Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Final Act

Today will be a big day in qualification for next years European Championship. Northern Ireland need a win tonight against Denmark to stay in the hunt (their last game is away in Spain), while all of England will be hoping for an Israeli win over Russia this evening. The main event though will be in just about 2 hours when Scotland play Italy, needing a win to qualify (Italy play the Faroes & France are away to Ukraine on Wednesday, this is Scotland’s last game). Its Scotland’s biggest game since the Netherlands playoff game 4 years ago, and the most eagerly awaited Scotland game since the England play off games 8 years ago.
The hype started when Scotland beat France 1-0 in Paris in September. Since then we have beaten Ukraine 3-1 (I saw highlights of this game in Malta, with German commentary, weird!), but lost 2-0 in Georgia. Glasgow was full yesterday of people with various pieces of Scotland paraphernalia, Kilts and Scotland tops. Incredible. I only hope that if we lose, we don’t take it badly. We do have a good record against Italy in Scotland, we beat them 1-0 in qualifying for the 1966 world cup. We drew 0-0 at Ibrox in 1992 (USA ’94) and more recently we drew 1-1 at Hampden 2 years ago (See picture).
I think that we can win, I only hope that Italy aren’t in the mood to sweep us aside. I suspect that we will only get a draw, which will mean us hoping for a Ukraine win on Wednedsay.