Winners

Olyroos

They may have only been friendlies, but there was plenty of like about the Olyroos – who scored nine goals across their two games against China and North Korea.

A 5-1 win to China was followed up with a 4-0 victory over North Korea, with eight different players finding the back of the net – Daniel Bouman the only player to score twice, while Adelaide United forward Al-Hassan Toure scored in his debut.

Despite missing four players – including captain Riley McGree – the Olyroos will take plenty of confidence as they look to qualify for their first Olympics since 2008.

San Marino

In what was one world football’s greatest feel-good stories, San Marino – a minnow nation with a population of only 33,000 – scored its first goal at home in six years.

22-year-old Fillipo Berardi broke the drought in the second half of San Marino’s defeat to Kazakhstan.

Their ranking and -45 goal difference did not matter when the ball struck the back of the net, with the goal met by immense celebration from the players and coaching staff which would have even put a smile on the faces of the Kazakhstan bench.

Finland

There were no bigger winners than Finland this weekend, who qualified for their first ever major tournament.

The break-through came over the weekend as players and fans were brought to tears after the side’s 3-0 win over Liechtenstein sealed Finland’s place in the tournament.

An early goal from Jasse Tuominen brought the stadium to life before a double from Norwich City striker Teemu Puki saw Finland’s dream finally realised.

Regardless of the result of their final group game against Greece, they will remain in second place – behind Italy – and see themselves play off in Europe’s biggest tournament next year.

puki.jpg
Image: Sky Sports

Losers

Victoria

The state of Victoria had a shocker over the weekend.

Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United failed to pick up a win in any of the three competitions – A-League, W-League or National Youth League.

Sydney FC got the better of the Victory in Sunday’s double header – winning 3-0 in the W-League and 2-1 in the A-League – while Victory’s youth side went down 7-0 to Brisbane Roar.

Despite being christened the ‘comeback kings’ Western United were unable to rectify Angus Thurgate’s first half goal, as the Newcastle Jets picked up their first win of the season.

Melbourne City meanwhile fell victim to a controversial decision which saw Roy O’Donovan complete his hat-trick and record a famous win for Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar side, while City’s W-League outfit were held to a one-all draw with the Jets.

syd vs vic.jpg
Image: My Football

 

Nuneaton Borough FC

Playing in England’s seventh-tier, Nuneaton Borough were awarded a penalty in the 60th minute of their match with Stratford Town.

With both sides yet to score, this was a golden opportunity for the Boro to find the lead.

Of all people, goalkeeper Tony Breeden stepped up to take what would become one of the worst misses of the season.

Not only did he miss the target, but he struck one of the lights in the grandstand which was left dangling over the supporters behind the goals – with this passage of play going viral on social media.

 

Northern Ireland

In what may be Michael O’Neil’s last match in charge, Northern Ireland were left ruing a missed penalty which would have seen them in contention to automatically qualify for next year’s Euros.

At home to an equally nervous yet determined Netherlands outfit, captain Steven David missed the chance to give his side an early lead in what would prove to be a costly miss, with neither side finding the back of the net.

The draw sees Netherlands secure automatic qualification while the Northern Irish meat Germany in their final match, before advancing to the play-offs.

Featured Image: BBC

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athossirianos
athos.sirianos@gmail.com
First year Journalism student at RMIT University. Looking to get the truth out while having a bit of fun.