Can Northern Ireland get to Euro 2000?

Greetings! It’s the International break in real life and we’re always on point here at cm9798.co.uk. On point and somewhat in the past. Anyway, you might remember last year I asked if we could get Northern Ireland to World Cup 98 from the basically hopeless position they start in. You can read that here. Spoiler: We did. The World Cup was fun, I start to care about this team and thought, why not try and take them to Euro 2000 for next time there’s a gap in the schedule?

Well, that day is today.

It’s a group without a Super power – which is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes if you can rely on a team to beat everybody you can just mop up and take second. But in the Czech Republic and Norway there’s two very tricky opponents, as well as the unpredictable Turkey who have some incredible talent but also a lot of random stat players.

I’m not worried about Luxembourg. We’re never going to be the type of team to rack up 5 or 6 so I’ll settle for a 2-0 win to get us started.

The trip to the Czech Republic is one of our hardest fixtures. This side though…we’re resolute. We find ways. We are 2-0 up after 74 minutes and I’m starting to think we’re the greatest side that ever lived. However, it all goes awry in the closing stages and you’d have to say that’s a sickener. We’d have taken a point beforehand.

McVeigh is injured and misses the home game with Norway. Quinn steps up with the early goal but it’s mostly backs to the wall until one of the many Flo’s gets the equaliser. It was Tore-Andre, if you’re wondering.

Off we go to Turkey then knowing we really need a win if we’re serious about qualifying. Rustu is dismissed but McVeigh blazes over the penalty. ‘Sakes. Taggart solves the mystery to put us 1-0 up but Aydin equalises. Urgh. It looks like two points dropped but Jon Morrow wins it in stoppage time. Take it to the Matthew’s Bridge.

When I said we’re not the type to score 5 or 6 I didn’t account for Luxembourg being absolutely atrocious. Fitzy gets four. He’s pretty good these days. It’s a welcome boost to the goal difference which might yet be pivotal.

As the season ticks over, we’re second. I think it’s a three horse race but for how many spots? Definitely 1, possibly 2?

Fitzy! Again! Beating the Czech’s would keep us right on Norway’s tails but Bejbl, again, breaks our hearts and now we’re up against it. Norway easily beat Turkey…

We come from behind twice to get a draw in Oslo. Fair play to us, that’s an impressive result. Sadly it’s all Norway need to secure top spot and qualification.

We have to beat Turkey to get second place. I’ve tried to research how many qualify and it seems to be the best second place teams rather than playoffs. Does that help?

It means a draw probably isn’t enough. Hired Goons gives Turkey the lead and I feel a bit sick. Luckily McVeigh redeems himself with his first goal since the very first match day in this group. Hami puts through his own goal and Jim Quinn seals it. But will it be enough?

We’re actually unbeaten, which I would have taken before hand but we threw those points away against the Czech’s. So then, playoffs, qualification or failure?

QUALIFICATION

So now we can look forward to going to Holland. Plans will be made. The group has thrown up some stories…

Obviously the headline is we’ll go up against Wales. Italy and Denmark though…that couldn’t be much worse. Italy are terrifying whilst Denmark are a superpower in this game. We’ll have to find a way to get out of that group but that will be next weeks fun.

Here’s the squad at the momentL

McVeigh is really struggling after a bright start

Mind you his competitors aren’t exactly posting great numbers

Yes – I forgot to take the Retirement Home out but good to see they’ve changed their stance!

I’ll be back next week to see out this International break with Euro 2000. See you then!

2 thoughts on “Can Northern Ireland get to Euro 2000?

  1. Haha loved seeing the Retirement Home in the career stats. What a throwback! Would love to see how they are getting on…

  2. Pingback: Let’s all meet up at Euro 2000 (with Northern Ireland) | CM 97/98

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