Five things you might have missed from tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifiers
The Euro 2020 qualifiers continued this evening with some of Europe’s biggest countries participating in their respective fixtures.
Former European champions, fallen giants and potential surprise packages all took to the pitch with the aim on building upon their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Eight games took place tonight and what a night it was. A mighty 32 goals were scored throughout the evening, much to the enjoyment of those neutrals sitting back and laughing at the sight of all those goalkeepers looking in disbelief at what was happening around them.
With that being said, here are five things Squawka noticed happened in this evenings Euro 2020 qualifiers.
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A welcome return for Quagliarella
There would have been very few who would have been brave enough to put money on Liechtenstein picking up a single point away on Italian turf and it wasn’t surprising that the majority of people would have guessed the correct winner.
However, it did take 17 minutes for the Italians to take the lead when a well-delivered corner found the head of Sassuolo midfielder Stefano Sensi, who buried his chance and scored his first goal for his country in just his second appearance for the Azzurri.
However, the main man of the evening was 36-year-old Fabio Quagliarella who netted two goals for his country, his first goals in the famous blue strip since a friendly match almost a decade ago.
Italy drew 1-1 against Romania that evening but tonight the win was never in doubt as the Italians thrashed lowly Liechtenstein 6-0 at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
Mick is back in town
Ireland took on Georgia this evening as boss Mick McCarthy looked to build on their 1-0 Euro 2020 opening qualifier victory against Gibraltar last week.
For McCarthy, it was an evening full of nostalgia as he approached his dugout. The last time McCarthy took charge of a competitive home match for Ireland was in 2002, almost 17 years ago.
2002 – Mick McCarthy will take charge of Republic of Ireland in a competitive match at home for the first time since a 1-2 defeat to Switzerland at Lansdowne Road back in October 2002. Ghost. #IRLGEO pic.twitter.com/7XBiUR3rOd
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 26, 2019
Luckily for Mick, his side didn’t let him down as a brilliant free-kick scored by Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane – Ireland’s first converted free-kick since 2016 – put his side ahead in the opening 45 minutes.
The match finished 1-0 to the hosts meaning Ireland have picked up maximum points in their opening two matches, culminating in two clean sheets and a perfect start for the sequel era under Mick McCarthy.
Incredibly late turnaround for the Danes
What a game in Group D as Switzerland hosted the visiting Danes for their first clash in almost 20 years.
It looked for a very long time as though the hosts were going to run away with it, with goals from Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka and Breel Embolo putting the Swiss 3-0 up with just 14 minutes to play.
However, football is a funny old game, isn’t it? The Danes suddenly burst into life and found one goal, then two and in the dying moments of the match, Brentford defender Henrik Dalsgaard struck home to secure a vital and a seemingly impossible point for the away team.
Three goals for the Danes after the 84th-minute mark. The Swiss will be fuming whereas Denmark will be just as shocked as the rest of us. Incredible game.
Morata makes Malta mope
The former World Cup winners travelled to the small island of Malta this evening, with the Spanish supporters expecting a big result against their inferior opponents.
Instead, they grew frustrated as their side struggled to get the ball in the back of the net. Spain took the lead through Chelsea ‘favourite’ Alvaro Morata in the first half but failed to build upon that early on in the second 45.
By the end of the game, Spain had tallied 24 shots but with just seven of them on target, although Morata popped up once more to at least put a bit of gloss on the scoreline.
84% possession but Spain failed to impress but a win is a win.
More late drama involving the Scandinavians
Something must have been in the Scandinavian waters this evening as both Norway and Sweden participated in a match that also left its action until the last few moments.
Norway were 2-1 up with just four minutes left to play, with the Swedes doing their best to break through the impressive Norwegian defence. However, who needs Batman when you have Robin, Robin Quaison that is, who fired home to draw the Swedes level.
Quaison was the hero once more as he helped completely turn the tie around and put the visitors 3-2 up in the dying moments of the match.
Ultimately, nothing was dead and buried and Norway made sure they had the last laugh, as substitute Ola Kamara scored in the 96th minute to adulation from the home support and sickening shock from the Swedish. Again, what a game of football.