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One of the main ingredients that make football so special is the surprise factor, that "David vs. Goliath" moment where the underdog inexplicably manages to come-out triumphant against the highly favored giants.
This week in Euro 2016 qualifiers
WARSAW, POLAND - OCTOBER 14: Poland's Krzysztof Maczynski celebrates with teammates after scoring...

1) Shockers: 

One of the main ingredients that make football so special is the surprise factor, that "David vs. Goliath" moment where the underdog inexplicably manages to come-out triumphant against the highly favored giants.

Well such was the case during this week's Euro qualifiers. Poland, Slovakia and Iceland were able to bring down two World Cup Champions and European tyrant in the form of Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands, respectively. 


It was only a matter of time before the negative pressure at club level carried on to the international stage. After allowing in an incredible howler, Spain manager Vicente del Bosque was being pressured to bench an under-performing Iker Casillas after a historic 2-1 defeat against Slovakia.

Whether pressure actually got to him or he honestly had already intended to sit him for the next match, David De Gea, not Iker, was the man in goal during Spain's 4-0 win against Luxembourg. Could this mean the end of an era for the World Cup winning captain? 


It took 514 minutes to end the drought, but Diego Costa finally put an end to his goal woes with the Spanish national team. Smashing in the ball into the back of the net after a series of rebounds, the Brazilian born striker declined to celebrate his first goal in the international stage; knowing that he still has a lot to make up for after 18 shots in seven scoreless games. 


Known for his humility above all else, it's not surprising that Robbie Keane's reaction after finding out of his historic record was that of a surprise.

“It’s a nice thing to have, but I wasn’t aware of it. It’s something I’m not too bothered thinking about it.”

Scoring a hat-trick against Gibraltar meant that the Irish striker became the all-time leading goalscorer of the European Championship qualifying with 21 goals to his tally. 


Already on the delicate fringes for the off-field drama that involve both nations, no one would have expected the chaotic outcome of the Albania-Serbia matchup. With a few minutes to go before the end of the first half, a drone carrying the Kosovar flag flew into the pitch; resulting in a series of brawls that ultimately forced the ref to prematurely end the match. 


Taking the Premier League by storm since his arrival, Graziano Pelle took his hot-streak into the international stage. Making his debut with the Azzurri shirt, the Southampton striker ended up being the difference maker as his 24th minute poacher-style goal meant Italy would maintain their undefeated record at the expense of Malta.

7) Norway's star'em young program

These days, most 15-year old kids tend to spend their free time drifting away on the internet, so it is safe to say that it's nothing short of incredible that someone so young has already played an international match.

But such is the case of Norway's Martin Odegaard, who became the youngest player to play an official international match at 15-years old after being brought in as a sub in the 64th minute of their 2-1 win against Bulgaria. 

8) record man: 

Despite losing in the final minute to Portugal, Denmark manager Morten Olsen has written his names in the history books simply by suiting up for his 155th match with the Danish national team.

Olsen has now tied Hugo Meisl (Austria) as the 2nd coach with most matches for a single country ever; 12 games away from Sepp Herberger (Germany).


Not content with winning his 100th cap at international level, John O'Shea decided that he would celebrate his historic night in style. The Irishman, already one of the match's main-protagonist. became the hero after scoring the equalizer in the final minute of their clash against current World Champions, Germany.


Group A: Czech Republic

Group B: Wales

Group C: Slovakia

Group D: Poland

Group E: England

Group F: Northern Ireland

Group G: Austria

Group H: Croatia

Group I: Albania 

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