High Stakes 5

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 23, 2015 02:40

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High Stakes 5

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (October 12th 2015)

Ultimate Success – Part Two

Marshal Michel Ney beat a hasty retreat from Kaunas, the Baltic nation’s second city, two centuries ago – a pivotal moment in the Napoléonic wars, but there was no prospect of Lithuania preventing even a much-changed England side from making history in Group E. Roy Hodgson’s team made it a perfect 10 out of 10 by beating Lithuania 3-0 in that nation’s capital Vilnius.

Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harry Kane briefly was credited with his 4th in 6 matches – it was eventually given as an own goal by the keeper. Lithuania’s manager quit after the match. Switzerland beat Estonia 1-0 in Talinn and Slovenia completed the formality of beating San Marino 2-0 in Serravalle to reach the play-offs.

Despite losing 1-0 at home to defending champions Spain in Kiev, the Ukraine made the play-offs. Luxembourg scored 2 in Luxembourg City, but Slovakia netted 4 to win comfortably and secure second place in Group C. Belarus and Macedonia played out a meaningless 0-0 draw in Borisov, home of BATE.

Spectacular

While England set the record 10 out of 10, Austria was near perfect 9 wins and a draw. Sweden beat Moldova 2-0 in Stockholm, but CSKA Moscow’s Leonid Slutsky pulled off the Great Escape by master-minding Russia’s impressive recovery from the ineffective drudgery of Fabio Capello’s reign. Russia beat Montenegro 2-0 in Moscow to grab second place and automatic qualification – Sweden made the play-off.

Meanwhile, the runaway winners of Group G Austria completed their best ever qualification campaign with a 3-0 win over Lichtenstein in Vienna. The next hosts of the World Cup – FIFA scandal permitting couled do a lot worse than offer Slutsky the job in France – he deserves it.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 23, 2015 02:40
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