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Denmark, Slovakia, Ireland impress

Published: Friday 15 November 2013, 23.01CET
The teams that missed out on Brazil have begun 2016 qualifying preparations, with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Turkey, Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland winning.
Denmark, Slovakia, Ireland impress
Ireland won under their new management team ©Getty Images


Published: Friday 15 November 2013, 23.01CET

Denmark, Slovakia, Ireland impress

The teams that missed out on Brazil have begun 2016 qualifying preparations, with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Turkey, Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland winning.

Czech Republic 2-0 Canada
Ondřej Čelůstka has gone two years without a club goal but the Sunderland AFC defender took just three minutes to score on his international debut as the Czechs made a perfect start in Olomouc. The hosts were indebted to Petr Čech, though, as he saved Dwayne De Rosario's penalty moments before half-time and the game remained in the balance until nine minutes from time when substitute Tomáš Hořava finished calmly after good work by Bořek Dočkal. It was Hořava's first goal for the Czechs and sealed a third win in as many outings for interim coach Josef Pešice.

Belarus 0-0 Albania
It finished goalless in Antalya, Turkey, though Belarus will regret their failure to convert a first-half penalty. Captain Timofei Kalachev, winning his 60th cap, was denied by Albania's SS Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha who pulled off a superb save.

Estonia 2-1 Azerbaijan
Estonia tore up the form book as they came from behind to claim their first victory in seven outings. Trailing to Rauf Aliyev's goal against the run of play just before half-time – the scorer capitalising on an error by debutant Artjom Artjunin – Sergei Zenjov equalised nine minutes after the restart as his curling shot found the top corner. It was soon 2-1 as Joel Lindpere dispatched a powerful header for an Estonia team that had earlier hit the crossbar through Konstantin Vassiljev. It condemned Azerbaijan to their first defeat in seven matches.

Denmark 2-1 Norway
Headers from William Kvist and Nicolai Boilesen secured Denmark a win against their neighbours in Herning. Norway had the early play but Kvist headed in Christian Eriksen's 13th-minute corner to score from Denmark's first true opportunity. The visitors continued to press in an open game and with 13 minutes left Marcus Pedersen levelled after an intelligent pass from namesake Morten Gamst. However, just as it seemed to be heading for a draw, Nicolai Boilesen nodded in Peter Ankersen's 90th-minute cross to earn victory with his first international goal.

Turkey 1-0 Northern Ireland
Mevlüt Erdinç struck the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time, latching on to Bilal Kisa's through ball and applying a simple finish. Coach Fatih Terim led Turkey in the city of birth, Adana, for the first time and handed international debuts to Salih Uçan, Büyük Adem, Tarık Çamdal and İshak Doğan.

Poland 0-2 Slovakia
In front of a 43,000-capacity crowd in Wroclaw, Poland's first game under Adam Nawałka ended with a defeat by their neighbours. Indeed, Slovakia could have won by more had Artur Boruc not been in fine form, stopping several one-on-ones. Marek Hamšík set up Juraj Kucka for the 31st-minute opener and Róbert Mak pounced on a Marcin Kamiński slip to make it 2-0 before the break. "We are angry, but I hope we can turn it into determination for coming matches," said Nawałka. "The team have had their biggest problem in defence and today we experienced the same. We have to look for solutions."

Republic of Ireland 3-0 Latvia
Ireland's new management team of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane enjoyed the perfect start to their reign in Dublin. Skipper Robbie Keane gave the home side a 22nd-minute lead after James McClean flicked on an Aiden McGeady corner and provider turned goalscorer midway through the second period as McGeady seized on a defensive error to fire in right footed. Ten minutes from time substitute Shane Long converted Seamus Coleman's cross at close range to seal it.

Scotland 0-0 United States
Scotland held their FIFA World Cup-bound visitors in Glasgow. In a match of few chances, Tim Howard stopped a free-kick from Robert Snodgrass in the best of them.

Last updated: 05/06/15 6.17CET

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