Another set of games today, another handful of minnow-thrashings and semi-impressive, semi-surprising wins. But it's early in the qualifying yet! This stage doesn't finish up till mid-October 2011, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to allow myself to sneak a couple games on ESPN3 at work on upcoming match days.


Today's predictable routs included: Germany 6-1 Azerbaijan; Italy 5-0 Faroe Islands; and Sweden 6-0 San Marino. I wonder what it feels like for the smallest sides to go out on the pitch in these games. Is it painful to walk out there with the absolute knowledge that you're about to get your asses kicked? Is it worth it just to play against great teams? Do you come to a point of acceptance and just enjoy playing the game? My own psyche isn't built for that sort of thing, but I'm sure plenty of people are more well-adjusted than I am.

The somewhat unexpected section: Norway 1-0 Portugal; Montenegro 1-0 Bulgaria; and Lithuania 1-0 Czech Republic. There was also the ridiculously-last-second 2-1 win by Scotland over Liechtenstein, which needed a 90+7 goal from Stephen McManus to come about. Not exactly morale-boosting for the Scots, I'd imagine, although you know what they say about three points...