The Half-Time Whistle

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England take Group C

Welcome back, well what a night of international football we’ve had here.

England has won Group G, N.Ireland book a play-off place and Ireland are still in with a chance of the play-offs too. Wales takes part in one of the most remarkable international matches for years.

So, let’s start with Group G and England went to Montenegro knowing a draw would be enough. They started poorly and went behind to a goal from Vukcevic, but then Rooney equalised before half-time. Then in the second half, Billy Wright headed in a Matthews corner and England won 2-1.

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In the other game in the group, Wales and Switzerland played out a remarkable 5-5 draw.

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Wales took the lead when Ian Rush scored after just 7 minutes. Jack Collison then made it 2-0 after 16 minutes. Mario Gavranovic then got one back for the Swiss in 34 minutes, before Rush got his 2nd of the game and Wales restored their 2-goal advantage at 3-1.

In the second half, Andy King then put Wales 4-1 up, before Gavranovic got another one back to make it 4-2. Gokhan Inler then made it 2 goals in 3 minutes for the Swiss, to make it 4-3. Innocent Emeghara then completed an amazing comeback when he equalised in the 70th minute, 4-4. Into the final 10 minutes and James Collins converted a penalty to put Wales back in front, 5-4, but then Emeghara broke Welsh hearts with a dramatic equaliser 2 minutes into injury time.

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In Group C, N.Ireland did what they had to in Belfast as they beat Estonia, 3-1. Serbia and Italy played out a 2-2 draw and so N.Ireland has confirmed 2nd place in the group.

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Group B saw Ireland travel to Andorra and win comfortably, 4-0. But it was the result in Zilina that was most surprising, as Slovakia beat Russia, 5-1. This now makes the final matches on Tuesday, really tight. Ireland need Russia to slip up at home to Andorra otherwise you can see the top 3 sides all winning.

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In Group H, Portugal and Denmark both won and so we go to a decider between the two in Copenhagen on Tuesday. Norway can’t win the group now, but they could still reach the play-offs

In Group F, Greece sealed qualification with a 1-0 win over Croatia. Croatia will now need Israel to lose against Malta for them to reach the play-offs, or else Israel will take that spot.

Group E saw a remarkable individual performance from Holland’s Johann Cruyff. He scored 6 in a 7-1 win over Moldova. With Finland beating Sweden, 2-1 that means Holland has qualified. Sweden’s defeat now opens the door for Hungary to reach the play-offs at their expense.

In Group D, France has won the group, with Belarus finishing 2nd.

Group A, well Germany won this a while back, but Belgium has now got the advantage over Turkey, but they have to go to Germany on Tuesday needing a point. Turkey are at home to Azerbaijan and will qualify for the play-offs if they win and Belgium lose.


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