Euro 2016: Qualifying groups begin to take shape
It was goals galore on Friday as European teams battled in the qualifying rounds for the Euro 2016.
REUTERS - Shaun Maloney's moment of sublime skill gave Scotland their first home victory over Ireland in 53 years as they beat their neighbours 1-0 in their Euro 2016 Group D qualifier at Celtic Park on Friday.
Described afterwards as "an epic duel" by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, who, like Friday's counterpart Martin O'Neill, is a former Celtic manager, the game was played at a breakneck pace, oozing passion and with endless physical challenges.
There were only occasional flashes of skill but no shortage of excitement, commitment and an old-fashioned physicality to the match.
Scotland defender Grant Hanley was lucky to stay on the field after bringing down Shane Long to break up an attack just 12 minutes in and he was also lucky not to score an own goal late in the game when he headed against his own bar.
GERMANY NET FOUR
World champions Germany sauntered past minnows Gibraltar 4-0 in their qualifier to bounce back from a rocky start but coach Joachim Loew was far from pleased with the performance.
Thomas Mueller struck twice before Mario Goetze added another in the first half with Yogan Santos netting an own goal in a low-key second period as the hosts, who lost to Poland and drew with Ireland in their last two qualifiers, eased off.
"I am everything but satisfied with this," Loew told reporters. "The team did not do what we wanted to do. We wanted to play as world champions and four goals are too few."
"We did not hold our positions. Obviously there were 10 of their players around the box but we did not do it well in the second half."
The win lifted Germany to seven points from four games, three behind Group D leaders Poland.
RONALDO RESCUES PORTUGAL
Cristiano Ronaldo scrambled a second-half goal to give Portugal an uninspiring 1-0 win over Armenia in their qualifier in Faro.
The Portugal captain broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute when the ball rebounded to him two metres from goal after Roman Berezovski saved Ricardo Quaresma's shot, although he still needed two attempts to put it in.
It was his 52nd goal in 117 appearances and made him the competition's all-time top scorer in qualifying and finals combined, but it was the high point of an otherwise below-par performance which included firing three free kicks straight into the defensive wall.
Portugal moved second in Group I with six points from three games while Armenia are on one point.
Georgia 0-4 Poland
Germany 4-0 Gibraltar
Scotland 1-0 R. of Ireland
Greece 0-1 Faroe Islands
Hungary 1-0 Finland
Romania 2-0 Northern Ireland
Portugal 1-0 Armenia
Serbia 1-3 Denmark
Luxembourg V Ukraine
Macedonia V Slovakia
Spain V Belarus
England V Slovenia
San Marino V Estonia
Switzerland V Lithuania
Austria V Russia
Moldova V Liechtenstein
Montenegro V Sweden