly competitive race for France, both Ireland and Scotland remain in the running for an automatic place in next year’s finals.
Spanish success ends Slovakia’s 100% record
Slovakia’s 100% qualifying record came to an end in Oviedo where the reigning European champions, Spain, coasted to a 2-0 win.
The two teams are both level on 18 points. But with Ukraine, who still have to face both teams, lurking just three points behind, there is plenty to play for.
Wales must wait a little longer
Requiring a victory over Israel to reach the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1958, Wales stumbled with the finishing line in sight. A goalless draw at home to Israel put Welsh celebrations on hold, but Chris Coleman’s side do have the insurance of a final qualifier against Andorra to fall back on.
Holland go from bad to worse
Last week’s defeat to Iceland left Holland’s automatic qualification hopes hanging by the proverbial thread. A 3-0 loss to Turkey on Sunday means that even a place via the play-offs looks unlikely. The Dutch are now in fourth spot in Group A, two behind the Turks and they must now rely on other countries doing them a favour if they are to make November’s two-legged play-off tie. It is quite a dramatic fall from grace for a team which was just a penalty shootout away from contesting last year’s World Cup final.
Iceland reach the finals for the first time
Where Wales fell short, Iceland did just enough to secure a place in a major tournament final for the first time in their history. A 0-0 draw against Kazakhstan, combined with Holland’s 3-0 defeat to Turkey was enough to take Lars Lagerback’s side to France next year.