Denmark and hat trick hero Christian Erickson booked the last European place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia after they thrashed the Republic of Ireland 5-1 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin last. Ireland made a great start scoring the opener after six minutes, but by half time Denmark had worked their way back in to the match and were 2-1 ahead by the start of the second half thanks to goals from Christensen and Ericksen. Ireland had no reply to Denmarks attacking threat, Ericksen bagged his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining and former Arsenal striker made it five in injury time via the penalty spot.
England recorded another satisfactory 0-0 draw against Brazil at Wembley last night and new caps Salanke and Abraham made promising debut’s up front, which along with midfield is where England need more quality and competition. Apart from Joe Hart in goal England can be confident with their defence going forward with so many decent players proving themselves during qualifying and over the last week. As there is now real competition for first team places in defence it should improve quality and consistency going forward, which is the basis for any successful team, and hopefully Southgate will have the vision and confidence not to go with Hart as his first-choice keeper, but rather pick a keeper who can distribute the ball to outfield players on the ground, especially when under pressure.
Germany were nearly upset on home soil by France last night who lead 2-1 thanks to a brace from Arsenal striker Lacazette, but Stindl saved their blushes with an injury time equalizer. Belgium won their international friendly against Japan 1-0 and at the time of writing Euro 2016 winners Portugal were drawing their friendly against the USA 1-1.