BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 00:16 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 01:16 UK

Wednesday's football as it happened



To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

0115: Murtini, below, sums up why I love you lot. Thanks a million for sticking with us all night, hope you had as much fun as we did. Don't forget to join Bevo on Saturday when the Premier League returns - I'm off to Nottingham to see Forest thrash Newcastle (possibly). Night night.

From Murtini on 606: "Can't believe I'm up in less than four hours. Night all."

0107: In front of 70,000 passionate Uruguayans baying for blood and roaring their team on to victory, that was a performance of intelligence and hunger from the Argentines. They killed the game after a shaky early start, frustrated the home side and their fans and then claimed the spoils with a late winner - all in all, the perfect away performance. And who of us would write them off at the World Cup next year? Not I.

0103: These are truly astonishing scenes. Carlos Bilardo and Diego Maradona are hugging, in tears on the Centenario pitch, surrounded by what seems like a million press men. El Diego does emotional better than most - but even for him, this is an outpouring.


0100: By the way, after that Argentina goal, Carlos Tevez came on for Lionel Messi. Results: Chile 1-0 Ecuador and Brazil 0-0 Venezuela. So Argentina qualify, and Uruguay will be in the play-offs.

0059: We are into injury time in Montevideo.

0056: Diego Maradona, arms raised towards the sky, gives the photographers the picture that will sell a million newspapers in the morning. The world's greatest footballer is leading his country to the World Cup finals, and boy is he going to lap this up.

Argentina goal: He's a football genius, El Diego. Moments after bringing Mario Bolatti on, the youngster seals Argentina's berth at the World Cup finals. From the free-kick after Martin Caceres' sending off Juan Veron pings a shot in and when it is deflected into the path of Bolatti, the 24-year-old keeps his cool to take a touch to roll the ball into the corner. Finished.

0053: GOAL Uruguay 0-1 Argentina

Red card
0051: SENDING OFF (Martin Caceres, Uruguay)
The Juventus man, on loan from Barcelona, is shown a second yellow, and he can have no complaints. Jonas Gutierrez does brilliantly to turn on the turbo and get away from the defender down the right and Caceres hauls him back with his arms.

From Sportsfan87 on 606: "Come on Uruguay, score please! If Argentina get through I can see them knocking us out on penalties at the quarter-final stage again."

0048: Diego Maradona brings on Mario Bolatti for Gonzalo Higuain, with 10 minutes left.

0046: Martin Caceres is cautioned for a late challenge on Nicolas Otamendi, while Uruguay take off Luis Suarez after a very quiet second half and bring on Sebastian Abreu.

0043: We have 15 minutes left at the Centenario, where it's still Uruguay 0-0 Argentina. El Diego hauls off Angel Di Maria and brings on Fabian Monzon.

0041: Martin Dimichelis fouls Cristian Rodriguez and then there are a few afters between the pair - there's been a surprising lack of handbags in Montevideo tonight. Diego Forlan fires in the free-kick and Diego Lugano meets it, but the ball is slightly behind him and he can only divert it wide.

0039: Cristian Rodriguez comes on for Uruguay. Surprised that he cannot get into this team, based on his Champions League displays for FC Porto.

From Graham, via text on 81111: "From what I have seen I feel that, after Brazil, Chile will be the South American country to watch next summer."

0034: A Uruguay attack is foiled on the edge of the Argentina box and the visitors look to hit them on the break, with pace. A long pass is played out to the left to Lionel Messi and it's suddenly two on two, but Andres Scotti gets in a quite brilliant two-footed tackle to thwart the Barca man and Messi's evening of frustration continues.

0031: Luis Suarez goes down in the Argentina box but he had fouled Rolando Schiavi and the visitors are correctly awarded the free-kick. So, if Uruguay are to be in the play-offs, they will play either Costa Rica or Honduras.

0028: Uruguay make their first change, with Edinson Cavani coming on for Jorge Rodriguez. We've had an hour and it's still Uruguay 0-0 Argentina. Looks like fate has done me again.

From mvfoe23 on 606: "I honestly hope Argentina qualify and are in England's group. I don't think I have seen a worse top 10 footballing side before... except England under Steve McClaren, that is."

0022: Brazil have gone down to 10 men at home against Venezuela, with Joao Miranda dismissed for serious foul play. It's all happening (ish).

0021: Huge roar around the Centenario as news filters through that Chile have gone a goal ahead against Ecuador thanks to Humberto Suazo. That means Argentina and Uruguay would be safe in fourth and fifth.

0018: Juan Veron whips a free-kick in the Uruguay box and it causes a moment of panic before the hosts clear. At the other end, Diego Forlan curls a left-foot shot harmlessly wide from 25 yards. It's threatening to get lively again.

0015: Just who do they think they are? Honestly, half-time is 15 minutes - they should be fined for taking too long and if a team isn't ready on cue, they should start without them. Juan Veron slides in Lionel Messi, but in a flash he's got four defenders around him.

0012: We are back under way at the Centenario, after a quite frankly ridiculous 20-minute interval. Uruguay and Argentina are locked at 0-0 with a World Cup place at stake and the hosts need to win, so what will their coach Oscar Washington Tabarez do?

From monopolyboy on Twitter: "The statistical chance of a random draw for the play-off place looking less likely now."

From King Francesc Fabregas on 606: "The thing about Barca is that their passing is so good at times it just drags other teams' defences side to side. When this happens you have Messi who is on the right with a lot of space to play with. Xavi is the master at this. This is clearly not the case in this game."

From Glen from west Yorkshire, via text on 81111: "Stevo, what do you mean rubbish? That was the battle before the second half war. Loving it."

2354: It's also 0-0 between Chile and Ecuador. So as it stands Argentina qualify for the World Cup, Uruguay are in the play-offs and Ecuador miss out.

Half time
2352: Half-time Uruguay 0-0 Argentina
We expected better, didn't we? There's so much to play for, though, and clearly the pressure is taking its toll on both teams. Big half-time team talks coming up.

2351: Diego Forlan works some space 25 yards out and fires a left-foot shot wide.

2348: Maxi Pereira takes out Angel Di Maria down the Argentina left and it seems like it has to be at least a free-kick and probably a yellow card - for a player already booked. But whistle-happy referee Carlos Amarilla waves play on, remarkably.

2347: I won't lie to you - it's rubbish in Uruguay right now. Meanwhile, it's Brazil 0-0 Venezuela in one of the other qualifiers. South America, how you've let us down thus far.

2344: In other news, England midfielder David Beckham says he is 95% certain to re-join AC Milan on loan in the January transfer window.

2342: Yellow card number four and it's 2-2 on that count as Uruguay's Diego Perez is cautioned for a late challenge on Angel Di Maria.

2339: The game has fallen flat and the crowd noise has dropped a touch too - this is exactly what the Argentines want from their evening. El Diego strolls to the touchline, barks out some brief instructions, and strolls back to his bench.

2336: Juan Veron and Lionel Messi take turns to pump free-kicks into the Uruguay box, but neither of the set-plays comes to anything. They are both still labouring, though in fairness to Veron, he always looks like that however well he's playing.

2334: Story so far is a lack of service to the forwards in Montevideo. None of Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez have had enough of the ball to really hurt the opposition yet. El Diego might not be too disappointed right now.

From Paul, Gatley, via text on 81111: "No llora por mí Diego! Payback time el señor Maradona. No hand of God tonight, rather the feet of Forlan. 2-1 please."

2329: Twenty-five minutes gone and it's still Uruguay 0-0 Argentina. It won't end like that though, no doubts about that.

2327: It's very hard to tell where each Argentine player is supposed to be playing. They are popping up all over the place, and Juan Veron and Lionel Messi especially just cannot get into the game. When Veron does, he gives the ball away - not exactly what he is in the team for.

From messiisgod on 606: "The press are going to barbecue Veron if he keeps playing like this."

2321: Nicolas Otamendi is the third man in the book for a foul on Martin Caceres, whose furious reaction probably didn't help Otamendi. Referee Carlos Amarilla from Paraguay is pretty fond of his cards - remember his name, England players, he's down on the Fifa list for the World Cup next summer.

2318: Maxi Pereira is the first Uruguayan in the book for a foul on Gabby Heinze, and from the free-kick Nestor Muslera acrobatically punches the ball away from danger. They don't catch it, these boys - vintage South American goalkeeping.

2315: Argentina just are not organised at the back. A free-kick is swung in from the Uruguay right and Andres Scotti glances a header wide of the far post. Not sure Lionel Messi has touched the ball yet.

2313: Gabriel Heinze is first in the book for a foul on Maximiliano Perez and he's a bit unlucky, looked like he got a bit of the ball there. Odds on this one ending with 11 v 11? Slim.

2311: If Argentina do manage to scrape into the World Cup, what's the betting El Diego will be there in South Africa with them? Already, they look all over the place. Isn't it sad when such a great player turns into such a disappointing manager?

2309: It's end-to-end stuff already. A poor Nestor Muslera punch from the Argentina corner comes to nothing, before play sweeps up the other end and Jorge Rodriguez almost latches on to a through ball - keeper Sergio Romero gets there first, but his clearance cannons off the Uruguayan and flies wide. Heart in mouth time, goodness me.

2307: Luis Suarez puts Martin Dimichelis under some early pressure, and the noise when any of the Uruguayans gets anywhere near the ball is just extraordinary.

From James, Manchester, via text on 81111: "Hope Argentina do it. Would anyone really, in their heart of hearts, rather see Uruguay there?"

2304: The hero of the weekend for Argentina, Martin Palermo, sits impassively on the visitors' substitutes' bench. Uruguay get this truly monumental game of football under way.

2259: The teams are out in Montevideo, the atmosphere at the Centenario is absolutely electric. I'd sell an awful lot of my family to be there right now.

2257: Here is some news from earlier: An Argentine town has removed a long-standing blockade on the Uruguay border to allow fans to travel to Montevideo for the vital World Cup qualifier between the countries. Since November 2006, people from the town of Gualeguaychu have blocked the border crossing point in protest against the building of a factory - which they claim is harmful to the environment - a few kilometres away on the Uruguayan side of the border. But the crucial nature of Argentina's final qualifying match prompted them to temporarily suspend their blockade.

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld after his team qualified for the World Cup: "Like I said the goal was to qualify, we made it, the goal is achieved, compliments to the whole team and to each and every player. It's another success for me and a dream being fulfilled, it's a present that Switzerland has given me."

2248: So, what do you make of those teams? Barca's Martin Caceres will be keeping a close eye on Camp Nou team-mate Lionel Messi - and there is a lot of pressure on the young Argentina, the true heir to Maradona's throne, tonight. He makes football look so easy when he plays in Spain, but his national team are a million miles away from being that good.

2244: Uruguay v Argentina line-ups:
Muslera, Lugano, Caceres, Gargano, Scotti, Suarez, Forlan, Alvaro Pereira, Perez, Maximiliano Pereira, Rodriguez.
Argentina: Romero, Demichelis, Schiavi, Otamendi, Heinze, Di Maria, Veron, Higuain, Messi, Mascherano, Gutierrez.

2239: This is what I said nearly four hours ago, and I'm standing by it: It's worth keeping an eye out for Chile v Ecuador later, too, because if Ecuador beat already-qualified Chile, then the losers of Uruguay-Argentina would not even make the play-offs. If it's a draw in Montevideo, Argentina will go through automatically - unless Ecuador win by five goals.

From soca_ger1 on 606: "We need Argentina to qualify so that you lot don't have as easy a time of it as you've had in the qualifiers. The more big teams in the World Cup, the better."

2230: There is about half an hour until kick-off at the Centenario in Monteviedo, where two-time World Cup winners Uruguay take on two-time World Cup winners Argentina for a place in the 2010 finals.

From Marc, via text on 81111: "You say it's tough on the Republic of Ireland but four years ago Israel didn't lose a game in the qualification stage and didn't even reach the play-offs!"

England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips: "I think I did OK, they made it hard for us by dropping deep, but think I came into it more in the second half, and respect to the lads for keeping giving me the ball. The manager wants us to show him what we're capable of, the rest is down to him."

England manager Fabio Capello: "Some things worked good, some things not so good. The players got better in the second half - what didn't work is what we told the players at half-time, but that's for us to know. Too many times we had to win back the ball, the ball possession wasn't really good. The win is good, the score is good and some players played well, but I won't speak about individuals."

2215: By the way, I haven't been joking all this time. I'm genuinely staying until the end of the Uruguay v Argentina World Cup qualifier, at about 0100 BST. I really hope you can stay with me - we're even keeping 606 open until the end of the game for your added enjoyment. Bring it on.

From English~Players~Dont~Dive on 606: "Beckham should go to South Africa - technical ability and passing with an end product will be needed over there."

2207: World Cup Danny: "So what do Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Spain have in common? They all finished qualification without losing a game. That is a touch tough on the Republic of Ireland, who still face a play-off. England's record compares favourably with most teams, however, and they finished top of the pile in terms of scoring - notching 34 in 10 games. That was comfortably the best in Europe. Spain were next best with 28."

England's two-goal hero Peter Crouch: "I was pleased I put two away and we won the game convincingly in the end. I don't expect to start the next game, though I obviously know it's down to the manager. All I can do is do my best when I play and hope I can force my way in."

2202: Insatiable. That's what he is. World Cup Danny: "So we know the eight teams which are in the play-offs (see 2145 BST). Keep your eyes peeled for the Fifa rankings on Friday, because that will tell us the four seeded teams. The play-off draw is in Zurich on Monday at 1300 BST. And maybe, just maybe, you'll want to spare a thought for Norway, who miss out despite finishing second in Group Nine, by virtue of having the worst record of the nine runners-up."

England's David Beckham: "I don't know how I got man of the match, thanks Brucie! The lads have been exceptional throughout the whole campaign and they deserved that tonight. We all have to prove we deserve to be out there every time we join up with England, you can see how hungry everyone is."


BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "David Beckham announced as man of the match. A joke presumably? Farcical to be honest. How about Gareth Barry? And maybe even Peter Crouch who scored a couple of goals? Oh well. Satisfactory night for England and coach Fabio Capello, with a routine victory against low-key opposition."

2149: Full-time England 3-0 Belarus
Fabio Capello smiles on the England bench, in conversation with coach Stuart Pearce - the Italian must be overjoyed at how his adopted country's qualifying campaign has gone. Nine wins from 10 games, and it all ended with a routine victory today. See you in South Africa.

2146: David Beckham has just been announced as the official man of the match, an award handed out by television pundit Steve Bruce. No comment.

2145: Eight teams who have qualified for World Cup play-offs: Portugal, Greece, Slovenia, Russia, France, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Republic of Ireland, Ukraine.

Someone has struck the woodwork
Someone has struck the woodwork
2143: Double woodwork woe for England as first James Milner brilliantly skips into the Belarus area, does his defender and curls his shot against the far post, before, moments later, David Beckham drags a shot from 12 yards against the outside of the near post.

2140: World Cup Danny: "It finishes Portugal 4-0 Malta, an expected win which confirms the Portuguese place in the play-offs as Group One runners-up. Sweden did their bit to make it dramatic with a 4-1 win over Albania, but ultimately that win was academic, as was Hungary's 1-0 success over group winners Denmark."

From Luke on the Wirral, via text on 81111: "Stevo, I'm being serious by saying this but I think Fergie should sign Beckham on loan. It will do his World Cup hopes a world of good and personally, I'd rather have him than Valencia on the right flank."

2136: David Beckham whips over a typically glorious cross from the England right and it causes panic in the Belarus box, but somehow, eventually they clear their lines. Still got it, Dave.

2135: Blow for Wayne Bridge and Manchester City as the left-back limps off with an injury, replaced by James Milner. What I'd give to see 10 more minutes of Stuart Pearce in an England shirt right now...

2134: World Cup Danny: "So Slovakia have made it through to South Africa with a vital 1-0 win in Poland. The play-offs await Slovenia, thanks to a 3-0 win over San Marino. Reports suggest that the snow is falling in heavily in Poland, but no doubt the Slovaks cannot feel the cold."

England goal: You've got to ask questions of the assistant referee there, but it's allowed to count. Gareth Barry pings a ball over the top down the right to Carlton Cole, who looks three yards offside. But he is allowed to surge forward and after his shot is saved by Yuri Zhevnov, flat-track bully (the new Graeme Hick?) Peter Crouch taps in the rebound.

2132: GOAL England 3-0 Belarus

From Moon on 606: "Just brilliant, such a small country to make their first ever World Cup finals... just brilliant for the country. Pass the Slivovica!!"


2126: Northern Ireland negotiated some late pressure from Czech Republic to earn a draw in Prague. Both countries will not be going to the 2010 World Cup after the visitors finished fourth in Group Three, while the Czechs were just a point ahead in third.

From Stuart, Leeds, via text on 81111: "Is it just me or does Beckham's beard have a hint of 'Just for Men' about it? Still, it has done the trick!"

2122: Full-time Czech Republic 0-0 Northern Ireland

2122: Gabby Agbonlahor's work is done for the evening as he is taken off and Carlton Cole comes on in his place.

2121: Fabulous save from Ben Foster preserves England's 2-0 lead, with Sergei Omelyanchuk playing a lovely one-two, getting into the hosts' area down the right and hitting a fierce volley that the Manchester United keeper does really well to block with his left hand.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Not exactly a piece of David Beckham magic that created that goal for Shaun Wright-Phillips, but he can say he had a hand in it. Routine short corner and a rotten attempt at a save from Yuri Zhevnov. Beckham's enduring popularity with England fans is remarkable - even a gentle jog down the touchline in the first half brought one of the biggest cheers of the night."

2118: There are still people - and I use the term loosely - taking their seats for the second half at Wembley. Throw them out, I say. We've had 62 minutes - ridiculous.

2117: Great save by Maik Taylor in Prague. Marek Jankulovski thunders a 20-yard shot at goal and Taylor parries it away. Czech Republic 0-0 Northern Ireland.

England goal: David Beckham gets straight into the action and sets up England's second. He fools the Belarussian defenders by taking a quick corner to Shaun Wright-Phillips on the edge of their box, and he skips infield before hitting a low right-foot shot into the corner. Not great goalkeeping, but they all count.

2115: GOAL England 2-0 Belarus

2115: David Beckham comes on for his 115th cap for England, replacing Aaron Lennon. You can hear the girls in the crowd get particularly excited, for some reason.

2113: I wonder what El Diego's doing right at this very moment... Anyway, back to World Cup Danny: "Tense times with 10 minutes to go in Group Three. Slovakia still lead Poland 1-0 in the snow and are going to win the group as it stands. But Slovenia are 3-0 up against San Marino so should the Poles conjure an equaliser, it is Slovenia who will top the group and Slovakia who will face the play-offs..."

Wales boss John Toshack: "I thought we gave the ball away too much at times. Quality-wise we weren't as good as we should have been. But I couldn't fault the players for effort and I am pleased with the result."

2111: World Cup Danny: "Spain's perfect 10 wins from 10 means they have achieved the best World Cup qualifying campaign in history. The only comparable record in Europe was the Czech Republic who won 10 matches in qualifying for Euro 2000. Maybe not so much of a good omen though - the Czechs subsequently lost in the group stage."

2110: The game is petering out in Prague. The defences have been on top and neither team has been able to produce the quality to unlock their rivals. Northern Ireland will be the happier as they have easily coped with a more experienced and supposedly superior Czech Republic side.

From Rafael & Fabio - Perfect Combination! on 606: "Portugal really do play some beautiful, flowing football when they are on their game and now that they have a target man in Liedson, they could be very dangerous in the World Cup. He'll put away the 20 or so chances they create in a game."

2107: Shaun Wright-Phillips gets a knee in his back and it looks painful, but the little winger gets up gingerly and will carry on.

2105: Frank Lampard side-foots a free-kick goalwards from 25 yards at Wembley and Yuri Zhevnov makes a bit of a meal of shovelling it over his crossbar.

2104: Stand-in Wales captain James Collins on his side's 2-0 win in Liechtenstein: "We won the game and it is always good when you win. Obviously we are not that happy with the performance but that is something we can work on. A few other teams in the group have struggled here and we found it difficult to break them down - it is not always easy when teams sit back even if you have all the possession."

2103: World Cup Danny: "Just for the record, it finished Greece 2-1 Luxembourg. The Greeks will have to try to book their place via a play-off."

2102: No England subs at half-time at Wembley, we're back under way. Don't forget, either - we're sticking around until deep into Thursday to follow World Cup qualifying events from South America later. Argentina could be dumped out of the World Cup.

2101: By the way, Jermaine Easter squandered a golden chance to make it 3-0 to Wales just before the final whistle, firing straight at Peter Jehle when clean through - the second time he had fluffed his lines in front of goal. Overall, the MK Dons striker probably didn't do a lot to enhance his international future, especially considering he was winning only his first Wales cap since January 2008 after being flown to Vaduz to solve an injury crisis.

2100: World Cup Danny: "Some other news for you from the 1900 BST kick-offs. An absolute goal frenzy at the end of the game has seen it finish Bosnia-Hercegovina 2-5 Spain. The Spanish finish with a perfect record. Bulgaria beat Georgia 6-2 in a meaningless but entertaining game. The Republic of Ireland drew 0-0 with Montenegro. And take a bow Alberto Gilardino. A hat-trick in the final 12 minutes made it Italy 3-2 Cyprus, crushing Cypriot hopes of a remarkable win."

From Andrew, Newcastle, via text on 81111: "One of SWP or Lennon needs to make way for Milner as neither has had much luck on the left and Milner's work ethic should trouble Belarus more. Cole for Crouch might be nice too. We should press on after a talking to by Capello. 3-0 full-time."

2055: World Cup Danny: "Never has a 0-0 draw been so warmly cheered in Switzerland. The stalemate with Israel is enough to ensure their place at South Africa as Group Two winners. Greece, who lead Luxembourg 2-0 with moments to go, will have to try for the play-offs."

2054: Aaron Ramsey's wicked free-kick provides Wales with an encouraging send-off from a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign and also glosses over an uninspiring performance against Liechtenstein, who looked the better side for long periods in Vaduz. Wales finish in fourth place in Group Four with four wins from 10 matches - their victories coming home and away against Liechtenstein and Azerbaijan, the two teams below them. John Toshack's side lost their other six games against Germany, Russia and Finland and clearly must show a huge improvement if they are to qualify for Euro 2012."

2052: Full-time Liechtenstein 0-2 Wales


2051: So far, in answer to Tom's beard question at about 2035, we've had the following suggestions: Matty Upson, Wayne Rooney, David James, Peter Withe, Billy Bonds, Scott Carson.

From The kid from Fuenlabrada on 606: "How on earth does Ashley Young not get in the team ahead of Shaun Wright-Phillips?"

2046: Half-time England 1-0 Belarus

2046: Aaron Lennon and Glen Johnson play a one-two down the right and the winger's cross is headed wide by a diving Peter Crouch.

2044: World Cup Danny's drama radar is working, make no mistake about that: "Re: 2042, Told you, drama fans. Alberto Gilardino now makes it Italy 2-2 Cyprus. When Italy play, it's comeback o'clock."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "The tiresome Mexican wave - official confirmation that this game has, to put it politely, gone off the boil. England looking in no trouble and the odd burst of pace from Gabriel Agbonlahor is enlivening proceedings. Fabio Capello is stalking the touchline in a manner that suggests he wants, and expects, more from England. And still they Mexican wave."

2042: World Cup Danny senses drama: "Tense finish in Parma. Alberto Gilardino makes it Italy 1-2 Cyprus. Twelve minutes to go."

2041: Northern Ireland striker Niall McGinn is growing in confidence as the game goes on in Czech Republic. He makes a run down the left side of the home side's area and slides a ball across the face of the Czech goal but there's no-one there to apply the finishing touch.

Wales goal: John Toshack's boys have been under the cosh - but that gives them some breathing space. Simon Church is fouled on the left-hand edge of the penalty area and Aaron Ramsey steps up to curl the free-kick into the top corner. Lovely strike, and the teenager's first goal for his country.

2038: GOAL Liechtenstein 0-2 Wales

2038: Decent shooting chance for Belarus as they have a free-kick 25 yards out and after a neat set-up, Sergei Omelyanchuk slams it into the grateful arms of Ben Foster. Just recently, the Belarussians have been playing some nice stuff - but it's embarrassing how easily England are gifting them possession.

From Tom in Chorlton, Manchester, via text on 81111: "Just wondering. If Beckham comes on, he would be the first bearded England player since...?"

2035: World Cup Danny: "Sweden are doing their bit to make the play-offs in Group One. They're 3-0 up at half-time against Albania. It's all academic though, unless Portugal slip up against Malta. And they've just gone 2-0 up against the minnows."

2034: They are under way in the second half in Prague, it's Czech Republic 0-0 Northern Ireland.

2032: David Hasler has had a few sights of goal tonight - more than he's used to I'd wager. The Liechtenstein striker lets fly again, this time from the edge of the box but his shot fizzes wide of Boaz Myhill's goal. Wales are living dangerously at the moment.

2030: Wales have been largely dreadful since the break but they did just get the ball in the net in a carbon-copy move of their goal. Gareth Bale gets to the bye-line down the left and crosses for Jermaine Easter to bundle home from point-blank range. The Welsh players celebrate - but not for long, as Estonian referee Sten Kaldma signals that the MK Dons striker used his hand to push the ball over the line. Replays show that Mr Kaldma is spot on.

2028: Gone a little bit quiet at Wembley. I know what redandblack, below, means, but how many games has Crouchy played against some of the top ranking countries? Meanwhile, Glen Johnson gets into the box with a lung-bursting run, but screws his left-foot shot wide from 10 yards.

From redandblackT1899™ on 606: "I just checked Crouch's international record and it says he mostly scores against footballing minnows... like Belarus!"

2021: Pace. Out and out pace. Gabby Agbonlahor speeds away from the Belarus defence and most of his England colleagues too, cutting into the box and firing in a shot that Yuri Zhevnov does well to parry.

2020: It's half-time at the Synot Tip Arena after a flurry of action just before the break. A chip over the Czech Republic defence gave Northern Ireland striker Niall McGinn a great chance but he miskicked his shot and keeper Petr Cech clawed the ball just wide. At the other end, David Jarolim was denied a penalty after being brought down in the area."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "England well on top and Gareth Barry running the show from midfield. Peter Crouch shows yet again that he scores goals at international level - unlike Emile Heskey. You suspect it still won't be enough to get him the nod over Heskey when it matters though, irrespective of the fact the Aston Villa striker does not score goals and does not play games for his club. A slight problem for Fabio Capello you would have thought."

2017: Half-time Czech Republic 0-0 Northern Ireland

2016: World Cup Danny: "Spain are 3-0 up against Bosnia Hercegovina, heading for 10 wins out of 10 and cementing their position as one of the favourites for the title next year. Elsewhere, Cyprus are now an eyebrow-raising 2-0 up in Parma against Italy. I know, I know, Italy have already qualified, they're not trying etc etc. But still - Cyprus?."

2015: Wales haven't really got going in the second half yet, and it's actually Liechtenstein who have shown more going forward - but they have not exactly looked dangerous. The hosts would also probably rather forget a farcical attempt at a trick corner, when Mario Frick pretended he hadn't touched the ball before running away, with the intention of allowing a team-mate to dribble it towards goal. It ended with Frick being booked and Wales being awarded a free-kick. Embarrassing.

2014: It's all about Peter Crouch as the giant Tottenham striker heads a Frank Lampard corner wide. Michael Owen looks on from the stands at Wembley, visibly glum.

2011: Peter Crouch tries to shoot, goes down, and appeals for a penalty. Little did he know that it was strike partner Gabby Agbonlahor who accidentally brought him down.

From Bob, Belfast, via text on 81111: "Stop spelling Liechtenstein wrong!"
I'm trying, seriously. It's so damn long, though.

2006: They've started again in Vaduz, by the way, with Wales leading Liechtenstein 1-0.

England goal: Great start from England and they take a very early lead thanks to the prolific Peter Crouch (check his international record, it's sensational). Gareth Barry sends Gabby Agbonlahor (steady, Villa fans) away down the left and his cross evades the keeper for Crouch to get there before a defender and poke in with one of his enormous legs.

2003: GOAL England 1-0 Belarus

2003: We had to be quick. World Cup Danny: "Re: 1959. Portugal 1-0 Malta (Nani 13). As it stands, Portugal will be in the play-offs. Sweden will not."

2002: Whoosh, that could have been a belting start for England. A corner is half-cleared to the edge of the Belarus box and Shaun Wright-Phillips takes a touch before shooting a couple of yards wide. Didn't quite catch it properly.

2000: Bang on time, we are under way at Wembley as England take on Belarus.

1959: World Cup Danny really wanted to say this - because let's face it, Portugal probably won't be in this position for long: "As it stands, Portugal will not be at the 2010 World Cup. Sweden lead Albania 1-0, and will leapfrog Portugal in Group One, as they are 0-0 with Malta. Not time for Portugal fans to panic yet though. Still about 80 minutes to go."

From coolinter on 606: "I hope Bosnia and Slovakia reach the World Cup. The likes of Dzeko, Hamsik, Ibisevic, Misimovic and Salihovic etc deserve a chance, NOT forgetting the Serbian youngster Jovetic. Lots of good talent in Eastern Europe."

1954: The teams are out at Wembley, nice and early. Big day for a fair few of Fabio's fringe players.

1953: Northern Ireland are starting to have more of a say in their game against Czech Republic after mostly defending for the opening 15 minutes. But there's no real urgency to the game, with both teams pretty much unable to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

1952: Wales only have David Vaughan's goal to show for a half that has seem them completely dominate - boss John Toshack will feel they could have had many more but, in truth, they have not created anything like the number of chances that their possession deserves. Liechtenstein almost punished them too, as David Hasler should really have levelled just before the break after running clean through on Boaz Myhill's goal.

1951: World Cup Danny: "Interesting times in Group Two as the vital games reach half-time. Greece are, as expected, 2-0 up against Luxembourg. Switzerland are drawing 0-0 with Israel. As it stands, the Swiss qualify, the Greeks are in the play-off. But if Switzerland lose, Greece go above them with a win and the roles are reversed. Elsewhere, Cyprus are 1-0 up at half-time in Italy. Crikey."

1949: Half-time Leichtenstein 0-1 Wales

From Nick the Gooner in Watford, via text on 81111: "How has Ben Foster got into the starting line-up? He has repeatedly made mistakes for Man Utd this season. He is a liability and isn't even one of the best five English keepers around."

1947: Gareth Bale gets away down the Wales left again and his cross to the penalty spot just evades Simon Church. Moments later, David Hasler beats the Welsh offside trap and looks certain to score, but he somehow pokes wide from four yards. Astonishing miss.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Fabio Capello has been true to his word and named an experimental team. Bags of pace in attack with Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Gabriel Agbonlahor in the line-up. Big night for Wright-Phillips and Agbonlahor to prove to Capello that they are worthy of further consideration as he finalises his World Cup plans. Important for Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster to show what he can do - looked anything but England class this season."

1943: World Cup Danny: "Slovakia need to win in Poland to be sure of top spot in Group Three and a spot at the World Cup. And they couldn't have made a better start. Unfortunate Pole Seweryn Gancarczyk puts through his own net after just four minutes and Slovakia are 1-0 up. Great news for them, bad news for top-spot rivals Slovenia."

1942: Jermaine Easter is sent clean through at the Rheinepark Stadium, but he shoots straight at keeper Peter Jehle and Wales still lead Liechtenstein 1-0. No wobbles so far.

1940: I've just had to call the fire brigade. World Cup Danny is actually on fire: "If you want goals, quick, get on a plane to Bulgaria. They're now 5-1 up against Georgia, Dimitar Berbatov with a hat-trick. Still 10 minutes until half-time there." Danny, you forgot to use our 'Sofia so good' line.

1938: Wales are still totally dominant in terms of possession but, despite some nice touches by Aaron Ramsey, they are struggling to open up Liechtenstein's packed defence at the moment. Their best bet still seems to be freeing Gareth Bale down the left but their hosts seem to have wised up on that tactic and are not allowing him the room he had earlier on that flank.

1936: World Cup Danny: "Group Seven winners Serbia are losing to Lithuania, but probably couldn't care less. Meanwhile Bulgaria - with nothing to play for - are really up for it tonight. They're 4-0 up against Georgia with just 31 minutes gone, Dimitar Berbatov grabbing two of them."

From stillbrighter on 606: "Very strange team selection. Capello has said that Milner is 'his future', he has done very well in his substitute appearances and yet Shaun Wright-Philips gets the start when we all know what he's about... weird one that."

1931: We're under way between Czech Republic and Northern Ireland.

1931: World Cup Danny: "A few early goals of note in the 1900 BST kick-offs. Perfection fans will be interested to see that Spain are 2-0 up in Bosnia-Hercegovina thanks to Gerard Pique and David Silva. A win there sees the Spanish finish with 10 wins from 10. Elsewhere, Cyprus have an improbable 1-0 lead in Italy thanks to Yiannis Okkas. Long way to go there mind..."

1928: England v Belarus line-ups:
Foster, Johnson, Ferdinand, Terry, Bridge, Lennon, Lampard, Barry, Wright-Phillips, Crouch, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Hart, Upson, Ashley Cole, Milner, Carrick, Beckham, Carlton Cole.
Belarus: Zhevnov, Kulchy, Yurevich, Sosnovskiy, Bordachev, Verkhovtsov, Omelyanchuk, Shitov, Kalachev, Kornilenko, Kutuzov.
Subs: Amelchenko, Kashevsky, Lantsevich, Kovel, Rudik, Krivets, Rodionov.
Referee: Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal)

1926: Portugal need to beat Malta tonight to be sure of their play-off place, but they will do it without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, who had this to say to his colleagues: "I want you to know that my heart will be with you at every minute of the match and that, like all the Portuguese, I will be proud of your efforts." What a guy.

1922: I've only gone and embedded some video in the top of this live, haven't I? So, web users, if you manually refresh your screen, you will be able to watch Czech Republic v Northern Ireland.

Wales goal: It had been coming, and Wales finally break the deadlock. Gareth Bale has had a lot of joy down their left already and his ball along the six-yard box is converted on the slide by Blackpool's David Vaughan, netting his first goal for his country.

1918: GOAL Liechtenstein 0-1 Wales

From Sarah, Wolverhampton, via text on 81111: "What more could we want? Well personally I want a miracle and would like Malta to beat Portugal, despite not having scored once in qualifying thus far. Am I asking for too much?"

1915: David Hasler lets fly with a left-foot shot from the edge of the Wales area and it was going in you know, before Boaz Myhill gets down smartly to push it away. It had mostly been all Wales until then, though.

1913: Northern Ireland make three changes to the side that lost to Slovakia as Chris Baird, Ryan McGivern and Niall McGinn come in for the injured Jonny Evans, Martin Paterson and Sammy Clingan.

1911: Czech Republic v Northern Ireland line-ups:
Czech Republic:
Cech, Pospech, Hubnik, Sivok, Jankulovski, Jarolim, Hubschman, Rosicky, Plasil, Baros, Necid.
Subs: Kinsky, Grygera, Hlousek, Rozehnal, Stajner, Papadopulos, Pudil.
Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, McGivern, Hughes, Craigan, Johnson, Baird, McGinn, McCann, Davis, Healy.
Subs: Tuffey, Mannus, Coates, Feeney, O'Connor, Kirk, McCourt.
Referee: Laurent Duhamel (France)

From CanadianWanderer on 606: "I am so glad Capello is sticking by his policy of players "in form" - FOSTER?? FERDINAND?? Ridiculous."

1905: World Cup Danny: "A whole bunch of matches kicking off at 1900 BST. But just to help you sort the wheat from the chaff - keep your eyes on Switzerland v Israel and Greece v Luxembourg. Those two matches are likely to decide the top two places, although should Luxembourg perform some kind of miracle, Latvia v Moldova could also be of interest."

1902: They are under way in Liechtenstein as Wales play their last World Cup qualifier. Meanwhile, Shay Given and Kevin Kilbane will win their 100th caps for Republic of Ireland when they meet Montenegro tonight.

1900: Stevo's Predos:
Czech Republic 2-1 Northern Ireland
England 2-1 Belarus
Liechtenstein 0-2 Wales
Uruguay 2-2 Argentina

1858 World Cup Danny's busy talking about himself again: "Here's World Cup Danny's first rule of the World Cup: Never write off the Germans. Former Charlton favourite Jonatan Johansson put Finland 1-0 up in Hamburg - and they led until the actual final minute when Lukas Podolski scrambled a scruffy equaliser. Germany have not lost a home World Cup qualifier since England won 5-1 in Munich in September 2001. Remember that one? Unbeaten Germany are group winners with 26 points, runners-up Russia finish on 22 after a 1-1 draw in Azerbaijan."

1857: England team to play Belarus: Foster; Johnson, Ferdinand, Terry, Bridge; Lennon, Barry, Lampard, Wright-Phillips; Crouch, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Hart, Upson, A Cole, Milner, Carrick, Beckham, C Cole.

From Tom in Notts, via text on 81111: "Having read this, I've decided to do the right thing and stay up for Argentina too. Messi et al playing for a World Cup spot? Do or die? Having a bit of that."

1850: Worth keeping an eye out for Chile v Ecuador later, too, because if Ecuador beat already-qualified Chile, then the losers of Uruguay-Argentina would not even make the play-offs. If it's a draw in Montevideo, Argentina will go through automatically - unless Ecuador win by five goals.

1847: So, Argentina and their manager - perhaps the most box office personality football has ever seen. Diego Armando Maradona has enchanted, beguiled and infuriated for more than 30 years now, and he is not finished yet. Tonight, he will either further cement his place in the hearts of his people, or become the centrepiece of their greatest humiliation.

From Jeimuzu on 606: "What more could we want? Darren Bent, that's what. He's scored more than anyone but Torres this season, and as many as Crouch and Gabby put together! Is he injured or something?"

1840: Injury-hit Wales receive a major boost as they look to end a disappointing qualifying campaign on a high note, with Arsenal teenager Aaron Ramsey passed fit to bolster their weakened midfield - where he will play alongside David Vaughan and David Edwards. Ashley Williams is one of three centre-backs picked by John Toshack but could be moved up to join that trio as a holding midfielder. Up front, with Craig Bellamy suspended, Jermaine Easter partners Simon Church. Liechenstein have key striker Mario Frick back from suspension but Michele Polverino is on the bench after failing to fully shake off a muscle strain. Wales will either be 3-5-2 with Chris Gunter and Gareth Bale as wing-backs or 4-4-2 with Williams in midfield.

From ojl on Twitter: "A big shout out to Jari Litmanen, please - the legend is almost certainly playing his final international match tonight."

1834: Wales' game at the Rheinepark Stadium is just about as pointless as the hosts' very participation in Group Four, but for Northern Ireland, all not yet lost. Well, it is, but World Cup Danny would kill me if I didn't tell you mathematically they still have a chance. As they need to beat the Czechs in Prague, hope San Marino beat Slovenia and turn around a seven-goal deficit in the process, we can probably just forget about it. It's a shootout between Slovakia and Slovenia to win the group, with the Slovaks needing to win in Poland to be sure of top spot.

1832: Liechtenstein v Wales line-ups:
Jehle, Ritzberger, Oehri, Eberle, D'Elia, Kieber, Rechsteiner, Ronny Buchel, Rohrer, Frick, Hasler.
Subs: Bicer, Stefan Buchel, Roger Beck, Christen, Polverino.
Wales: Myhill, Gunter, Bale, Morgan, Collins, Williams, Vaughan, Ramsey, Edwards, Church, Easter.
Subs: Price, Eardley, Nyatanga, Vokes, Bradley, King, MacDonald.
Referee: Sten Kaldma (Estonia)

1829: England have no such qualifying issues to be worrying themselves with. They play their last tie at Wembley against Belarus and it's a chance for Signor Capello to try a couple of different players. We don't know the exact team, but we do know that Peter Crouch will partner Gabby Agbonlahor up top. Blistering pace, aerial threat, touch, finishing - what more could you want from a front two?

1825: World Cup Danny II: "Just 23 months after spectacularly dumping England out of Euro 2008 with a qualifying victory at Wembley, Croatia find themselves without a tournament to visit next summer. Ukraine's 6-0 win in Andorra means they get second spot in Group Six ahead of Croatia - who won 2-1 in Kazakhstan thanks to Niko Kranjcar's last-minute goal. The Croatia result was academic. And it was, in fact, England who did for them. The thumping 5-1 win at Wembley in September, coupled with Saturday's 1-0 defeat in Dnipropetrovsk handed the initiative firmly to Ukraine, and they have taken advantage."

1823: Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce World Cup Danny on this magical evening: "Group Four fans will know that it's pretty much done and dusted over there, with Germany qualifying outright and Russia heading for the play-offs. But they may also enjoy some spirited underdog displays so far - Azerbaijan are drawing 1-1 with Russia, while Finland are an eye-opening 1-0 up in Germany. Doesn't bode too well for Wales, who travel to Liechtenstein for their 1900 BST match."

From Raphael in Stratford, via text on 81111: "See 1800: Didn't know Carlos Roa was playing tonight Stevo. Hope He saves any pens."

1817: You would be well within your rights to accuse me of being almost embarrassingly excited by tonight's events. But really, can you blame me? Check this out - if Portugal and Argentina don't win tonight, the World Cup could well be taking place without Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

1814: Breaking news: Our 606 thread will be open until 0100 BST on Thursday, an extension of two hours beyond normal closing time. Oh, and let's not pretend for a second that World Cup Danny isn't involved tonight too. Don't say we never spoil you.

1811: Latest scores from England's group: Andorra 0-3 Ukraine and Kazakhstan 1-1 Croatia. That means Sheva's boys are heading for the play-offs.

1808: "Enough procrastinating," I hear you cry, "give us a run down of what's happening when so we can plan our lives and then text our chat to 81111, join the debate on 606 and Twitter Stevo as well." Yep, I'm on Twitter. Deal with it. Here's what's what and when:

Liechtenstein v Wales, 1900 BST
Czech Republic v Northern Ireland, 1930 BST
England v Belarus, 2000 BST,
Uruguay v Argentina, 2300 BST
It's crunch time for World Cup hopefuls

1805: That's right. Not only are we going to satisfy your thirst for all things England, Northern Ireland and Wales, but we are going to keep this live text going for arguably the biggest game of the season so far - Uruguay v Argentina, with the winner claiming a World Cup place and the loser potentially missing out on even a play-off berth. Don't you dare go anywhere for the next seven hours.

1800: You've got to ask yourself one question, El Diego: Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? Tonight, the greatest living Argentine could be responsible for his country's first non-appearance at the World Cup finals in 40 years. Can the Bearded One hand him a Jules Rimet-sized lifeline at the Centenario in Montevideo?

Print Sponsor

see also
England 3-0 Belarus
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Czech Republic 0-0 N Ireland
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Liechtenstein 0-2 Wales
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Rep of Ireland 0-0 Montenegro
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Win seals Argentina qualification
15 Oct 09 |  World Cup 2010
Swiss & Slovakia make 2010 finals
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Crunch time for World Cup hopefuls
13 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  World Cup 2010
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites