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Wednesday 16 October 2013

International review: England heading to Brazil

An unrivalled 99 Barclays Premier League players were in World Cup qualifying action last night

Premier League stars shine on international duty

There were 99 players from the Barclays Premier League involved in FIFA World Cup qualifying action last night, with 26 goals produced by players from the English top flight as England, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Honduras booked their places in next year's finals in Brazil.

Qualified countries: Brazil (hosts), Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador; Australia; Iran; Japan, South Korea; United States, Costa Rica, Honduras; Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Spain, Russia, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Nations in play-offs:
Uruguay, Jordan, New Zealand, Mexico; Croatia, Sweden, Romania, Iceland, Portugal, Greece, Ukraine, France; Burkino Faso, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Cermoon, Ghana, Egypt.


The final round of UEFA qualifying matches took place last night with 22 of the goals coming from players from the Barclays Premier League as England, Spain, Russia and Bosnia & Herzegovina sealed their passage to the 2014 World Cup finals.

Group H

Winners: England
Runners-up: Ukraine (PO)

England qualified as group winners following an entertaining victory over Poland. With over 18,000 Polish supporters present there was a lively atmosphere at Wembley Stadium, where Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney broke Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny's resistance with a header from Leighton Baines' pinpoint cross four minutes before half-time. Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard made sure of the victory that England required to seal automatic qualification when he broke through to score two minutes from time. Ukraine's eight unanswered goals in San Marino earned them second place in the group and a play-off berth.

England (Rooney, Gerrard) 2-0 Poland
Joe Hart (Man City), Chris Smalling (Man United), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Leighton Baines (Everton), Andros Townsend (Spurs; sub 86), Michael Carrick (Man United; sub 71), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool; sub 87), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool; sub 82), Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck (both Man United). Subs: John Ruddy (Norwich City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea; 71), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Chris Smalling, Phil Jones (Man United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal; 82), James Milner (Man City; 86), Ross Barkley (Everton), Jermain Defoe (Spurs), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
Poland: Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal). Subs: Boruc (Southampton), Lukasz Fabianski (Arsenal)
San Marino 0-8 Ukraine
Montenegro (Jovetic 2) 2-5 Moldova
Stevan Jovetic (Man City), Elsad Zverotic (Fulham)

Group A

Winners: Belgium
Runners-up: Croatia (PO)
After having sealed their place at the finals for the first time in 12 years on Friday thanks to a 2-1 defeat of Croatia, Belgium were held to a 1-1 draw by Wales, as Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey scored in the 88th minute to cancel out an opener from Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. Croatia, meanwhile, reached the play-offs despite losing to Scotland for the second time in this group stage. Gordon Strachan's charges won with goals by Norwich City's Robert Snodgrass and Everton forward Steven Naismith. Serbia signed off with a 5-1 defeat of FYR Macedonia with Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov among the goals.

Croatia 0-2 Scotland (Snodgrass, Naismith)
Dejan Lovren (Southampton). Subs: Nikica Jelavic (Everton; 80).
Scotland: Allan McGregor (Hull City), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace; 89), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City; sub 82), Steven Naismith (Everton). Subs: David Marshall (Cardiff City), George Boyd (Hull City), Charlie Adam (Stoke City), Graham Dorrans (West Brom; 77).

Serbia (Kolarov) 5-1 FYR Macedonia
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City).

Belgium (De Bruyne) 1-1 Wales (Ramsey)
Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea; sub 64), Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea; sub 64), Kevin Mirallas (Everton; sub 78), Nacer Chadli (Spurs; sub 58), Mousa Dembele (Spurs), Romelu Lukaku (Everton). Subs: Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Jan Vertonghen (Spurs; 72), Kevin Mirallas (Everton; 78), Eden Hazard (Chelsea; 58), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).
Wales: Neil Taylor (Swansea), David Vaughan (Sunderland), James Collins (West Ham United; sub 57), Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal). Subs: Boaz Myhill (West Brom), Declan John (Cardiff City), Lloyd Isgrove (Southampton), Harry Wilson (Liverpool; 87), Danny Alfei (Swansea), Jermaine Easter (Crystal Palace).

Group B

Winners: Italy (Q)
Runners-up: Denmark

Having already secured top place in the group Italy were held to their second 2-2 draw in as many matches, this time by Armenia, while a youthful Denmark side's consolation for missing out on the play-offs was a 6-0 win over Malta, in which Liverpool’s Daniel Agger was among the scorers. The Czech Republic edged a narrow victory in Bulgaria to finish third in the group and end any hopes their hosts had of reaching the play-offs.

Denmark (Agger 2) 6-0 Malta
Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Christian Eriksen (Spurs).
Bulgaria 0-1 Czech Republic
Sub: Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa).
Czech Republic: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Libor Kozak (Aston Villa). Sub:  Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland).
Italy 2-2 Armenia
Italy: Pablo Osvaldo (Southampton; sub 54). Sub: Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland)

Group C

Winners: Germany
Runners-up: Sweden (PO)

Group winners Germany shared eight goals with Sweden earlier in the group stage and did so again in Solna, although this time emerged triumphant in a 5-3 win in which Chelsea's Andre Schurrle scored a second-half hat-trick. Two goals down with Fulham's Alexander Kacaniclik getting on the scoresheet for the hosts, who had already confirmed their place in the play-offs, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil sparked a German revival with a goal on the stroke of half-time, before Schurrle's treble. Elsewhere, Sunderland's John O’Shea scored in Republic of Ireland’s win over Kazakhstan and Austria won 3-0 in the Faroe Islands.

Sweden (Kacaniklic) 3-5 Germany (Ozil, Schurrle 3)
Martin Olsson (Norwich), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland), Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham). Sub: Johan Elmander (Norwich)
Germany: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal; 82), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea). Sub: Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).
Republic of Ireland (O'Shea) 3-1 Kazakhstan
Republic of Ireland:
Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy (Everton), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Marc Wilson (Stoke City), Darron Gibson (Everton; sub 37). Subs: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Stephen Henderson (West Ham), Anthony Pilkington, Wes Hoolahan (Norwich; 87), Joey O'Brien (West Ham United), Glenn Whelan (Stoke; 37), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), Shane Long (West Brom).
Faroe Islands 0-3 Austria
Sub: Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)

Group D

Winners: Netherlands
Runners-up: Romania (PO)

The qualified Netherlands ended Turkey's hopes of reaching the play-offs with a 2-0 victory in Istanbul, which opened the door for Romania to reach the play-offs. With West Ham's Razvan Rat captaining the side in the absence of Spurs defender Vlad Chiriches, Romania took full advantage with a victory by the same score over Estonia. Elsewhere, Hungary were also 2-0 winners against Andorra.

Turkey 0-2 Netherlands
Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Leroy Fer (Norwich), Robin van Persie (Man United; sub46). Subs: Michel Vorm (Swansea), Tim Krul (Newcastle)
Romania 2-0 Estonia
Razvan Rat (West Ham)
Hungary 2-0 Andorra

Group E

Winners: Switzerland
Runners-up: Iceland (PO)

With Switzerland having reached Brazil, Iceland in their match against Norway needed to equal or better Slovenia’s result against the group leaders and this they did with a 1-1 draw in Oslo. Slovenia fell at the last hurdle by losing 1-0 in Berne. The goalless draw between Cyprus and Albania was academic.

Norway 1-1 Iceland
Brede Hangeland (Fulham), Alexander Tettey (Norwich).
Iceland: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Spurs), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff).
Switzerland 1-0 Slovenia
Philippe Senderos (Fulham). Sub: Pajtim Kasami (Fulham; 71).
Iceland: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Spurs), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff).
Cyprus 0-0 Albania

Group F

Winners: Russia
Runners-up: Portugal (PO)
Russia secured the point the needed against Azerbaijan to reach the finals, while Portugal became one of the 10 play-off sides with a 3-0 defeat of Luxembourg that was achieved with the help of Nani's first-half strike. Elsewhere Southampton's Steven Davis scored Northern Ireland's equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Israel.

Portugal (Nani) 3-0 Luxembourg
Nani (Man United)
Azerbaijan 1-1 Russia
Israel 1-1 Northern Ireland (Davis)
Northern Ireland:
Steven Davis (Southampton). Subs: Chris Brunt (West Brom; 24), Alex Bruce (Hull City), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle; 78).

Group G

Winners: Bosnia & Herzegovina
Runners-up: Greece (PO)

Bosnia & Herzegovina will make their first appearance in a major tournament after their narrow victory in Lithuania while Greece are in the play-offs thanks to a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein achieved with the help of a free-kick by Fulham's Giorgos Karagounis.

Greece (Karagounis) 2-0 Liechtenstein
Greece: Sub: Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham).
Lithuania 0-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Asmir Begovic (Stoke), Edin Dzeko (Man City).
Latvia 2-2 Slovakia
Slovakia: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)

Group I

Winners: Spain
Runners-up: France (PO)

France completed their part of the bargain by beating Finland 3-0 but they must settle for a play-off place after Spain ran out 2-0 winners over Georgia to win the group. Goals in either half by Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo and Chelsea's Juan Mata ensured the holders will be defending their trophy in South America next summer.

Spain (Negredo, Mata) 2-0 Georgia
Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas (Man City). Subs: Juan Mata (Chelsea; 58), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Michu (Swansea), David Silva (Man City).

France 3-0 Finland
France: Hugo Lloris (Spurs), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Patrice Evra (Man United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Samir Nasri (Man City; sub 71), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal). Subs: Gael Clichy (Man City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Moussa Sissoko, Loic Remy, Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle; 71).

South America

Cardiff City midfielder Gary Medel scored the decisive goal as Chile squeezed out a 2-1 win over Ecuador to finish third in South American qualifying and reach the World Cup finals for a ninth time, while Liverpool's Luis Suarez was on target from the penalty spot as Uruguay managed an exciting 3-2 triumph over section winners Argentina to reach the play-offs, where they will meet Jordan next month in a play-off. Despite their defeat Manchester United wing-back Antonio Valencia's Ecuador qualified after finishing in fourth.

Chile (Medel) 2-1 Ecuador
Gary Medel (Cardiff)
Ecuador: Antonio Valencia (Man United)
Uruguay (Suarez) 3-2 Argentina
Diego Lugano (West Brom), Luis Suarez (Liverpool). Sub: Gaston Ramirez (Southampton; 45).
Argentina: Erik Lamela (Spurs; sub 76). Subs: Pablo Zabaleta
Paraguay 1-2 Colombia
Peru 1-1 Bolivia

Qualified: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador.
Play-off: Uruguay.

North and Central America

A free-kick by Hull City's Maynor Figueroa helped Honduras register the draw they required against Jamaica to reach the finals, while Mexico were two minutes away from missing out on a first World Cup appearance since 1990 until United States produced two added-time goals to shatter Panama's hopes and rescue "El Tri", who were beaten 2-1 by a Bryan Ruiz-inspired Costa Rica.

Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez and his Mexico team-mates will get a second bite at the cherry in the intercontinental play-offs, when they will meet a New Zealand side featuring West Ham United's Winston Reid over two legs in November.

Costa Rica (Ruiz) 2-1 Mexico
Costa Rica:
Bryan Oviedo (Everton), Bryan Ruiz (Fulham; sub 49).
Mexico: Javier Hernandez (Man United; sub 60)
Jamaica 2-2 Honduras (Figueroa)
Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace).
Honduras: Maynor Figueroa (Hull). Sub: Wilson Palacios (Stoke; 64).
Panama 2-3 United States
United States:
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland; sub 76). Sub: Geoff Cameron (Stoke).

Qualified: United States, Costa Rica, Honduras.
Play-off: Mexico.


Ghana have one foot in the World Cup finals after an emphatic 6-1 rout of Egypt in Kumasi. Former Sunderland striker Asamoh Gyan and ex-Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari were among the goals as the Black Stars, including Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, ran amok against Bob Bradley's charges in their play-off first leg at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Play-off first leg
Ghana 6-1 Egypt
Michael Essien (Chelsea), Emmanuel Frimpong (Arsenal).
Egypt: Sub: Gedo (Hull).


Oscar gave another goalscoring performance for Brazil as next year’s World Cup hosts overcame Zambia 2-0. Chelsea's attacking midfielder, who also scored for the five-time world champions in South Korea on Saturday, came on as a second-half substitute to score with a 25-yard shot on 59 minutes as the Selecao again won 2-0 in Beijing. Elsewhere, Cardiff playmaker Kim Bo-kyung was among the scorers as South Korea completed a 3-1 victory over Mali, after succumbing to an early opening strike by West Ham forward Modibo Maiga, while Japan were beaten 1-0 by Belarus and Australia ran out 3-0 winners over Canada at Craven Cottage.

Brazil 2-0 Zambia
David Luiz, Ramires (Chelsea), Paulinho (Spurs). Sub: Oscar (Chelsea).
South Korea 3-1 Mali
South Korea:
Kim Bo Kyung (Cardiff), Ji Dong-won, Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland).
Mali: Modibio Maiga (West Ham).
Belarus 1-0 Japan
Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Shinji Kagawa (Man United).
Canada 0-3 Australia
Australia: Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

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Key Points

  • 99 Barclays Premier League players involved in FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday
  • 26 World Cup qualifying goals scored by players from English top flight
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina, England and Honduras among nations to qualify for Brazil 2014