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Serbia 2-0 Scotland

FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Europe, Group A. Karadorde Stadium, Novi Sad, 22/3/13.

And so it goes on..

What was that pitch like? I know they’d just cleared snow off it but I thought pitches like that were long gone.

Scotland weathered the first half and had started to look good, putting some passes together and getting into Srbia’s penalty area.

Then the sucker punch. Jordan Rhodes hurried his shot straight to the keeper and they ran up the park and scored.

A further defensive mix-up gifted them a second. Game over.

Liam Bridcutt played well for a debutant and George Boyd had the look of a footballer. (To be specific, he reminded me of John Wark minus the ‘tache. It must be the long hair.)

Where’s a win going to come from?

Scotland 0-0 Serbia

FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Europe, Group A, Hampden Park, 8/9/12.

I only saw the highlights – and had managed to avoid finding out the score beforehand, which wasn’t worth it.

We made heavy weather of this but shouldn’t grumble about a draw with a team above us in the rankings. (Only Macedonia in our Group aren’t above us.) Serbia might have scored themselves.

Still, judging from this it’s “Brazil, here we don’t come.”

World Cup Finals Draw

No sooner had the tedious process finished than Motty was at it again. England willl win it, he said.

At least Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson went for Spain and Brazil – though, historically, Spain have an even poorer World Cup record than England. (Not so in European Championships, of course.)

There was a degree of unseemly euphoria at England’s “good” draw and first place in the group was taken for granted. Already it was so-and-so (possibly Germany, though the likely alternatives, Australia – even Serbia and Ghana – could be tough prospects) in the last sixteen and France in the quarter finals.

Let us be clear about this. The USA are no mugs. They could have won the Confederations Cup last summer. If the USA play to form, England will be stretched to beat them. Algeria beat the African Nations champions, Egypt, to qualify and Slovenia may well spring a surprise.

[By the way, judging by how France struggled to qualify, they will only get to the last sixteen if Uruguay and South Africa are mince. I expect at least one of them to be tougher.]

As for the quarter finals, that will be your lot. Overseas it usually is.

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