Euro 2016 qualifying round-up
Euro 2016 maybe some time off but there is plenty to talk about after what was an interesting night of qualifiers. England, as expected, dismantled minnows San Marino 5-0, although their first half performance lacked any real memorable moments of footballing nous. A hammering was always on the cards for a San Marino team with only one professional footballer in their ranks, but England made hard work of them in the first 45 minutes despite leading 2-0 at the break. It is hard to take too much from the game but the fact remains, England are expected to top this group and qualify, anything other than this would be a calamity...even by England's poor standards. The real shock of the night came in Slovakia, where European champions Spain were beaten 2-1. This was their first defeat in European or World Cup qualifying for 8 years, the last being a 2-0 reversal away to Sweden in 2008.
In other matches there were wins for Ukraine and Austria, away to Belarus and Moldova respectively. Switzerland suffered a surprise 1-0 loss away to Slovenia, their second defeat in as many matches, whilst Russia earned a 1-1 draw away to Sweden, who are fourth in their qualifying group on 2 points from 2 games.