Friday, September 3, 2010

Live - Euro 2012 qualifiers


To get involved use Twitter, 606 or SMS via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with FOOTBALL before your message. (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate.)

By Sam Lyon

Abid, London via text: "RE: 1815 - John Toshak seems to have forgotten that Spurs bought Gareth Bale three years ago not last week. His form is no surprise to the Spurs fans. Harry has just brought the best out in him. As Harry does."

WHOASriLawi on Twitter: "Wow, England U21, what a goal! Cleverley with a fantastic pass to Sturridge, cool finish past the keeper."
I can't see the match mate, so I'm taking your word for it.

Yellow card
1841: Montenegro defender Savo Pavicevic is the first man into the referee's notebook after going through the back of Gareth Bale in the centre of the park. I think that's what Ron Atkinson might call 'a reducer'.

1840: GOALFLASH Portugal U21 0-1 England U21 (Sturridge)

Clive Lindsay reports:
"The last time Scotland qualified for a major finals, I had no grey hairs. A few of them were the result of previous encounters with Lithuania. Scotland were held to a goalless draw on their first visit in 1998 and that was followed by a good old boot in the Baltics with a 1-0 defeat five years later. The Lithuanians were beaten 2-1 in September 2006, so Craig Levein will face few surprises against a side who have been in the same qualifying group as Scotland for the last four European Championships. Poland and Ukraine 2012 seems a long way away, but it is a lot closer than the 1998 World Cup, when Scotland last made a major finals - and there is a new mood of optimism in the coach Levein's camp despite last month's friendly defeat in Sweden."

1837: Radomir Djalovic stings Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey's palms with a firm drive on the angle, and the Wolves keeper then has to punch away the resulting corner from under his own bar. Montenegro already showing more than enough to suggest this could be a tricky night's work for John Toshack's side.

1834: Craig Bellamy looking lively in these opening stages for Wales, but Montenegro have the first meaningful effort on goal, Elsad Zverotic firing high, wide and not very handsome over Wayne Hennessey's goal.

1831: Montenegro get us up and running in Podgorica.

redandblackT on 606: "Hope to see Bale transfer his sparkling club form to the national team. He'll be a threat anywhere down the left methinks."

1827: The stands in Podgorica looking more than busy judging by an - admittedly very brief - glimpse of things on the TV. A few hundred hardy Welsh souls have made their way to Montenegro to lend their support, and it looks like they've been rewarded with a rather pleasant early evening in terms of weather so far.

Sun journalist Steve Brenner on Twitter: "New Man Utd signing Bebe sensational for Portugal U21s so far. Sensationally ineffective."

Showoff 606s Most Wanted on 606: "Morison of Millwall is on fire, watch him score for Wales!"

Bruce Pope reports:
"So, Ashley Williams partners James Collins at centre-back for Wales, with Craig Morgan on the bench despite a late injury scare. Wayne Hennessey gets the nod in goal ahead of Boaz Myhill, while Millwall striker Steve Morison - who was playing non-league football less than 18 months ago - wins his first competitive cap. Montenegro - managed by Zlatko Kranjcar, the dad of Tottenham's Nico - are led by Roma forward Mirko Vucinic, but are missing injured Fiorentina playmaker Stevan Jovetic and Spartak Moscow midfielder Nikola Drincic."

Gavlarr on Twitter: "England to play woeful and still nick a 2-1 win? Wouldnt put it past them, shame us Welsh cannot do that!"

England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Come on England, get behind the lads Tweeples!!!"

1815: So, I think it's agreed that Gareth Bale will be key to Wales's hopes tonight isn't it? He and Craig Bellamy, for sure, need big games in Podgorica - and John Toshak is backing the former to produce the goods. "Gareth's form is not a surprise to us," said the Wales manager. "If you go back to the start of the last World Cup qualifying campaign two years ago, Bale was named man of the match in the first three games - against Azerbaijan, Russia and Liechtenstein. We know full well what Gareth can do." Before adding a rather sly dig at Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp: "I know Harry thinks he's performed some kind of miracle at White Hart Lane but it's certainly no surprise to us. We saw it at an early age." Touchy.

Les Calderwood on Twitter: "Wales may find Montenegro a bigger task than you may imagine..."

Chris, Sunderland via text: "Is that Charlotte Church on the bench for Wales? They've got no chance!"

1810: And another full-time in the U21 qualifiers - Belarus 1-1 Scotland. Quick bit of context for you - in the 10 qualifying groups, the top teams qualify for the play-offs along with the four best runners-up. Scotland are in group 10 and with one game to go, they are level on 14 points with Belarus and Austria - super-tight, and the Scots have a chance real of qualifying. Lovely.

John Haughey reports:
"The Republic of Ireland huff and puff before a late Keith Fahey goal earns a vital win in the opening Euro 2012 qualifier in Armenia."

GKeaveney on Twitter: "A night in with the mates replica kits on... Come on the Green and White Army. Sir David Healy will come good."

Anon via text: "Tonight I feel change will come for England. Gerrard is the key, Capello has learnt a lesson... Old dog, new tricks, c'mon England!"

Sir Alex Ferguson dried my hair on 606: "No disrespect or anything but any Welshman who thinks that team is going to qualify for the Euros is delusional."

1803: If you give this page a cheeky refresh people, BBC Wales' radio coverage of Montenegro-Wales is available as a link on the right-hand side for our UK users. Which is nice.

Mladen Bozovic, Zverotic, Djudovic, Pavicevic, Jovanovic, Basa, Vukcevic, Boskovic, Pekovic, Vucinic, Djalovic. Subs: Blazic, Batak, Beciraj, Novakovic, Vladimir Bozovic, Savic, Delibasic.
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Collins, Williams, Ricketts, Ledley, Edwards, Vaughan, Bale, Bellamy, Morison. Subs: Myhill, Evans, Morgan, King, Church, Cotterill, Earnshaw.
Referee: Anastassios Kakos (Greece)

Sam_Walk on Twitter: "I got a feeling for a Rooney hat-trick tonight."

Fraser_Joe, Glasgow via text: "Imperative for the Scots to get off to a winning start tonight! If Kenny Miller can replicate his form at club level, it should be an enjoyable evening for The Tartan Army in Kaunas! Best of luck to all the home nations!"

1757: And as if all that wasn't enough, England's under-21 stars are also in action tonight in a rare twist. They're away against their Portuguese counterparts in their Euro 2011 U21 Euro Championship qualifier and Stuart Pearce's side largely needs to win if they want to retain a realistic hope of reaching the finals. I'll endeavour to keep you across the score there.

Ed Gasson on 606: "Wales are looking stronger than ever. With players like Gareth Bale they definitely can't be ruled out and a win today will do their confidence good too."

1752: Euro 2012 qualifying Danny: "The Republic of Ireland have won in Armenia to get their campaign off to a good start. It was far from comfortable for Giovanni Trapattoni's team, but Keith Fahey's 76th-minute winner secured a 1-0 victory. Russia and Slovakia are also in a tough-looking Group B, so sterner challenges lay ahead..."

Bruce Pope reports:
"Wales will have to win away against a side they have never beaten if they are to get their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign off to a flying start. Mind you, Wales have only played Group G minnows Montenegro once before - losing a friendly 2-1 in Podgorica last year to a nation that only gained full independence from Serbia in 2006. The absence of Montenegro's star striker Stevan Jovetic is a bonus, too, so a win is very much the target for Wales."

nedccfc on Twitter: "Hopefully a Wales-England 1/2 in this group!"

Video Didnt Kill The Radio Star - Eboue Did on 606: "Theo to score 17 goals tonight."

1745: So, in all honesty, what I need from you is to forget about being at all social tonight and to get involved on Euro 2012 qualifying Friday. I want you to get chatting on 606, to text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with FOOTBALL before your message, or to Tweet me on Twitter. It's better than rolling around the stained carpets of your local after one too many pints of the falling down water with kebab sauce all down your jeans isn't it? Ish.

1739: Yes, welcome to Friday night - the new home, alongside Tuesday evenings, of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Tonight England take on Bulgaria hoping to kick off their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign in much the same way they did their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign... only, you know, without the bitter early exit of the tournament two years on once qualified. And Don Fabio's boys are just one of four home nations involved this evening. They get started at Wembley at 2000 BST, long after Group G rivals Montenegro v Wales (1830 BST) and Group I's Lithuania v Scotland (1915) get us up and running, while Slovenia v Northern Ireland in Group C kicks off at 1945. Basically, it's a bumper night of international football.

1734: Below are the words this week of England captain Steven Gerrard. In other words, consign England's failure at the 2010 World Cup to today's chip-wrap paper, people, for tonight the English national team is reborn. Forget scraping out of the group stages in South Africa, forget the humiliating second-round defeat to Germany, forget the embarrassing public fallout that marked the aftermath, and forget the fact that England still has the same coaching staff, same approach and, for the most part, the same players. This is a 'new' England, an England for whom anything is possible, an England that will learn from past mistakes, an England that will express themselves on the big stage and an England that will shed the weight of a nation's expectation by qualifying easily for Euro 2012 starting with an impressive win over Bulgaria tonight. Erm... right?

1730: "Fabio (Capello) has to be given a chance. There's a lot of blame for our World Cup performance going towards the manager, but it was the players who under-performed. People talk about tactics and stuff but there's only so much that a manager can do. The players have to deliver - and the players didn't deliver in South Africa. The only way we can recover from that now is to improve results - if we can start with a win against Bulgaria on Friday, that will lift the confidence again. We're all desperate to put things right."

Potenshöjande medel -

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