The results this weekend were what I had hoped for even if the paths that led to them were a… interesting.
Scotland v. Georgia
The morning began with Scotland facing the Republic of Georgia in EURO 2016 Group D qualifying. Scotland dominated the match and were deserving of their 1-0 win even if…they didn’t score a goal. Scotland’s Shaun Maloney was initially given credit for the goal, but “upon further review” it was- correctly- determined that the credit should go to Georgian defender Akaki Khubutia. So, a win, but earned through a first half own goal. Scotland face Poland in their next match. Oh, hey, speaking of Poland…
…they beat newly-crowned world champions Germany today 2-0 in Warsaw. That’s a big upset, but even bigger when you consider that Germany and Poland are also in Group D with Scotland! Scotland and Poland will meet next and, for what it’s worth, Scotland beat Poland earlier this year. Whatever the case, after two matches this is what the group looks like:
In a playoff spot, ahead of Germany, and having not yet played the newly-minted Gibraltarian National Team after only two matches? I’ll take it. A win over Poland next time out could really shake things up!
New England Revolution v. Montreal Impact/Impact de Montréal
Closer to home, the New England Revolution traveled to last place Montreal today with only one goal: earn a point and guarantee a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. 38 year old Montreal forward Marco di Viao – only a few matches from retirement- opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a strike that made me, for one, wonder why he was in such a hurry to hang up his boots? Luckily, the Revs kept their heads up and responded with this little gem of team interplay just four minutes later:
So that’s Rowe, to Davies, back to Rowe, goal. New England where back on track and needed only to hold on to the 1-1 score in order to secure their point and a playoff berth. Unfortunately, Marco di Vaio had other ideas. He scored his second in the 39th minute that he carved out of nothing using his vast experience and technical ability. Montreal would hold their lead for the next half hour when, in the 69 minute the club’s MVP-in-waiting did this:
Watch that three or four more times. That’s just one reason he has 15 goals out of the midfield this season, will be in the running for league MVP, and will probably get a January call-up to the USMNT. I kind of wish somebody had taped my reaction to this goal. I put both of my hands over my mouth and just kept repeating, “He didn’t just do that- did he?” It’s your MLS goal of the weekend, if not the year.
The Revolution meet Houston Dynamo on Thursday in a match that will see the Revs looking to improve their playoff position and the Dynamo looking to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.