Euro 2016 qualifying XI: Terrific team of the round
Euro 2016 qualifying has seized the stage over international break, so far providing spades of drama through unlikely qualifiers, shock results, dramatic winners and record-equalling strikes.
So, here, Coral experts present our team of the round. Who made our excellent XI?
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech (Czech Republic)
The Czech Republic have shocked Group A with their consistency, and are now guaranteed a place in the France finals. Much is down to this man, as Cech stepped up to make vital saves late on against Latvia.
Right back: Solomon Kverkvelia (Georgia)
The flying full back stood out against Scotland, keeping the British Isles’ side’s left flank quiet. Diligent in defence.
Centre back: Ashley Williams (Wales)
As always, skipper Williams was Wales’ rock, and was crucial in the Dragons’ defence keeping consecutive clean sheets against Cyprus and Israel.
Centre back: Hakan Balta (Turkey)
An imperious presence for Turkey, who now have a chance of third-place play-off qualification after defeating the Dutch. Stood up to be counted and kept the likes of Robin van Persie on the fringes.
Defensive midfield:Sergio Busquets (Spain)
Busquets was at his best here, shielding Spains’ defence, and almost put himself on the scoresheet in spectacular style.
Central midfield: Andres Iniesta (Spain)
The Catalan schemer will hit the headlines after his cool penalty gave Spain (6/1 to win Euro 2016) their second, but most impressed with his effortless domination of the midfield battle.
Attacking midfield: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland)
Swansea City’s Sigurdsson has been Iceland’s inspiration so far, and now the Nordic nation have a place in the finals. Instrumental against Kazakhstan and the Netherlands, his spot-kick against the latter was his fifth in qualifying.
Right wing: Arda Turan (Turkey)
Turkey’s leader and attacking architect, Turan set up the opener with great vision against Clockwork Orange before scoring himself.
Centre forward: Wayne Rooney (England)
Yes it may only have been San Marino, but Rooney’s feat of equalling England’s all-time top scorer record is nothing to be sniffed at. The history-chasing marksman’s opening penalty was taken with aplomb.
Left wing: Gareth Bale (Wales)
Another game-changer here. Bale’s all-round performance against Cyprus may not have been sensational, but the rapid winger dug deep to nab the winner when it counted. The superstar is not afraid to get his hands dirty for the Dragons (6/5 to win Group B), who stand on the brink of qualification, thanks largely to Bale’s heroics.