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Page last updated at 21:13 GMT, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:13 UK

Euro 2012 qualifiers as they happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

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By Chris Bevan

2212: Time for me to call it a night after an evening that sets us up nicely for Tuesday's clash between an impressive England and a resurgent Wales at Wembley. The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland both had a frustrating time of of it but remain in the race for qualification. Thanks for keeping me company and I'll see you very soon. Cheerio for now.

Full time
FULL-TIME Republic of Ireland 0-0 Slovakia
John Haughey reports: "The Republic of Ireland's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 suffer a blow as they are held by Slovakia, with Giovanni Trapattoni's side outplayed for most of the contest."

Full time
FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 0-1 Serbia
Alvin McCaig reports: "Northern Ireland improved in the second half but a Steven Davis blunder gifted Serbia the points. A deserved win for visitors while Northern Ireland's hopes of making the play-offs are now fading."

Full time
FULL-TIME Wales 2-1 Montenegro
Bruce Pope reports: "A few nervous moments at the beginning and the end in Cardiff, but Wales pressed and passed their way to a deserved first qualifying win under Gary Speed. That's one Group G leader beaten now, so on to the next one at Wembley on Tuesday!"

Full time
FULL-TIME Bulgaria 0-3 England
Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from the Vasil Levski Stadium: "England would have wanted victory - and with a healthy margin - before kick-off and Fabio Capello's side provided both in impressive fashion. Bulgaria were very poor but England completed the job with plenty of style."

2206: Here's a reminder of what happened earlier...

England captain John Terry after his side's comfortable 3-0 win over Bulgaria: "It was a really good night. We were hoping for a good start and certainly got that. They came at us in the first five or 10 minutes and tried to press us. We spoke of trying to soak it up and it was always going to be difficult in the first 15 to 20 minutes. We soaked it up well and after that we played some really good football."

Euro 2012 qualifying latest: France is the final result to come in this evening, with goals from Yann M'Vila and Karim Benzema cementing their place at the top of Group D following their 2-1 victory over Albania.

grantosjones on Twitter: "Good result for Wales but I can still see it being a walkover for England on Tuesday."

2157: Ah. Well done all of you who spotted Australia's entry into Europe just then. I have congratulated the person responsible but I won't name him. That would be unfair on Nabil Hassan.

NotThatHunter on Twitter: "Anyone who thinks Northern Ireland can still qualify is deluded. We won't beat Italy, or, on that form, Estonia. Goodbye!"

2156: The only ray of sunshine for Northern Ireland tonight is that Slovenia, who are second in Group C, lost at home to Estonia. That means Nigel Worthington's men remain two points off second spot.

2153: The only cloud for Wales tonight is that Craig Bellamy and David Vaughan will miss Tuesday's game at Wembley with England because of suspension. I still suspect Gary Speed will be celebrating his first three points, mind.

neilcheese62 on Twitter: "As slim as it is Wales now have something to play for against England. There could be singing in the valleys."

Bozzy18 on Twitter: "Quality! Big test on Tuesday but hopefully this is the 1st stepping stone on a long and exciting road for Welsh football."

Euro 2012 qualifying latest: Germany became the first nation to qualify for next summer's European Championship with their 6-2 victory over Austria sealing their place. Their goals came from Miroslav Klose, Mesut Ozil (2), Lukas Podolski, André Schürrle and Mario Gotze. Group H leaders Portugal won 4-0 thanks to two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo while Antonio Cassano's goal sealed Italy's place at the top of Group C.

jadecattell on Twitter: "What a performance from England. Thank-you wales for beating Montenegro stunning performance from Ramsey."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "The FA have raised racist chanting with the Bulgarian FA and the Uefa delegate in Sofia."

2143: A good night's work for England and Wales, less so for the Republic of Ireland and especially Northern Ireland. Let me know what you made of it. I'm Chris Bevan, and you can tweet me at @chrisbevan_bbc (using the hashtag #BBCFootball please). Or feel free to text me via 81111 (UK) instead.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "11 - England have won their last 11 games in the month of September, a run dating back to 2005. Fresh."

2140: FULL-TIME Republic of Ireland 0-0 Slovakia

Full time
2139: FULL-TIME Wales 2-1 Montenegro

2139: We are into the fifth minute of added time in Cardiff...

Full time
2138: FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 0-1 Serbia


2137: Oh my... Wayne Hennessey fumbles a daisy-cutter... but recovers, just, with about three Montenegro players waiting to pounce.

2135: Northern Ireland send everyone up for a free-kick in search of an equaliser but concede a foul for pushing as soon as it is taken. All hands to the pumps for Wales in Cardiff, where there is some desperate defending going on by the home side.

2135: There will be three minutes of added time in Cardiff.

2134: Relief for Wales, and England too. Montenegro have the ball in the net... but it won't count. Dejan Damjanovic slams home from a free-kick but the flag is already up for offside.

2132: Stevan Jovetic has looked classy for Montenegro tonight but, fortunately for Wales, he gets it all wrong here when he tries his luck from the edge of the area. The ball almost goes out for a throw. Still the visitors are pressing hard at the moment. Wales have one minute of the 90 plus injury time to hang on.

2131: Better by Wales. Craig Bellamy runs up the other end and sees his cut-back intercepted with Gareth Bale waiting to pounce.

2130: Wales wobble but survive. Stevan Jovetic is behind it, again, and when the shot comes in Wayne Hennessey can only parry it. Lucky for Wales then that Chris Gunter is on hand to hack clear.

2128: Serbia are still dominating possession in Belfast and, in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia are serving up a pretty turgid affair. Aiden McGeady has just had a sight of goal for the home side but he scuffeed his shot well wide.

2127: A change up top for Wales. Steve Morison is coming off and Hal Robson-Kanu is on.

Mirtnamuppet on Twitter: "At Windsor Park tonight. Injuries not helping tonight but no excuse. Poor tonight!!"

2123: Wales are on the attack in Cardiff and Gareth Bale has a free-kick... which he blasts over. Ten minutes left. Still tense. Wales are desperate for their first win of this qualifying campaign.

Euro 2012 qualifying latest: It is full-time in Eindhoven with the Netherlands defeating San Marino 11-0 to cement their place at the top of Group E. Arsenal's Robin Van Persie got four of the goals with Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt, John Heitinga, Wesley Sneijder (2), and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (2), Georginio Wijnaldum the other scorers for the goal-crazy Dutch.

Injured Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere on Twitter: "Good performance! Rooney was great! Good 3 points! Bring on the Welsh!"

2120: The Dutch did make it into double figures. They are now 11-0 up on San Marino.

2117: Milan Jovanovic fires over from a Montenegro corner, while, in Belfast, Lee Camp comes to Northern Ireland's rescue, brilliantly tipping over a strike from (a different) Milan Jovanovic. There's clearly more than one Milan Jovanovic, in case anyone is thinking of starting that old terrace chant.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Montenegro goal: Wales pay the price for sitting back and inviting pressure, with Montenegro responding with a classy strike by Stevan Jovetic. No chance for Wayne Hennessey, and a nervy last 20 minutes in store for Wales.

2115: GOALFLASH Wales 2-1 Montenegro (Stevan Jovetic)

greg_bradley on Twitter: " I hope Rooney keeps that passion, an example set. England and MUFC need it. He will be annoyed he didn't get his hat-trick... "

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "9-0 Holland equal their biggest ever win vs Norway in a WCQ in Nov 1972. Netherlands also beat Finland 9-0 in 1912 at the Olympic Games."

Euro 2012 qualifying latest: It is all about the group leaders tonight with Germany (4-2), Italy (0-1), France (2-1), Netherlands (9-0), Portugal (1-0) all leading while Greece and England have already sealed victories. Arsenal's Robin Van Persie has four goals for the Dutch against San Marino already tonight. About five minutes left for them to reach double figures...

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Serbia goal: Oh dear. Kamikaze defending by Northern Ireland, as Steve Davis is woefully short with a back-pass, allowing Marko Pantelic to run in, round Lee Camp and slot home. The awful weather in Belfast won't have helped Davis then but still no excuse. Twenty minutes left and Northern Ireland are in big trouble.

2110: GOALFLASH Northern Ireland 0-1 Serbia (Marko Pantelic)

2108: Job done for England then. But still work to do for Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Another goal for Wales would be nice.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "2 - Wales have scored twice in a competitive match at home for the first time since October 2008. Double."

Full time
2107: FULL-TIME Bulgaria 0-3 England

2105: Not sure how Montenegro defender Sasa Balic is still on the pitch. He has caught Gareth Bale a few times now, and is already on yellow. Anyway, play continues and Bale is running rampant down the right, latching on to a Steve Morison flick and leaving Balic in his wake - he can't kick him if he can't catch him. Sadly for Wales, Bale's cross has too much on it for Craig Bellamy and a golden chance goes begging.

2104: I think Wayne Rooney might have picked up a knock as he stretched for that last chance. John Terry is also on the ground too. No treatment needed.

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "England have looked very organised and I just hope that the fans aren't too disappointed that they haven't gone on and scored five or six goals."

2103: Wayne Rooney goes within an inch of completing his hat-trick, stretching for but not quite reaching a James Milner cross in front of goal.

2102: Lots of plusses for England tonight, but Wayne Rooney is probably the biggest. The Manchester United striker has brought his club form with him on international duty, and is showing us what sort of player he is when he is fully refreshed, and with a full head of hair too of course.

2100: At last an opening for Northern Ireland. The two Evans combine for the best chance of the match at Windsor Park. Jonny's cross was headed just over by brother Corry. He should have scored.

2059: Into the last seven minutes in Sofia. A great night for England so far, especially with Montenegro losing in Cardiff.

2058: Euro 2012 qualifying latest: A last-minute Gergely Rudolf goal saw Hungary beat Sweden to go level on points and joint second of Group E and, in Group H, Mohammed Abdellaoue's late goal saw Norway beat Iceland to keep their Euro 2012 qualifying hopes alive. In that same group Cristiano Ronaldo's goal is the difference between Portugal and Cyprus, while the Netherlands lead San Marino 6-0 in Group E with Arsenal's Robin Van Persie among the scorers.

Whistle
2056: It's all happening. Frank Lampard is on for Gareth Barry, the Republic of Ireland are back under way in Dublin and Steve Morison has gone close to adding a third goal for Wales, seeing a stooping header saved.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Wales goal: A cracking build-up for this one too, with Gareth Bale's precise pull-back finding Aaron Ramsey charging into the area to despatch a low finish. Wales have breathing space.

2054: GOALFLASH Wales 2-0 Montenegro (Aaron Ramsey)

2054: Happy with England's showing tonight, or encouraged by Wales? Hopeful for Northern Ireland? Let me know. I'm Chris Bevan, and you can tweet me at @chrisbevan_bbc (using the hashtag #BBCFootball please). Or feel free to text me via 81111 (UK) instead.

2052: I think we might be about to see Frank Lampard's arrival. He is tying up his laces, anyhow. On the pitch, Wayne Rooney is still charging about as though it is 0-0, causing mistakes in the Bulgaria backline.

Whistle
2050: And we are back under way in Cardiff too. More goals needed for Gary Speed's men. They should ease off on the bookings, though.

2049: It should be four for England. It really should. Wayne Rooney releases Theo Walcott with a perfect through-ball but the Arsenal man gets his finish all wrong and is horribly off-target. He should blame the pitch for that - I would.

Whistle
2048: We are back under way in Belfast. Can Northern Ireland hold out for another 45 minutes?

fatbertt on Twitter: "All about discipline for England now. They should be disapointed if they don't get a clean sheet. #goalstocome"

2045: England have taken the tempo right out of the game in Sofia and, with 20 minutes to go, it looks very much like it is game over. It was probably done and dusted at half-time to be honest.

From Luke in Swansea, via text: "Best half of football I have seen from Wales in years. Bale and Bellamy are flying down the wings. Ref is spoiling it with handing out cards like it is Xmas."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "Ashley Young subjected to monkey chanting after Ashley Cole suffered similar disgraceful treatment in the first half. Hope Uefa take note."

2042: England are playing a patient game in Bulgaria - they can afford to -but the chances are still coming. Gareth Barry bends over a cross from the left and Wayne Rooney stretches to reach a header that does not test Nikolay Mihaylov.

hostilemass on Twitter: "Montenegro are currently 19th in the Fifa rankings. Huge boost for Wales if they can see this one out"

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "You can't blame England for not flying into tackles now because the game is won. It's all about the next game so the players will be more reserved in the second half."

Half time
HALF-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Serbia
Alvin McCaig's HT snapshot: "The woodwork and keeper Lee Camp have denied the classy Serbs in the Belfast rain, while Northern Ireland have posed no threat. A poor display so far from Nigel Worthington's boys."

2039: It is half-time in Dublin too, and still goalless between Republic of Ireland and Slovakia. By the way, Wales lead Montenegro 1-0, not x-x as previously stated.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "Bulgaria showing more attacking intent after half-time - but they look a side built to be hit on the break by England."

Euro 2012 qualifying latest: The full-time scores continue to roll in across Europe with Bosnia-Hercegovina beaten Belarus 2-0 in Group D as they temporarily go level on points with leaders France. In the same group, Romania have beaten Luxembourg 2-0. Elsewhere Germany lead Austria 3-1 in Group A, as their place at next year's European Championship is all but sealed.

Half time
HALF-TIME Wales 1-0 Montenegro
Bruce Pope's HT snapshot: "The first half in Cardiff brought the welcome sight of Wales starting to enjoy themselves after Steve Morison gave them the lead against Montenegro, but that has been tempered by bookings to David Vaughan and Craig Bellamy ruling them out of Tuesday's clash with England at Wembley."

2036: The first change of the night by England sees James Milner replace Ashley Young.

2035: The bobbly pitch in Sofia doesn't seem to be affecting England too much, but perhaps it has an effect here when Theo Walcott elects to take a touch rather than smash Ashley Young's cross goalwards at the near-post. Bulgaria have enough men back to clear the danger.

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "England don't need to go and make silly runs looking for five or six goals. They just need to be professional and, if they wait and be patient, I think there are more goals to come. The game now is all about concentration."



2035: The half-time whistle goes in Cardiff too. All's well with Wales, so far, apart from those yellow cards.

2033: Ouch. There was a nasty tackle just before the half-time whistle went in Belfast. Serbia are lucky to have 11 men on the pitch after Slobodan Rajkovic's waist-high tackle on David Healy. Austrian referee Thomas Einwaller pulls out a yellow card.

2033: Wales winger Gareth Bale is ripping the Montenegro defence apart and his left-footed shot after cutting in from the right is inches wide of the far post. More suspension agony for boss Gary Speed, though. Craig Bellamy has just picked up a yellow card and he will also miss next week's clash against England.

2032: It is half-time at Windsor Park, where it is still goalless.

2031: Over in Belfast, Manchester United defender Jonny Evans puts his body on the line, blocking Zoran Tosic's goalbound shot from inside the area. Serbia's chances now in double figures.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2030: Bulgaria's best spell of the match almost results in a fourth goal by England. Theo Walcott breaks forward and his deep cross is met by Stewart Downing who sees his looping header graze the post with the keeper beaten. Scott Parker then has a long-range effort pushed away by Nikolay Mihaylov for good measure.

2029: And it produces Bulgaria's best chance. The ball flashes across goal and Joe Hart has to make a brilliant instinctive save to push the ball away.

2028: Better by Bulgaria as Zhivko Milanov gets forward down the right and bends over a dangerous cross that is dealt with by Chris Smalling at the far post. That's a corner.

2026: More great opportunities for Wales. Steve Morison runs clean through at goal but Mladen Bozovic comes out to deny him. Then Gareth Bale's corner causes havoc in the visitors' box and another Wales effort is cleared off the line.

2025: Bulgaria have the first sniff of goal in the second half. Ivan Ivanov jumps highest to get on the end of a hoisted free-kick from the right but his header flies well over.

2023: It's not all good news for Wales. David Vaughan has just picked up a yellow card that means he will miss Tuesday's game with England.

2021: Serbia are well on top in Belfast now. Marko Pantelic's looping shot just clears the bar, while Dejan Stankovic and Aleksandar Kolarov have also had pops at goal in the last few minutes.

Whistle
2020: England have got the second half started in Sofia.

2018: Almost a spectacular second goal for Wales. Gareth Bale, on the right tonight, dances past a couple of defenders and slams in a shot that Mladen Bozovic has to tip over. That would have been pretty special.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Wales goal: Gary Speed's side get the reward for their encouraging start. After some nice passing down the left, David Vaughan sends over a cross that Mladen Bozovic cannot deal with and Steve Morison is in the right place to turn home his first international goal. Good news for England, that, too. As things stand they are clear at the top of Group G.

2016: GOALFLASH Wales 1-0 Montenegro (Steve Morison)

2015: Over to Dublin now, and it's been a frustrating start for Robbie Keane, now playing his football with LA Galaxy. He failed to connect with an overhead kick, then couldn't get on the end of Damien Duff's cross a few minutes later. Still 0-0.

Wales fan Chris_Wxm89 on Twitter: "Joe Allen is a much better player than Joe Ledley, get the lad on."

2012: Wales are still playing with a lot of confidence, even when Montenegro have the ball. Darcy Blake just snuffed out one attack with some really cool defending, that saw him dribble the ball out of his own area.

From Andy, a proud Wanderer, via text: "Last Bolton player to score for England was the legend Nat Lofthouse vs USSR in November 1959."

Half time
HALF-TIME Bulgaria 0-3 England
Chief football writer Phil McNulty's HT snapshot from the Vasil Levski Stadium:
"Bulgaria's fans less than impressed with that but perfect for England. Great movement taking advantage of the home side's glaring defensive weaknesses. Two goals for Wayne Rooney - and he will fancy more."

2006: Wales are still looking dangerous, and Craig Bellamy has just seen a volley saved by Montenegro keeper Mladen Bozovic.

2005: The half-time whistle has gone at the Vasil Levski Stadium. Bulgaria boss Lothar Matthaus might want to have a word with his defence at the break.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
England goal: A nicely-worked goal, this. Good work by Theo Walcott, who surges forward before feeding Ashley Young on the right... and Young sends over a low cross for his Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney who is all alone at the back post to slot home. So easy for England.

2003: GOALFLASH Bulgaria 0-3 England (Wayne Rooney)

OptaJoe on Twitter: "3 - Rooney's last three England goals have come on: 9th September 2009, 7th Sep 2010 and 2nd Sep 2011. Annual."

2002: Just one minute of added time to be played at the end of the first half in Sofia.

2000: Nabil Hassan's Euro 2012 qualifying latest: Some more full-time scores for you from around Europe. In Group F Croatia kept up the pressure on Greece with a 3-1 victory at Malta while Latvia have beaten Georgia 1-0. A late goal saw Turkey beat Kazakhstan 2-1 to boost their hopes of finishing second in Group A. Some early scores of significance, Germany lead Austria 1-0 as they move closer to becoming the first nation to qualify for the European Championship. Bosnia-Hercegovina lead Belarus 2-0 in Group D while Hungary lead Sweden 1-0 in Group E.

davehudson77 on Twitter: "England making some silly mistakes that would be punished against a better team. Good job we've got Wales next then."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1959: Serbia are getting into the game in Belfast now. Zdravko Kuzmanovic's chip is saved by keeper Lee Camp then, a minute later, Milan Jovanovic hits the cross bar with a left foot shot from 20 yards. Ominous.

1958: Wales are looking lively in Cardiff, with Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy seeing plenty of the ball down the flanks. No real chances to tell you about yet, mind.

MattStead91 on Twitter: "The much-maligned Parker/Barry pairing deserve some praise for allowing England's forward players to do damage, but they won't get it."

1957: A let-off for Chris Smalling and England when he misjudges a ball into the box and lets it go over his head. That lets Martin Petrov in but he sends the ball flashes across the face of goal and the chance is gone. The home side are still attacking, though,

1954: Martin Petrov has another shot from distance. No problems for Joe Hart. England still lead 2-0 with eight minutes left until half-time.

1953: A positive start for Northern Ireland in Belfast. Chris Baird puts Chris Brunt through but his shot is saved by Serbian keeper Bojan Jorgacevic.

1952: Scott Parker becomes the first player to be booked by Belgian (not Dutch) referee Frank De Bleeckere. He went in with his studs showing, although he did get the ball.

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "This is what I'm really pleased about - Gareth Barry and Scott Parker have given excellent protection to the back four, and Bulgaria have had to go wide and that's a lot easier to defend against."

1951: And we have started at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin too.

1949: Bulgaria don't look bad going forward, it's just a shame they cannot defend for Toffee. The home side get down the left this time and Ashley Cole has to dive to head clear when the cross comes in.

SamBorni on Twitter: "Cahill has been top notch tonight. Someone give that man a pat on the back."

Whistle
1948: And we have started in Cardiff too. Wales-Montenegro is at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight, not the Millennium Stadium.

1947: Half-an-hour gone in Bulgaria. Can I say Sofia, so good for England again? Sorry.

1946: A first scare for England. Joe Hart makes a mess of Blagoy Georgiev's driven cross from the right and gets nowhere near the ball. Luckily for him, Chris Smalling is on hand to head clear.

Whistle
1945: Northern Ireland-Serbia is under way at Windsor Park.

1944: ...this time Bulgarian goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov, whose dad Bobby (the ex-Reading keeper) knows a thing or two about hair transplants, comes out and catches the ball. A novel approach from the pink-clad keeper.

1943: Another England corner. They have scored from their last two...

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "Bulgaria came out quite brightly and put England under pressure as you would expect. Gary Cahill's goal was scrappy but Wayne Rooney scored a great header at the far post and if England keep their concentration they should be absolutely cruising."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "Dimitar Berbatov is sitting just to the right of the press box. May be asked to come out of retirement at half-time."

Tommy7Winter on Twitter: "That money Rooney paid for the hair transplant seems to be paying off."

1941: Erm, this Bulgarian defence looks a shade vulnerable, doesn't it? More goals to be had here, surely?

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
England goal: Sofia, so good for Fabio Capello's men. I was just about to say Wayne Rooney, with his new haircut, has been quiet. Not any more. His shot is deflected wide and, from the resulting corner, Rooney rises above John Terry to meet Stewart Downing's delivery and power his header into the top corner.

1938: GOALFLASH Bulgaria 0-2 England (Wayne Rooney)

1936: A sniff of goal for Bulgaria and again Martin Petrov is involved on the left-hand side of the area. He drives a shot across the face of goal, which has Joe Hart diving despite the fact it is going well wide. Petrov then berates his team-mates for not trying to get on the end of it. I suppose you can do that when your shot is so far off target it becomes a cross.

SebbieC on Twitter: "Cahill can't stop scoring! "

1933: It is still pretty scrappy stuff in Sofia, and I would hate to see the completed passing percentage from both teams. But England do look dangerous when they come forward and there is definite doubt in the Bulgarian defence when they do. More like mice than cats so far.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "1 - Gary Cahill is the first defender to score for England since Matthew Upson vs Germany at the World Cup. Marauder"

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "A fantastic start from England, it wasn't the cleanest of goals, but Gary Cahill will not care about how it went in."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "Fabio Capello was unhappy before Gary Cahill's goal and does not look much happier now, gesticulating angrily on the touchline. Messy opening exchanges but England will not be complaining now. Perfect start."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
England goal: An iffy start by England becomes a great one. The resulting corner is only half-cleared and Gareth Barry clips a diagonal ball back into the area. Gary Cahill is onside and on the end of it, chesting the ball down before prodding the ball past the onrushing keeper. Cahill's first goal for his country, on his fourth cap.

1929: GOALFLASH Bulgaria 0-1 England (Gary Cahill)

1928: More nice interplay by England, this time on the left. Ashley Young tees up Ashley Cole, and his snapshot is deflected wide.

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "That cross will do Chris Smalling the world of good. That's why he is in the side, as an overlapping full-back, and although Stewart Downing could not get on the end of it, that was good from England."

Rep of Ireland v Slovakia line-ups
Rep of Ireland:
Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Doyle, Keane. Subs: Westwood, Foley, O'Dea, Lawrence, Hunt, Keogh, Cox.
Slovakia: Mucha, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Cech, Weiss, Karhan, Stoch, Hamsik, Kucka, Holosko. Subs: Putnocky, Jez, Sestak, Vittek, Michalik, Jendrisek, Guede.
Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal)

1927: A decent run and cross by Chris Smalling down the right but it doesn't quite fall for Stewart Downing, who had charged into the box. England's best moment so far, although it does not have much competition.

1925: Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is in the stands at the Vasil Levski Stadium. Bulgaria's best player has retired from international football but it seems he is still interested how his old team-mates are getting on.

1924: Some Serbia team news for you now: Inter Milan's Dejan Stankovic wins a 99th cap in Belfast while Premier League pair Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov are named in the Serbia defence.

BBC Radio 5 live
Danny Mills at the Vasil Levski Stadium on BBC Radio 5 live: "Chris Smalling may be a little bit nervous, he needs a few touches to get into the game. I'm slightly disappointed that Wayne Rooney is up top and Ashley Young is behind him, I think Young should be furthest forward so he can stretch the game."

1923: Martin Petrov's trusty left foot is seeing lots of the ball at the moment and he has just had the first shot of the match, blasting a mile over from about 30 yards out. Just before then, Blagoy Georgiev went down on the edge of the area under challenge from Scott Parker, but Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere was unimpressed.

1921: England are yet to settle. Scott Parker pumps a hopeful ball over the top but it is too strong for Ashley Young.

Northern Ireland v Serbia line-ups
Northern Ireland:
Camp, McAuley, Cathcart, Hughes, Jonathan Evans, Baird, Corry Evans, Davis, McCann, Brunt, Healy. Subs: Taylor, McGivern, Hodson, Feeney, McQuoid, McGinn, Gorman.
Serbia: Jorgacevic, Rajkovic, Ivanovic, Subotic, Kolarov, Zoran Tosic, Stankovic, Ninkovic, Kuzmanovic, Jovanovic, Pantelic. Subs: Kahriman, Dusko Tosic, Bisevac, Fejsa, Ljajic, Petrovic, Despotovic.
Referee: Thomas Einwaller (Austria)

1919: Stuart Downing's first attempt to run down the left is ended abruptly and is Bulgaria who are having the best of the early possession. The home side are spraying it around nicely and their fans are lively too.

Whistle
1916: Here we go in Sofia. England are wearing their new navy blue away shirts, with sky-blue shorts. So an unfamiliar kit too.

Wales v Montenegro line-ups
Wales:
Hennessey, Gunter, Blake, Williams, Taylor, Ledley, Ramsey, Vaughan, Bale, Morison, Bellamy. Subs: Myhill, Danny Collins, Matthews, Allen, Crofts, Robson-Kanu, Earnshaw.
Montenegro: Mladen Bozovic, Balic, Batak, Savic, Zverotic, Vukcevic, Pekovic, Drincic, Jovetic, Djalovic, Vucinic. Subs: Blazic, Jovanovic, Kascelan, Novakovic, Damjanovic, Vladimir Bozovic, Delibasic.
Referee: Luca Banti (Italy)

WALES v MONTENEGRO TEAM NEWS
Bruce Pope reports: "Manager Gary Speed has pulled a selection surprise at the Cardiff City Stadium as Wales seek their first points in Group G, as Danny Gabbidon does not even make the bench after being replaced by Cardiff youngster Darcy Blake at centre-back. West Ham youngster Jack Collison has failed to recover from his illness and also doesn't make the squad against Montenegro."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "Flare goes off at one end of the Vasil Levski Stadium. Smoke drifts across the pitch as the teams come out."

1913: National anthem time. That means kick-off in Sofia is just a couple of minutes away.

1912: The players emerge from the tunnel at Vasil Levski Stadium. Quite an intimidating atmosphere by the looks of things.

1910: A dodgy pitch and an unfamiliar line-up. Their last warm-up game cancelled too. But England are still heavy favourites to beat Bulgaria tonight, right?

kjohnsob on Twitter: "Not sure about Ashley Young playing through the middle."

nickdouglas_ on Twitter: "Chris Smalling has been outstanding for United at right-back this season so far, I expect he'll he great for England!"

1906: Nabil Hassan's Euro 2012 qualifying latest (this one's a bit shorter than the last one, thankfully): Some results to bring you from today's earlier kick offs. In Group B (Republic of Ireland's group), Russia went top outright with a 1-0 win over Macedonia while Andorra suffered their 37th consecutive defeat in European Championship qualifying matches, beaten 3-0 by Armenia. Finland thumped Moldova 4-1 In Group E but qualifying still looks at out of reach for them. Meanwhile in Group A, Belgium drew 1-1 with Azerbaijan to give Turkey hope of replacing them in second place.

1905: They are watering the pitch in Sofia. Might be a bit late for that...

1903: Speaking of Matthaus, here's some Bulgaria team news. They have named a more attacking side compared to their last competitive fixture - a 1-1 draw in Montenegro. Forwards Blagoy Georgiev and Tsvetan Genkov come into the side while Zhivko Milanov replaces Stanislav Manolev in defence. And some Slovakia info too: Their skipper and star player, Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik, starts despite concerns over a knee injury.

1901: Hmmm, I wish I could be in the Bulgaria dressing room when Lothar Matthaus explains he wants his side to play like cats, not mice...

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND v SLOVAKIA TEAM NEWS
John Haughey reports: "Shane Long's withdrawal from the Republic line-up because of a calf strain means that Kevin Doyle will partner Robbie Keane in attack. Kevin Kilbane's run of 66 straight competitive appearances for the Irish comes to an end because of injury so Wolves' Stephen Ward will start at left-back."

ministanners on Twitter: "On what planet is Chris Smalling a better RB than Micah Richards? "

samcandlin on Twitter: "Young out of position and Barry over Lampard. Did Capello pick names out of a hat for this starting line up?"

Bulgaria v England line-ups
Bulgaria:
Mihailov, Zanev, Bodurov, Milanov, Bandalovski, Ivanov, Georgiev, Martin Petrov, Stiliyan Petrov, Popov, Genkov. Subs: Vladislav Stoyanov, Iliev, Marquinhos, Sarmov, Raykov, Kostadin Stoyanov, Kostadin Stoyanov, Bozhilov.
England: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Walcott, Parker, Barry, Downing, Young, Rooney. Subs: Stockdale, Jagielka, Baines, Milner, Lampard, Johnson, Defoe.
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

1853: That Wales team looks short of dedicated centre-backs to me. Ashley Williams is one, not sure who the other will be? Looks a very attacking team by Gary Speed, but will Darcy Blake, Chris Gunter or Neil Taylor play in the centre of defence alongside Williams?

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at the Vasil Levski Stadium: "Team-sheet: Stewart Downing/Everton F.C. - quite the cloak and dagger move by David Moyes that one."

1851: BREAKING WALES TEAM NEWS TO FACE MONTENEGRO AT CARDIFF CITY STADIUM: Cardiff defender Darcy Blake and Swansea full-back Neil Taylor join Craig Bellamy, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale in Gary Speed's starting XI. Norwich's Steve Morison gets the nod over Rob Earnshaw up front. The full team will be with you in a tick.

1847: Bulgaria boss Lothar Matthaus, Germany's World Cup-winning captain at Italia 90, on his side's approach tonight: "I want my players to be like Germans. They know they will play against England and have to show all the best they are capable of. It is important to control the play without fear, to press the opponent and not to be a mouse which runs from the cat."

OptaJoe on Twitter: "50% - Since the 1998 WC, only Ben Foster (60%) has lost a higher % of his games for England than Scott Parker (min 5 games). Jinx."

MichaelMorrow93 on Twitter: "Gutting news about Clingan, McCourt and especially Lafferty. Brunt and Davis need huge games if NI are gonna get a win tonight."

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND v SLOVAKIA (Group B, 1945 BST)
John Haughey reports: "The Republic of Ireland begin a four-day period which is likely to have a crucial bearing on their hopes of reaching Euro 2012 with Friday's home game against Slovakia. Victory for the Giovanni Trapattoni's Irish would set them up perfectly for Tuesday's contest in Moscow against the Russians. The Republic are level at the top of Group B with Slovakia and Russia, who are facing Macedonia on Friday evening. The Slovakians defeated Italy in last year's World Cup finals and are likely to present the Irish with a stern test at the Aviva Stadium."

BULGARIA v ENGLAND TEAM NEWS
Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from the Vasil Levski Stadium:
"Out with the old and in with the new for England. Frank Lampard, with 86 England caps to his name, loses out to Scott Parker in midfield while Manchester United's Chris Smalling makes his debut at right-back. Gary Cahill, as expected, gets in ahead of Phil Jones alongside John Terry. Ashley Young is likely to play just behind his Old Trafford team-mate Wayne Rooney. Both of Bulgaria's Premier League stars, Martin Petrov of Bolton and Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov, start."



1839: NORTHERN IRELAND TEAM TO FACE SERBIA IN BELFAST:
Northern Ireland: Camp, Cathcart, J Evans, Hughes, McAuley, Baird, Davis, C Evans, McCann, Healy, Brunt.

NORTHEN IRELAND v SERBIA TEAM NEWS
Alvin McCaig reports: "Sammy Clingan is a late withdrawal because of illness and his place in the Northern Ireland midfield is filled by Corey Evans. Kyle Lafferty and Pat McCourt are ruled out with calf injuries so David Healy and Chris Brunt start in attack. Serbia are without Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, also a victim of a calf injury."

1836: Nabil Hassan will be bringing you updates from around the groups this evening, and here's his first missive (take a deep breath because it's a long un): Germany could become the first country to qualify for the 2012 European Championship if they beat Austria in Group A. In Group B, Republic of Ireland's group, Russia - who are in a three-way tie at the top of the table - take on Macedonia in what could be a vital match. Italy could further cement their place at the top of Group C while Northern Ireland will hope that second-paced Slovenia slip up against Estonia. Second meets third in Group D as Belarus host Bosnia-Hercegovina with the pair chasing leaders Italy - who themselves travel to the Faroe Islands. Holland - who top Group E - host whipping boys San Marino but second meets third with Sweden travelling to Hungary. Greece have already beaten Israel to cement their place at the top of Group F but second-placed Croatia could keep up the pressure with victory at Malta. Portugal, Denmark and Norway all have 10 points at the top of Group H. Portugal travel to Cyprus while Norway host Iceland. Denmark are not in action. In Group I, Lithuania drew 0-0 Liechtenstein but still moved above Scotland into third place, while leaders Spain play Chile in a friendly later.

1834: Tonight's games are the reverse fixtures from the opening qualifiers played in September 2010, when England were recovering from their World Cup hangover and John Toshack was still Wales boss. Seems a long time ago, doesn't it? Anyway, this is what happened: England battered Bulgaria 4-0, Northern Ireland suffered a 2-1 setback in Serbia and Wales were out for the count after a 1-0 defeat in Montenegro.

1830: A bit of other football news for you now. How's about this for a U-Turn, as Manchester City's Argentine striker Carlos Tevez tells reporters in Buenos Aires: "I'm happy at City and I'm not moving from there." And he also admitted to "clashes with (his manager Roberto) Mancini in every language but it's a love-hate relationship". Looks like it's the love half at the minute...

1826: I'm hearing a lot of chat about how bad the pitch is in Sofia. It can't be as bad as Wembley was a couple of years ago, surely?

Jaypurcell1 on Twitter: "Seriously, Barry instead of Lampard? Capello is cuckoo."

chr1s_harv3y on Twitter: "Glad to see Fabio using players that are in from and the young uns like Downing and Smalling."

joshwaa_eagle on Twitter: "Bit disappointed to see Barry still starting. Would have liked to have seen Cleverly or Milner starting."

1822: Thoughts on that England team, folks? Frank Lampard has been left out of the starting line-up for a competitive international for the first time since a 2-1 defeat by Russia in September 2007. Scott Parker and Gareth Barry get the nod instead. Barry started that game in Moscow too.

1819: Here's a quick summary of how things are shaping up for the home nations and the Republic of Ireland. England need a win to be sure of staying top of Group H but rock-bottom Wales could do Fabio Capello's men a big favour by taking anything off Montenegro. Northern Ireland are badly in need of a win over Serbia to keep alive their hopes of finishing second in Group C behind Italy and it is crunch-time for the Republic against fellow Group B pacesetters Slovakia in Dublin.

1816: Feeling left out Scotland? Don't be. Here's Craig Levein's team to face the Czech Republic in Group I at Hampden on Saturday: McGregor, Hutton, Caldwell, Berra, Bardsley, Naismith, Fletcher, Adam, Brown, Morrison, Miller. Oh, and Celtic are back in the Europa League too. Happy now?

NORTHEN IRELAND v SERBIA (Group C, 1945 BST)
Alvin McCaig reports: "It's hotting up in Group C with Northern Ireland and Serbia locked in a four-way battle for the play-off spot. Nigel Worthington's team suffered their only defeat in the qualifiers against the Serbs but third-placed Northern Ireland go into the Belfast clash with a one point lead over the visitors. Serbia may have the star players but they will be without support at Windsor Park after their fans were banned from travelling to away games in the wake of violence at October's abandoned qualifier against runaway leaders Italy in Genoa."

1812: Plenty of chat needed from you lot tonight too. I don't care whether you're from Warsaw or Walsall, Kiev or Kilmarnock, just get in touch. I'm Chris Bevan, and you can tweet me at @chrisbevan_bbc (using the hashtag #BBCFootball please). Or feel free to text me via 81111 (UK) instead.

BULGARIA v ENGLAND (GROUP G, 1915 BST)
Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports from the Vasil Levski Stadium:
"England aim to make amends for dropping two points at Wembley against Switzerland in their last Euro 2012 qualifier in the steamy heat of Sofia. Fabio Capello's side need victory to keep Montenegro at bay before the potentially hazardous trip to Podgorica next month. They will be confronted by an old adversary in the shape of Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaus, the former Germany captain who is struggling to capture the imagination of the nation. This game will be played in front of plenty of empty seats."

1809: BREAKING ENGLAND TEAM NEWS TO FACE BULGARIA IN SOFIA:
England: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Walcott, Parker, Barry, Downing; Young, Rooney. Frank Lampard is left out.

1805: What's happening tonight? Plenty. Twenty two ties in all, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland the home nations in action. And big games for the Republic of Ireland and Germany, among others too. One game has already been played - Greece beat Israel 1-0 to move four points clear in Group F, and they remain one of seven teams unbeaten in qualifying.

1802: Hello. Care to join me as we get back on the road to Euro 2012? There are 220 days left until the European Championship starts in Warsaw on 8 June and this is quite a big one - at the end of it we might have a better idea of who might be joining hosts Ukraine and Poland at the finals.


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see also
Football on the BBC
10 Aug 11 |  separator
Euro 2012 qualifying tables
07 Sep 11 |  Football


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