Ireland holds off Somalia 1-1 to edge closer to an All-Nations Cup quarter-final berth
9Ireland kept its Knox City FC All-Nations Cup dreams alive on Saturday after securing very fortunate 1-1 draw with Somalia at Egan Lee Reserve.
Time after time the Somalians opened up the Irish defence only to be denied by goalkeeper James Hugh.
Somalia did, eventually, take the lead late in the game when the lively Arnold Konjol beat the offside trap and chipped the advancing Hugh.
But, there was to be a twist to the story when Murphy was upended in the box with less than a minute to play.
Sam Sweeney stepped up to score from the spot to end the game at 1-1.
The result leaves Group 3 with all teams still in with a chance of advancing with just one week of the group stage remaining.
The opening game of the day saw Albania destroy Macedonia 4-0 thanks to goals from Muriqi, Memishi, Ajdin Memeti and Arsen Memeti leaving the Albanians with a perfect record of two wins from as many games.
The Albanians next opponent is England which also has a perfect record after its second 3-0 victory, this time against Bosnia.
The game wasn’t as one-sided as the scoreline indicates as the Bosnians were right in the game for most of the day. But, goals from Ziggy Razuki (two) and Gareth Richards saw England home.
Both sides went down to 10 men when injuries occurred after both had used their last substitutes.
Bosnia then went down to eight players when a further two were red carded late in the game, which will cause some selection headaches next week.
Next week’s must -see game is the clash between Albania and England next Saturday at 11.30am.
The winner will top the group and head to the quarter finals with a lot of confidence.
In other matches on Saturday, Turkey and Mauritius drew 0-0 with the Mauritians left to lament a raft of easy chances not converted late in the contest.
The final game of the day saw two round 1 losers doing battle with Chile ending the hopes of El Salvador with a 2-0 win.
Logon to knoxcityfc.com.au for all the latest results and standings.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15
As a tribute to those who were injured or lost their lives in the Paris attacks a French flag flew at the halfway line throughout all of Sundays matches.
Every game also observed a minutes silence, this was particularly moving for the game between France and Nigeria.
The opening game of the day was the Scotland v Romania clash, crucial to both teams after Romania’s opening round drubbing and Scotland’s draw.
Scotland started like the “Flying Scotsman” and was 2-0 up after just nine minutes, the goals coming from Wayne Gordon (penalty) and Niklas Pederson.
This start had many at the ground wondering if Scotland would get to double figures but, after the shaky start, Romania settled down and played the better football, pulling a goal back through the impressive Paul Maghiar.
In the end, the Scots were very happy to escape with a 2-1 victory, ending the semi-final hopes of the plucky Romanians.
The second game matched Italy with Australia, the Italians looking to lock in a semi-final berth and the Aussies hoping to get on the board.
The game was a seesawing affair with both teams taking the lead before ending all square at 2-2.
Game 3 was the Nigeria v France game and, after an emotional affair, France got home 2-1 thanks a brace from Nick Niagioran.
Game 4 featured Cyprus and Seychelles and, after a tense contest, this one ended up 2-2, keeping both teams in with a shot of progressing.
The last game of the day saw two teams who won first time around Serbia and Hungary.
And, the game that could well decide who wins Group 5, ended up 1-1 with Serbia’s first half goal by Lujic cancelled out by a second half equaliser from Hungarian skipper Jozsef Ferencz.
Next weekend sees the group stage round out with some fascinating match ups, go to knoxcityfc.com.au for all of the kick off times.