The minnows from the Iberian Peninsula scored their first internationally accredited goal to make it 1-1 but a Steven Fletcher hat-trick and Naismith's strike helped the Scots win comfortably.
Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady all started for the Republic of Ireland, who needed an injury-time equaliser from Shane Long to deny Poland a crucial victory in their group.
The Irish looked to be sliding out of qualifying contention as they trailed to the Poles' fifth-minute opener but the point rescued at the death keeps their hopes of making next summer's Finals alive.
Reader Comments (10)
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1 Posted 29/03/2015 at 22:55:47
Great achievement against the amateurs who would struggle against a conference side!
Good going Uefa!
2 Posted 30/03/2015 at 08:39:54
3 Posted 30/03/2015 at 10:32:03
I would love to see Lukaku & Naismith given a run up front with Osman/Barkley behind and two actual wingers plus our attacking full backs bombing on. I don't really want to see Barry in the side for the rest of the season (some hope).
4 Posted 30/03/2015 at 12:21:22
That's like giving Key West their own team in the next CONMEBOL qualification. Still good for Nessi, he loves repping his country.
Northern Ireland to qualify but not the Republic!?!? Imagine that.
5 Posted 30/03/2015 at 12:48:34
6 Posted 30/03/2015 at 13:15:09
We shouldn't have an elitist view that because the country is of a certain population size they cannot be involved. If a country has the required facilities to host an international football match then they should be able to compete.
Maybe they should have another stage of qualifying that starts the year before for those minnows. I guess that depends on how many countries like Gibraltar there are, that are told they can't compete. A little bit like the FA Cup.
7 Posted 30/03/2015 at 14:59:35
The cricket World Cup is so boringly predictable (Australia won Â– amazing) and the format gives the big teams every chance to progress even when they lose a few games.
In European Championship, there's a battle for places and the likes of Holland and even Germany are under pressure from the off.
8 Posted 30/03/2015 at 15:25:09
The most exciting games at the cricket World Cup were those between the minnows (Afghanistan - Scotland, Ireland - UAE) or when the minnows did or nearly upset their test playing cousins (Ireland - West Indies and Zimbabwe, UAE - Zimbabwe, Afghanistan - Sri Lanka).
Of the 7 straight KO games between the ’elite’ teams from the quarters to the final, only one went right down to the wire. And of course Australia won, as much as I was personally rooting for New Zealand. The best side, with the best players, playing at the top of their game, on home soil.
Oh! And the ICC in its wisdom want to exclude the minnows in future World Cups, whereas every other sport for its showcase World Cup is trying to expand the number and embrace more of the fringe members.
Strange way to encourage and develop the sport in fledgling nations...
9 Posted 30/03/2015 at 16:20:42
At least they'd have a chance of scoring some goals let alone drawing and winning some games.
For me the only advantage of these types of games is for the players to be able to tell their grandkids they once played at Wembley, Olympia Stadium, Bernabau etc. However, from a footballing perspective these games are a complete and utter waste of time with neither winner nor loser gaining anything from it Â– the only thing known is how many will they lose by.
The 5 countries listed above will lose every qualifying game they play and if lucky might score the odd goal.
10 Posted 31/03/2015 at 10:58:27
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