In Depth

Euro 16: Germany, Holland and Spain fall to the minnows

England can take pride in their three wins as Europe's elite have been humbled by smaller nations

England may not be the talk of Europe after the opening three games of their Euro 16 qualifying campaign, but with three wins under their belts Roy Hodgson's men have fared a lot better than some of the continent's more illustrious teams.

The latest big nation to be left with a bloody nose was the Netherlands, defeated by Iceland in Reykjavik on Monday night. But the World Cup semi-finalists are in good company as the lesser nations bite back.

Iceland 2 Netherlands 0

The Dutch are ranked fourth in the world but have had a dismal start to life under new coach Guus Hiddink, who took over from Louis van Gaal after the World Cup. They were beaten by Italy in a friendly and then lost their opening Euro 2016 qualifier to the Czech Republic. They steadied the ship with a win over Kazakhstan last week, but two goals from Gylfi Sugurdsson of Swansea earned Iceland (ranked 34th in the world) victory on Monday night. Hiddink's side are now third in Group A six points adrift of the Czech Republic and Iceland.

Bosnia & Herzegovina 1 Belgium 1

Belgium are fifth in the Fifa rankings and World Cup quarter finalists, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bosnia on Monday. The result is not a disaster, after all Bosnia were also at the World Cup, but Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany et al would have hoped to have done better considering Bosnia lost to Cyprus last month and drew 0-0 with Wales. The result leaves Belgium third in their group with leaders Wales up next.

Russia 1 Moldova 1

Fabio Capello's Russia had a horrible World Cup but they are still only five places behind England in the World rankings, and despite his dour reputation Capello has an excellent record in qualifiers. So a 1-1 draw against Moldova, who are ranked 105th in the world, in front of 42,000 people in Moscow counts as a setback. "It took about as long for us to build attacks as it took us to build communism," moaned Sovetski Sport.

Poland 2 Germany 0

The biggest shock of the international season so far came in Warsaw on Saturday night as the World Cup winners were beaten by the team ranked 70th in the world. Goals from Arkadiusz Milik of Ajax and Sebastian Mila of Polish club Slask secured a first ever win over Germany in front of 57,500 delighted Poles. Next up for Poland are the Scots tonight. Germany, who have lost two of their three games since victory in Brazil, face Ireland in Gelsenkirchen tonight.

Slovakia 2 Spain 1

Spain's fall from grace continued on Thursday last week as they came a cropper against Slovakia in Zilina. The 2010 World Cup winners and defending European champions were derailed a team ranked 32 places below them. It was Spain's first defeat in a qualifying match for eight years and their fourth defeat in six games since the start of the World Cup. Diego Costa failed to score for Vincent del Bosque's team, but former Chelsea player Miroslav Stoch struck the late winner for Slovakia.

Slovenia 1 Switzerland 0

There was more good news for England last Thursday. As the Three Lions were overcoming San Marino, Switzerland were busy losing to lowly Slovenia in Group E. The Swiss, ranked tenth in the world, followed up defeat to England with another loss, this time to the team ranked 43 places below them by Fifa. The Swiss, who were seen as England's main challengers face San Marino tonight, and both teams have identical records going into the game - P2 L2.

Portugal 0 Albania 1

Not a match from the latest round of qualifiers, but Portugal's defeat at home to lowly Albania got the ball rolling for the unfancied nations back in September. After following that victory over Cristiano Ronaldo et al with a draw against Denmark, Albania face Serbia tonight as group leaders, while Portugal visit Denmark with no points.

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