Scotland maintained their impressive run, beating Cyprus away from home to ensure maximum points. All three goals came in the first half courtesy of McTominay (6′ minutes), Porteous (16′ minutes), and McGinn (30′ minutes).
The Scots are on the verge of qualifying for next year’s Euros as the continue to top Group A with 15 points from 5 games. Their next nearest group rival is Spain, which has played two fewer games and is currently on 6 points.
An under-par England performance away to Ukraine on Saturday saw Gareth Southgate’s men dropped two points as the game ended 1-1. The match was played in Poland due to the conflict in Ukraine, with the home side taking the lead thanks to a goal by Arsenal midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko. Defender Kyle Walker levelled for England, the goal his first for his country in 77 appearances.
The result leaves England still top of Group C on 13 points from five games, while Italy moved to second place on 7 points from four games after beating Ukraine 2-1 on Tuesday night and drawing with North Macedonia on Saturday. Ukraine also has 7 points from four games, but with a worse goal difference.
Despite home advantage and dominating possession, Turkiye were wasteful against a well organised Armenian side at the Eskişehir Stadium. There was end-to-end action, with Armenia’s Artak Dashyan opening the scoring in the 49th minute to stun the home fans. It wasn’t until the 88th minute when Turkiye managed to equalise following a sweet strike from substitute Bertuğ Yıldırım.
The Rennes forward’s goal ensured a vital point for the Turks, taking them to 10 points from five games in Group D. But Croatia leap-frogged the Turks after a precious 0-1 victory away from home to Armenia on Monday night, giving them 10 points from 4 games and a far superior goal difference.
Armenia and Wales are both on 7 points in Group D, having also played five games. Wales beat Latvia 0-2 away from home, the Baltic nation yet to secure a point in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Azerbaijan lost their home qualifier against Group F leaders Belgium 0-1. It leaves them second bottom, but with a game in hand from bottom side Estonia, with both countries on 1 point. Belgium and Austria are comfortably in front with 13 points a piece from five games, with Belgium scoring more goals.
Northern Ireland’s chance of qualifying for Euro 2024 is slipping after they lost 1-0 away to Kazakhstan to leave them second bottom in Group H. At the other end, a single point separates the top four sides after four games: Slovenia and Denmark are both on 13 points, while Finland and Kazakhstan are on 12 points.
The international friendlies also threw up some interesting results. England stepped up a few gears to end the Scottish party by beating their old rivals 1-3 at Hampden Park. All four goal scorers on the night were English, with Foden (32′ minutes), Bellingham (35′ minutes), Kane (81′ minutes) scoring for England, and a Harry Maguire own goal (67′ minutes) providing some consolation for the Scots.
Turkiye’s form slipped again in their friendly against Japan, which they lost 4-2. However, Azerbaijan triumphed against Jordan, winning 2-1.
SEPTEMBER 2023 INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
Thursday 07 September 2023
Slovenia 4 v 2 Northern Ireland (Group H)
Wales 0 v 0 South Korea 19:45 (int’al friendly)
Friday 08 September 2023
(South) Cyprus 0 v 3 Scotland (Group A)
Turkiye 1 v 1 Armenia (Group D)
Saturday 09 September 2023
Ukraine 1 v 1 England (Group C)
Azerbaijan 0 v 1 Belgium (Group F)
Sunday 10 September 2023
Kazakhstan 1 v 0 Northern Ireland (Group H)
Monday 11 September 2023
Latvia 0 v 2 Wales (Group D)
Tuesday 12 September 2023
Japan 4 v 2 Turkiye (int’al friendly)
Azerbaijan 2 v 1 Jordan (int’al friendly)
Scotland 1 v 3 England (int’al friendly)
Main photo, top, of Turkiye’s Cengiz Under (L) and Zeki Celik (R) in action against Armenia’s Lucas Zelarayan (C) during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Group D soccer match between Turkiye and Armenia in Eskisehir, Turkiye, 08 September 2023. Photo © TOLGA BOZOGLU/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock