Euro 2012 qual. - Round-up: France leave it late

Reuters - Tue, 07 Sep 16:31:00 2010

Full details of all the night's matches, including a win for France and shock defeats for Portugal and the Czech Republic.

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Group A

Turkey 3-2 Belgium

Austria 2-0 Kazakhstan

Germany 6-1 Azerbaijan

Miroslav Klose scored twice and Lukas Podolski returned to form with a goal in Germany's 6-1 win over Azerbaijan in their Euro 2012 Group A qualifier.

Germany dominated possession and had several chances before substitute Heiko Westermann scored in the 28th minute by lifting a rebound past goalkeeper Kamran Agayev before Podolski and Klose scored in first half stoppage time.

Azerbaijan captain Rashad Sadhikov scored an own goal before Germany conceded via a freak rebound off Azerbaijan's striker Vagif Dzhavadov's back.

Holger Badstuber scored a fifth before Klose, with another assist from Podolski, finished off the match with his 55th goal in his 103rd international.

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Group B

Russia 0-1 Slovakia

Macedonia 2-2 Armenia

Republic of Ireland 3-1 Andorra

Ireland saw off Andorra with a fine performance to win 3-1 and keep their perfect record in Group B (see separate report).

A first-half strike by Miroslav Stoch after a goalkeeping blunder earned Slovakia a shock 1-0 win over Russia in their Euro 2012 qualifier in Moscow.

Stoch capitalised on a bad mistake by Russia keeper Igor Akinfeyev to fire the visitors ahead midway through the first half and against the run of play. The usually reliable Akinfeyev gave the ball away just outside his penalty box and an unmarked Stoch calmly blasted into the top corner.

The Russians dominated against the defensive-minded Slovaks for much of the game but wasted numerous chances to salvage at least a point.

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Group C

Serbia 1-1 Slovenia

Italy 5-0 Faroe Islands

World Cup flop Alberto Gilardino scored his first international goal in 11 months to set up Italy's 5-0 drubbing of the Faroe Islands in Euro 2012 qualifying Group C.

Daniele De Rossi's deflected shot and a splendid third goal from Antonio Cassano extended the advantage before halftime, while substitute Fabio Quagliarella netted from close range before a perfect late free kick from captain Andrea Pirlo added the gloss to the scoreline.

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Group D

Belarus 0-0 Romania

Albania 1-0

Bosnia 0-2 France

Two late goals helped France bounce back from a woeful start to Euro 2012 qualifying with a 2-0 away win against Bosnia.

Les Bleus went in front with a magical goal from Karim Benzema in the 72nd minute, the forward collecting the ball with his back to goal, rolling it back with the sole of his boot, then turning to squeeze past two defenders before scoring with an angled, left-foot shot.

Winger Florent Malouda made it 2-0 after 78 minutes, giving much-needed hope to new coach Laurent Blanc who is trying to rebuild the team after their poor World Cup showing in June.

Belarus, who stunned France 1-0 in Paris on Friday, could not repeat that success and were held to a goalless draw at home by Romania.

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Group E

Sweden 6-0 San Marino

Hungary 2-1 Moldova

Netherlands 2-1 Finland

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice to guide Netherlands to a 2-1 win over Finland in Group E.

Huntelaar put the Dutch in front after seven minutes when he headed in a cross from Wesley Sneijder, and doubled the lead nine minutes later by converting a penalty.

Finland pulled one back in the 18th minute when an unmarked Mikael Forssell netted with a close-range header. Forssell and Mika Vayrynen went close to equalising later but were denied by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to lead his team to a 6-0 win over San Marino in their Euro 2012 Group E qualifier before a partisan crowd in his home town of Malmo.

The local hero took only seven minutes to break the deadlock, and an own-goal by hosts' defender Davide Simoncini ended the game as a contest a few minutes later.

Pontus Wernbloom, Andreas Granqvist, Ibrahimovic and substitute Marcus Berg scored the remaining goals, but the Swedes' night was marred by a red card for a reckless challenge by defender Olof Mellberg, who will miss the qualifier against the Netherlands on October 12.

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Group F

Georgia 0-0 Israel

Malta 0-2 Latvia

Croatia 0-0 Greece

Latvia beat Malta 2-0 with goals from Kaspars Gorkss and Maris Verpakovskis to earn their first points in Euro 2012 qualifying Group F.

Captain Gorkss and Verpakovskis struck late in each half to draw the sting out of a battling Malta side keen to atone for their 3-1 defeat away to Israel in their opener last Thursday.

Georgia and Israel played out a scrappy 0-0 draw in their Euro 2012 qualifier in Tbilisi on Tuesday as both sides settled for maintaining an unbeaten record in Group F.

The hosts had most of the possession in an untidy encounter played on a poor surface that made ball control difficult, while Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun - who scored a hat-trick in Israel's 3-1 home win over Malta on Friday - failed to exert any influence on a warm Tbilisi night.

Former Arsenal striker Eduardo wasted a gilt-edged chance late in the game as Croatia were held to a 0-0 draw by Greece.

Eduardo, who joined Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk in July, failed to score from five metres out in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

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Group G

Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro

Switzerland 1-3 England

Wayne Rooney scored his first international goal in almost a year as England beat Switzerland 3-1 in Basel (see separate report).

A venemous strike by Elsad Zverotic gave Montenegro a 1-0 win against Bulgaria in Sofia, their second Euro 2012 qualifying victory in as many games.

Montenegro, who launched their debut Euro campaign with a 1-0 triumph over Group G rivals Wales on Friday, sank Bulgaria with a 35th-minute effort from Zverotic, who notched his first international goal with a thunderous shot from outside the penalty area.

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Group H

Denmark 1-0 Iceland

Norway 1-0 Portugal

Portugal's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign went from bad to worse when they suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Norway.

The Portuguese had been held to a frantic 4-4 draw at home to Cyprus in their Group H opener, and fell behind in Oslo when Erik Huseklepp put the ball into an empty net after John Carew had blocked a clearance by Portuguese goalie Eduardo.

Missing the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal could not find the creativity needed to break through a stubborn Norway defence, anchored by Brede Hangeland.

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Group I

Czech Republic 0-1 Lithuania

Scotland 2-1 Liechtenstein

Scotland scored a winner in the seventh minute of injury time to avoid being held to a humiliating draw by Liechtenstein (see separate report).

A first-half header from Darvydas Sernas gave Lithuania a surprise 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in their Euro 2012 Group I qualifier in Prague.

Striker Milan Baros had a penalty saved as the Czechs made a disappointing start to their qualifying campaign following on from their failure to qualify for this year's World Cup finals.

The hosts dominated for long periods but an unmarked Sernas grabbed the only goal when he headed past keeper Petr Cech in the 26th minute.

Reuters

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