How about that for a news headline? Is it possible? Is it probable? Well, up until Saturday night (Sunday morning), it was highly possible and probable that England would be missing a spot in Euro 2008. Thanks to Israel’s Omer Golan’s late spectacular winner over Russia, England is now back in contention for a spot in Euro 2008. Who would’ve thought that Israel could pull off a winner against Russia? Well, that’s just one of the many surprises in football, I guess.
The Israel surprise result put England in favor over Russia. However, both England and Russia still have to fight for the spot. Both teams still have one final match to play. England against Croatia while Russia faces Andorra. Here’s how they are stacked. Currently, England has 23 points while Russia has 21 points.
England win – England goes through
England draw – England goes through (better goal difference, unless Russia wins by a really huge margin.. 10 goals?)
England lose, Russia win – Russia goes through
England lose, Russia draw – England goes through
England lose, Russia lose – England goes through
So, in short, Russia will very much need to win against Andorra and hope for England to lose in order to advance to Euro 2008. England, on the other hand needs only a draw from the match with Croatia.
What is the likelihood of England losing to Croatia? Well, with the likes of Owen, Rooney and Terry out due to injuries, England will certainly not be going into the game with their best squad. They will be pinning their hopes on Crouch and Defoe in their attack. It looks like they will once again have to rely on the accuracy of Beckham’s delivery and set pieces.
A kick and run kind of game is in store perhaps? Ohh well…