Bell of the ball

While England thumped Montenegro at Wembley on Friday night, there were mixed fortunes for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Last Updated: 13/10/13 at 10:50 Post Comment

Bellamy: qutting international football

Bellamy: qutting international football

Chris Coleman's Dragons recorded a 1-0 victory over Macedonia in Craig Bellamy's final international at the Millennium Stadium, with Charlton striker Simon Church netting his country's goal and in-form Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey missing a late spot-kick.

Read our report here

But Northern Ireland followed up last month's loss in Luxembourg with another disappointing reverse, this time in Azerbaijan, with Michael O'Neill's side defeated 2-0 and seeing Jonny Evans red carded for a cynical challenge in stoppage time.

Read our report here

Wales and Northern Ireland were not in the running for a place in next summer's World Cup in Brazil, with just pride and group position at stake in their penultimate games.

And after the clashes the Sky Sports experts - Mark Bowen and David Healy - gave their thoughts on how their nations performed...

Former Wales left-back and current Stoke assistant manager Mark Bowen

"In his last game at home, Bellamy could have pulled rank when Wales got the penalty but the fact he didn't shows his professionalism, while he was a constant menace to Macedonia throughout the game. He will be such a miss because of what he brings in terms of pace and energy.

"Ramsey, meanwhile, delivered a midfield masterclass, running things from start to finish - he took a pub player's penalty, mind you! - and Coleman's game-plan, with a lot of new players, worked very well. However, it will be a major bonus if we come away with anything from Belgium on Tuesday (7.55pm, Sky Sports 3)."

David Healy - Northern Ireland's record goalscorer (36 in 95 games)

"It was very disappointing; the performance was a little bit better than the Luxembourg game but we have had the same disappointment on the road. I'm sure O'Neill will have a go at Evans about his ill-discipline - I love Jonny but had no idea what he was thinking when he pulled the Azerbaijan player down - but we had one chance in the second half when Martin Paterson hit the post and that was it.

"Azerbaijan like to play out from the back and we didn't guard against that; we had the numbers advantage when they broke for their first goal but players were sloppy in defence, which has been a concern over the campaign. Michael's doing everything he can but he just doesn't have the number of experienced players we had in the past - and he is not getting any luck."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Angel di Maria no 'miracle' for Manchester United, warns Louis van Gaal

Angel di Maria is not Manchester United's miracle, Louis van Gaal warned at the winger's official unveiling.

Transfer news: Alex Song and Danny Welbeck linked with Tottenham

Tottenham are discussing the potential signings of Alex Song and Danny Welbeck on loan, according to Sky sources.

Premier League: Neil Warnock feels he owes Crystal Palace fans

New Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock feels he owes the club after the way his first spell in charge ended.

Mail Box

Don't Forget Chelsea Also Need A Striker

With Diego Costa struggling for fitness, one Chelsea fan pipes up in the mailbox to remind us that the Blues also need a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney as captain...

A United Fan Happy To See Welbeck Go

One United fan doesn't understand all the fuss over Danny Welbeck, while we also have mails on Arsenal being Arsenal, curious transfers and how to pronounce 'Gaal'...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property