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Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 17:50 UK

Euro 2012 qualifiers as they happened


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By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport

2216: And that's a wrap from me. Thanks for keeping me company on what was an eventful old night, full of twists and turns - and David Silva provided enough of those on his own. I've been Chris Bevan and you've been great. Keep across the BBC Sport website on Thursday for the Euro 2012 play-off draw, and I'll see you again on Saturday when the Premier League resumes. Yes, I've missed it too. Cheerio for now though.

Scotland boss Craig Levein after seeing his side miss out on a Euro 2012 play-off spot: "I'd like to have more games before we start qualifying because we didn't hit our stride until after the first round of games. I think we improved in every match. I think we're heading places."

Full time
FULL-TIME Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
Richard Petrie reports: "Italy showed their class to dominate the second half but Northern Ireland's young, understrength team is not disgraced. Four consecutive defeats represents a disastrous end to the qualifying campaign for departing manager Nigel Worthington."

Full time
FULL-TIME Bulgaria 0-1 Wales
Dewi Hughes reports: "Wales celebrate their first back-to-back victories in competitive matches for six years, avoiding bottom spot in Group G in the process. They can now look ahead with confidence for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers having finished this campaign with three wins from their last four games."

Full time
FULL-TIME Republic of Ireland 2-1 Armenia
John Haughey reports: "The Republic safely secure their place in Thursday's play-off draw as Valeri Aleksanyan's own goal and Richard Dunne's scrappy second-half strike earn a 2-1 win over an unlucky Armenian side on a nervy night in Dublin."

Full time
FULL-TIME Spain 3-1 Scotland
Annie McGuire reports: "Inevitably the questions over the future of Craig Levein have started already, but tonight was a mismatch in terms of ability. Scotland's campaign was undone elsewhere with poor results against lesser teams but this didn't help."

2206: So, a good night for Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Not so good for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Here's a reminder of how they all got on...

infostradaLive on Twitter: "Eight of the nine qualifying groups have been won by former European champions - England are the exception. The only former European champions that have not qualified yet are Czech Republic. They go to the playoffs."

2156: Eight nations will be in the draw for the play-offs, to take place at Thursday lunchtime. They are: Turkey (A), Republic of Ireland (B), Estonia (C), Bosnia-Herzegovina (D), Croatia (F), Montenegro (G), Portugal (H) and Czech Republic (I). Some good teams in the mix there. Only Montenegro were definitely in the play-offs before tonight, although Bosnia, Croatia and Portugal all knew they were guaranteed to finish in the top two.

2154: Right then, that was the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012. Twelve teams are now in the finals: Ukraine (co-hosts), Poland (co-hosts), Germany (Group A winners), Russia (B), Italy (C), France (D), Netherlands (E), Sweden (E best runners-up), Greece (F), England (G), Denmark (H) and Spain (I). Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Greece all sealed their places tonight.

Champagne moment
2151: It is all over in Paris, where France have held on to draw 1-1 with Bosnia-Hercegovina and finish top of Group D. Bosnia are into the play-offs.

From James in Glasgow, via text: "Very impressed with Craig Mackail-Smith. Did more than we could ever have expected from the 'hero' Kenny Miller."

From anonymous Scotland fan, via text: "I don't get the praise for Levein. You know, Berti Vogts blooded a load of good young players as well, and at least HE got us to a European play-off."

Scotland forward Steven Naismith after his side's defeat by Spain which meant they missed out on Euro 2012 play-off place: "Sometimes it's simply the other team are unplayable. We could have defended better but they are a world class side. We tried to get forward as much as we could but when they have a lot of possession you can't do that. They'll carve you open. Over the two games against Spain we've fared quite well."

Champagne moment
2142: Nemanja Vidic can put his feet up next summer as Serbia fail to beat Slovenia, meaning that Estonia nick the play-off spot in Group C behind group winners Italy. It wasn't a good night for the Manchester United defender, as he missed a second half penalty. That means the only undecided issue is in Group D, where Bosnia need a goal. Badly.

BBC Radio 5 live's Nigel Adderley in Sofia on Twitter: "Bulgarian coach having a massive rant in the press conference. Sadly, we don't have a translator..."

henry_tg on Twitter: "Good effort by Scotland, but Spain just too strong."

2137: A HUGE goal in Group D, where France have levelled against Bosnia-Hercegovina thanks to Samir Nasri's penalty with 12 minutes to go. If the score stays the same, the French will progress as group winners.

2135: FULL-TIME Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland

Champagne moment
2134: Just to confirm that, while Scotland were being outclassed by the world champions, who had already made sure of their place in Poland and Ukraine, the Czech Republic beat Lithuania 4-1 to claim second spot in Group I behind Spain and overhaul Craig Levein's side in the battle for a play-off spot.

2133: FULL-TIME Spain 3-1 Scotland

2130: Pedro's turn to dance through the Scotland defence, turning into space then cutting inside and, ultimately, seeing his shot fly over. Scotland are getting frustrated, something which is best illustrated by Gary Caldwell clattering Gerard Pique next to his own corner flag.

natwals on Twitter: "Anybody else think Wales and Scotland are gradually getting better and England slipping?"

2128: Spain go close to number four, with Santi Cazorla rounding off a swift break forward by dinking the ball over the onrushing Allan McGregor and, just, over the bar too. Unlucky.

2127: Time is running out for Serbia in Group C, who must overturn a 1-0 deficit against Slovenia in order to grab a play-off place instead of Estonia. They are currently in second place behind group winners Italy.

2125: Spain's best effort for a while. Fernando Llorente twists Christophe Berra inside out and fires a shot straight down the throat of Allan McGregor at his near post. A final change for Scotland follows shortly afterwards, and sees Darren Fletcher replaced by Don Cowie.

cooliobarrio on Twitter: "Mackail-Smith just not international class in my opinion. Scotland needed a fit Kenny Miller to have a chance here."

JamieSnailham on Twitter: "Fantastic win for Wales, surely shoot up the world rankings now? Bring on Scotland & co. in the World Cup qualifiers! Believe..."

Italy goal: Things just got worse for Nigel Worthington. Andrea Pirlo, who has been pulling the strings all night for Italy, chips a ball into the path of left back Federico Balzaretti, who squares the ball into the box and West Brom defender Gareth McAuley bundles the ball into his own net.

2221: Spain are still looking extremely comfortable but Scotland keep creating chances. They are almost in again, when James Morrison tries to play in David Goodwillie, but Alvaro Arbeloa is across to intercept. We are into the last 10 minutes in Alicante.

2120: GOALFLASH Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland (Gareth McAuley og)

jpa1991 on Twitter: "Scotland playing well considering the opposition. Craig Levein's done a good job"

Champagne moment
2116: And that win, which denied the Dutch a 100% record in qualifying, means Sweden definitely go to the finals as best runners-up.

Champagne moment
2114: Denmark have qualified for Euro 2012 from Group H after beating Portugal 2-1. In Group E, Sweden have handed the Netherlands their first Euro 2012 qualifier defeat after beating them 3-2.

2112: Another Scotland chance. David Goodwillie charges on to an Alan Hutton flick and he only needs to pull it back for Craig Mackail-Smith to sweep it in. Sadly for the Scots, Goodwillie goes for goal, lashing a wild shot high and wide.

2111: Jonny Gorman swings in a cross from the left, which is missed by Giorgio Chiellini and falls at the feet of substitute Warren Feeney. He has time to pick his spot, but blazes high over the bar from 10 yards out.

2110: I tell you what, another Scotland goal would make this interesting. Christophe Berra heads a corner back across goal and Craig Mackail-Smith is only just unable to get on the end of it.

2109: If you believe in miracles, you will be interested to know that Scotland have 22 minutes to score three more goals and clinch a play-off place. It's not going to happen, though. Is it?

Scotland goal: The comeback starts here? Well, maybe. Craig Mackail-Smith, who has done so much running tonight, is first to a loose ball in the box and is sent tumbling by Victor Valdes after poking the ball past him. David Goodwillie, who cannot have touched the ball since coming on, tells his captain Darren Fletcher that he wants to take it, and does not disappoint, throwing in a John Aldridge-style shuffle before calmly lifting the ball into the net.

2107: GOALFLASH Spain 3-1 Scotland (David Goodwillie)


2104: Changes afoot from Spain and Scotland. The home side replace Xavi with Fernando Llorente, after it initially looked like David Villa was on his way off. For Scotland, David Goodwillie is on for Barry Bannan and James Forrest replaces Charlie Adam.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson in Alicante:"I'm not sure how the Scottish press will respond to this result but I don't think any side in the world could have lived with this tonight. It's the simplicity of Spain's football which is staggering. Any time a man in a red shirt gets on the ball there are four or five options available to him."

Italy goal: A draw looks a long way off for Nigel Worthington now after Antonio Cassano scores his second goal of the night and his sixth of this qualifying campaign. He latches on to an Alberto Aquilani pass and buries a crisp shot past Maik Taylor into the bottom corner of the net. Nice finish.

2100: Half an hour left for Scotland to salvage something from their trip to Spain. They are not going to win, but a goal would be nice. Can they get one? Barry Bannan has a pop when a corner isn't cleared but he shoots straight at Victor Valdes.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson in Alicante:"It's been a masterclass from Spain. The patience of the man on the ball is just fantastic."

2058: A change for Spain. David Silva is off, after a breathtaking display and Thiago Alcantara is on instead. He's the son of Mazinho, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994.

2057: GOALFLASH Italy 2-0 Northern Ireland (Antonio Cassano)

Spain goal: Scotland can officically forget about Euro 2012. With the Czech Republic leading 3-0 in Lithuania, Spain are now out of sight in Alicante. Another beautiful build-up ends when David Silva, again, slips the ball to David Villa on the left of the area and he buries his shot into the bottom corner.

2055: FULL-TIME Bulgaria 0-1 Wales

2055: GOALFLASH Spain 3-0 Scotland (David Villa)

2053: Another chance for Italy, with Alberto Aquliani taking aim from about 25 yards out. Plenty of power in his shot, but it is straight at Northern Ireland keeper Maik Taylor.

BBC Radio 5 live's Nigel Adderley in Sofia on Twitter: "Wales will finish fourth in Group G as Switzerland lead Montenegro 2-0."

Republic of Ireland striker Simon Cox after helping his side beat Armenia to clinch a play-off place: "What an unbelievable night for Irish football. We played like heroes tonight. We've got what we wanted in the end. It's the luck of the draw and we'll take anyone now."

2049: Italy and Northern Ireland get the second half started. It would be nice if Nigel Worthington could go out on a high by snatching a draw.

2048: A great chance for Bulgaria to equalise against Wales.... is wasted. Valeri Bozhinov pokes wide when put through by a lovely ball from Spas Delev. Frustration for both the Bulgarian fans who are at that game, and a let-off for Gary Speed's side, who lead 1-0 with only a couple of minutes left.

2047: Anyone for an upset? Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has given Bosnia-Hercegovina a 1-0 lead against France in Paris, in what is effectively a shootout for top spot in Group D. Who fancies France versus Republic of Ireland in the play-offs if that score stays the same? Would be tasty, wouldn't it? Meanwhile, in Group H, Sunderland's Nicklas Bendtner has put Denmark 2-0 up against Portugal. If it stays like that the Danes will qualify automatically.

2046: We are back under way in Alicante. Spain have brought on Alvaro Arbeloa for Carles Puyol.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish on BBC Two"Scotland need an absolute miracle. They've worked really hard but they don't have a player that can make a difference and Spain have an abundance of them."

2044: Is there anyway back for Scotland against Spain's second XI. I can't see it myself but let me know if you do. Perhaps let Craig Levein know how it might happen too. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK). Don't be shy.

Half time
Spain 2-0 Scotland
Annie McGuire's HT snapshot: "Scotland are out-classed, out-passed, out-run and very probably out of Euro 2012. It's only half-time but thoughts are already turning to World Cup qualification."

InfostradLive on Twitter: "Spain have never conceded more than two goals in a competitive match at home, which would force Scotland to perform a first if they want to win tonight."

2041: More from Group C, where the battle is on to follow Italy to the finals. Serbia are 1-0 down to Slovenia in a game they need to win to overhaul Estonia, who are a point ahead of them in second place and have a superior head-to-head record.

Half time
Italy 1-0 Northern Ireland
Richard Petrie's HT snapshot: "Predictably, Italy have the better of the first half but Northern Ireland are hanging in there and have created a few chances of their own. Uninspiring stuff on the whole - pretty evident that there is not much at stake."

Champagne moment
2038: It was far from straightforward, but Republic of Ireland are into the play-offs for Euro 2012 after beating Armenia in a game that had two red cards and one ridiculous goal. Russia are still playing Andorra but are leading 6-0 with only seconds left and they will go to Ukraine and Poland as winners of Group B.

2038: FULL-TIME Republic of Ireland 2-1 Armenia

OptaJoe on Twitter: "8 - Eight of Spain's 10 outfield players created a goalscoring chance for one of their teammates in the first half v Scotland. Teamwork."

2034: Four minutes of added time to be played in Dublin, where Shay Given has just pushed away an Edgar Manucharyan snap-shot. This is decent pressure by Armenia, but they still need to score twice to nick the Republic's play-off place.

2033: HALF-TIME Italy 1-0 Northern Ireland

2032: Three goals in three minutes makes an interesting opening to the second half as Sweden lead the Netherlands 3-2 in Group E. It was 1-1 at half-time but Dirk Kuyt put the Dutch in front before Sebastian Larsson and Ola Toivonen re-established the Swedes advantage. The Dutch are already through of course, but the Swedes need to win to have any chance of going through as best runners-up.

2032: HALF-TIME Spain 2-0 Scotland

Spain goal: One word: wow. More mesmeric play by David Silva, who starts and finishes this move, cutting in from the right and exchanging passes with Pedro before bending his shot into the bottom corner. Silva was like a ballet dancer there, gliding through the Scotland defence. Craig Levein's side will need to score at least three in the second half to have any chance.

2029: GOALFLASH Spain 2-0 Scotland (David Silva)

Red card
Republic red card: Harsh. Very harsh. But the Republic of Ireland are also down to 10 men when Kevin Doyle picks up his second yellow card, supposedly for leading with his elbow as he leaps for a high ball. Didn't look like a booking to me. Five minutes left in Dublin.

fossumsthedog on Twitter: "Silva is an extremely good player but if he's the best player in the world, I'm a chipmunk made of marzipan."

frazermccoll on Twitter: "Praying and it's not even half time. Come on Scotland!"

2026: A great save this, from Allan McGregor to keep Scotland's hopes alive. David Silva is again at the heart of Spain's thrust forward, feeding Santi Cazorla. He rather drags his shot but it is heading for the bottom corner before McGregor sticks out a paw to push it around the post.

2025: Better from Scotland, much better. James Morrison gets down the left and makes space for a cross with Barry Bannan waiting unmarked at the back post. This would be a great chance, if Morrison hadn't got his cross all wrong and scooped it straight out of play. A real waste. Five minutes to go until the break, and Spain lead 1-0 in a game the Scots now have to win.

2024: RED CARD Republic of Ireland's Kevin Doyle

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson in Alicante:"Scotland's other problem is if you're going to play 30 or 40-yard passes, like they have been doing, they have to be perfect, otherwise all you're doing is giving possession straight back to Spain."

2022: Not much of a response from Northern Ireland so far. In fact, Italy are pressing for a second goal with Sebastian Giovinco tricking his way into space as he cuts inside before flashing a left-footed shot just over the bar.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2021: Almost a superb second goal for Wales. Almost. Aaron Ramsey juggles the ball on the edge of the area before teeing up Gareth Bale to slam in a delicious volley, which hits the bar and bounces down on to the line. That would have been very special.

2019: Scotland are not just defending, mind. Darren Fletcher gets on the end of a flick-on inside the area and gets plenty of power behind his first-time shot, but sees the ball fly over. It wasn't that far away, mind.

2018: Nice play from Wales who string a decent passing move together down the right, but after Aaron Ramsey's lay-off, Craig Bellamy shoots over from the edge of the area. We have not seen much from managerless Bulgaria, who unsurprisingly look a bit rudderless too.

Yellow card
2017: News from Dublin, where Kevin Doyle was booked for a clumsy challenge and will miss the first leg of the play-off, should the Republic make it of course. That still looks likely - they lead 10-man Armenia 2-1 with about 15 minutes left.

From Martin in Edinburgh, via text: "Scotland have scored twice against Spain and will do it again tonight. Come on Scotland!"

Hicks1905 on Twitter: "David Silva is the best player on the planet at the moment, including Leo Messi."

Italy goal: It was always going to be a big ask for Nigel Worthington to sign off as Northern Ireland boss with a win. It just got bigger. Antonio Cassano scores his eighth goal for Italy with fantastic volley after being picked out by a pin-point pass from Daniele De Rossi. Cassano peels away from Ryan McGivern, lets the ball drop over his shoulder and lashes in a superb opener.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson in Alicante:"At the moment the biggest problem for Craig Levein and his side is the movement of David Silva. He drops off the defenders and gets so much space and they have to do something about it. At the moment Scotland must feel like they're playing against ghosts."

2012: It looks like Scotland will need to beat Spain, because the Czech Republic now lead Lithuania 2-0 thanks to Jan Rezek's goal. No sign of Spain taking their foot off the gas just yet, though.

2011: GOALFLASH Italy 1-0 Northern Ireland (Antonio Cassano)

2010: Northern Ireland are doing their best to contain Italy, who are creating all the chances. Tricky forward Sebastian Giovinco has a shot saved by goalkeeper Maik Taylor and Juventus centre back Giorgio Chiellini should give the Azzurri the lead, but fails to get his header on target from two-yards out.

Champagne moment
2009: Belgium's Premier League pair Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini have next summer off as their country misses out on qualification after a 3-1 defeat to Germany. Turkey grabbed second place in Group A after Burak Yilmaz's solitary goal helped them beat Azerbaijan. Incidentally, the Germans have qualified with a perfect record - 10 wins out of 10.

Welshguy1978 on Twitter: "Love how Wales are looking for 3 wins in a row and are still 90th in the World. Well done Fifa rankings."

2008: Wales are back under way in Sofia.

Armenia goal: Maybe a play-off place is not in the bag for Republic of Ireland just yet. The ball is played back to Henrik Mkhitaryan by Yura Movsisyan, and his firm right-foot shot beats Shay Given as it flies into the bottom corner. Slack marking gave him the shooting chance, though.

2007: GOALFLASH Republic of Ireland 2-1 Armenia (Henrik Mkhitaryan)

Republic goal: Arsen Petrosyan has not exactly looked convincing since coming off the bench to replace Armenia's red-carded keeper Roman Berezovski and he makes a right mess of Aiden McGeady's cross to allow Richard Dunne to bundle the ball over the line from close range.

2004: GOALFLASH Republic of Ireland 2-0 Armenia (Richard Dunne)

2003: One way traffic in Dublin and Alicante right now. Both home sides are on top too, with the Republic of Ireland and Spain dominating.

Daveycooke on Twitter: "Scotland losing but if they play from now without fear then they should get a point from this game!"

saltneytoffee on Twitter: "Greece through to #euro2012. I wonder if they can repeat 2004. How they managed to win that I will never know."

Champagne moment
2001: Greece become the eighth team to qualify for Euro 2012 after beating Georgia 2-1 to top Group F. They left it late but goals from Giorgos Fotakis and Angelos Charisteas means Croatia will have to face a play-off to join them in Poland and Ukraine.

1959: Scotland's best - or only - attack so far saw Steven Naismith get on the end of Barry Bannan's cross shortly before that Santi Cazorla shot, but he could not direct the ball on target. David Silva is controlling play at the moment, something we have become accustomed to in the Premier League this season.

1957: Santi Cazorla brings a diving save from Allan McGregor as Spain come forward again. In Dublin, Keith Andrews has just gone within a couple of yards of doubling the Republic of Ireland's lead.

Half time
Bulgaria 0-1 Wales
Dewi Hughes' HT snapshot: "Wales just about deserve their advantage on the balance of play. It's no classic by any stretch of the imagination, and the Bulgarians have shown little to suggest they have the heart for a second-half revival."

1956: Turkey are now 1-0 up against Azerbaijan, meaning that their second-place spot in Group A behind Germany looks almost assured. Even if they draw, the Turks will go through via a better head-to-head record with Belgium, who now trail Germany 3-1. Sorry about the mix-up with that earlier.

Spain goal: Disaster for Scotland, who have barely touched the ball. David Silva's first-time shot beats Allan McGregor at his near post after another neat passing move - it went under the keeper. It gets even worse for Craig Levein's men too, because the Czech Republic have taken the lead in Lithuania. As things stand, they are second in Group I.

1953: HALF-TIME Bulgaria 0-1 Wales

1952: GOALFLASH Spain 1-0 Scotland (David Silva)

Wales goal: On the stroke of half-time, Wales are ahead. Gareth Bale latches on to Chris Gunter's pass down the right, cuts inside and his shot nicks off Ivan Ivanov and spins into the net. It took quite a big deflection to be honest.

1950: GOALFLASH Bulgaria 0-1 Wales (Gareth Bale)

1949: Northern Ireland are under way in Italy, in Nigel Worthington's last game in charge. In Dublin, the Republic and Armenia have just started the second half.

jeetpadaruth on Twitter: "I genuinely believe Scotland have a big chance of taking at least a point. The midfield trio will be key."

1947: Speaking of twists and turns, Greece have completed a superb turnaround to score twice in the space of six minutes to lead Georgia 2-1. If they can hold on in the last few minutes they will win Group F at the expense of Croatia.

1946: In case you've forgotten, Spain like to keep hold of the ball. They have done a LOT of passing in the first couple of minutes. Scotland are struggling to get near it.

1945: Spain get us started.

1945: In the Group H decider, Denmark have taken a crucial 1-0 lead over Portugal via Michael Krohn-Delhi. The winner of that game will qualify automatically. Meanwhile, Sweden are 1-0 up against already qualified Netherlands thanks to Kim Kallstrom's opener. The Swedes are already guaranteed second place in Group E but can qualify for the best runners-up spot.

1943: We have had the anthems in Alicante, where Spain and Scotland are about to get under way. This Spanish side is missing a few stars but still looks very strong to me.

Half time
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Armenia
John Haughey's HT snapshot: "High drama at the Aviva Stadium with red cards and strange own goals. The Republic lead but a few more twists and turns to come methinks."

Italy v Northern Ireland line-ups
Buffon, Cassani, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti, Montolivo, De Rossi, Pirlo, Aquilani, Giovinco, Cassano. Subs: De Sanctis, Maggio, Cigarini, Osvaldo, Astori, Rossi, Nocerino.
Northern Ireland: Taylor, Hodson, Baird, McAuley, McGivern, Little, Norwood, Evans, Gorman, Davis, Healy. Subs: Mannus, McLaughlin, Feeney, McCourt, McGinn.
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Valencia)

Spain v Scotland line-ups
Valdes, Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Silva, Santi Cazorla, Villa, Pedro. Subs: Casillas, Javi Martinez, Torres, Mata, Arbeloa, Llorente, Thiago.
Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Berra, Caldwell, Bardsley, Morrison, Fletcher, Adam, Bannan, Mackail-Smith, Naismith. Subs: Marshall, Whittaker, Cowie, Robson, Forrest, Goodwillie, McManus.
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (Sweden)

BBC Radio 5 live's Nigel Adderley in Sofia on Twitter: "Lack of atmosphere contributing to a rather flat game. Wales' passing has been patchy but they still look the more likely scorers."

1936: Wales are under a bit of pressure from the Bulgarians down the flanks but Darcy Blake and his fellow Wales defenders are remaining firm despite a few decent crosses by the hosts. The Welsh fans are in good voice in the almost empty stands. They don't have much competition, to be honest.

Half time
1935: HALF-TIME Republic of Ireland 1-0 Armenia

1934: In Group F it's advantage Croatia as they have taken a 2-0 lead over Latvia through goals by Eduardo and Mario Mandzukic. That means if Greece remain 1-0 down to Georgia it is the Croats who qualify automatically.

1932: Give this page a manual refresh and you will be able to watch Spain v Scotland right here on this page (if you're in the UK). Back in Dublin, and Armenian's substitute keeper Arsen Petrosyan is doing his best to get sent off too, handling the ball as he comes sliding out of his area. This could get ridiculous, but this time he is only shown yellow.

Republic goal: The red card was strange but this is just plain bizarre. Kevin Doyle fails to convert Damien Duff's cross from the right but Gevorg Ghazaryan, following up, inexplicably pokes the ball into his own net.

1929: GOALFLASH Republic of Ireland 1-0 Armenia (Gevorg Ghazaryan og)

1927: Another let-off for the Republic, with Henrik Mkhitaryan looking dangerous on the edge of their area... until he is barged over by Keith Andrews. No foul, according to the referee. Five minutes to go until half-time, and it is still 0-0. Russia? They are now 3-0 up and on their way to Poland and Ukraine as winners of Group B.

Annie McGuire reports: "Scotland suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat when these teams met at Hampden last October and Craig Levein is urging his players to believe that their Euro 2012 future remains in their own hands, despite the quality of their opposition: "We have nothing to fear in this game, it is important that everyone understands that. We see this as a challenge, not something to be afraid of but something to relish." You can follow a live text commentary of that game, here.

1924: Armenia may only have 10 men but they are still attacking - they still need to win this game, after all. Marcos Pizzelli breezed through the Republic midfield and let fly from about 25 yards out. It was well off target, but the home side are struggling to impose themselves on this game.

JamesGall1 on Twitter: "If that red card decision was the other way around, us Irish would be complaining for years to come!"

Ben_Wyborn on Twitter: "A controversial handball in an important Ireland qualifying game, where have we seen this before?"

Annie McGuire reports: "Manager Craig Levein was keen to have first choice striker Kenny Miller fit for this make or break tie, but he hasn't recovered from a groin injury so Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith leads the line in an unchanged team from Saturday's win against Liechtenstein. Skipper Darren Fletcher recovered from an ankle injury to remain in the side, while Barry Bannan will wear strapping on an Achilles injury. You can follow a live text commentary of that game, here.

1920: Mario Gomez makes it 3-0 to Germany against Belgium, but the Belgians still sit second in Group A because Turkey have yet to make the breakthrough against Azerbaijan.

Richard Petrie reports: "The build-up to Northern Ireland's final Group C qualifier against Italy has been overshadowed by the resignation of manager Nigel Worthington and the inevitable subsequent speculation about his possible successor. Northern Ireland are without several key players because of injury and suspension but the squad is determined to restore some pride after a disappointing campaign which has so far yielded two wins, three draws and four defeats."

1918: A first sniff for Wales as Gareth Bale jinks into the Bulgarian penalty area, but he shoots with his left foot when a right-footed effort might have been a better idea... and the Bulgarian keeper saves easily.

1916: Armenia don't exactly have a safe pair of the hands on the bench, either. Arsen Petrosyan, who is uncapped, is Berezovski's back-up. He's just gone on for Edgar Malakyan, and is probably pretty grateful to see Aiden McGeady's free-kick fizz just over the bar when play eventually restarts.

Red card
Armenia red card: Poor old Roman Berezovski. He comes charging out of his box to block Simon Cox's shot and the referee decides he used his arms/hands. TV replays suggest otherwise - it hit his chest - and Cox also handled the ball as he controlled it. A disastrous decision for Armenia, who are down to 10 men, but a great one for the Republic of Ireland.

RED CARD Armenia keeper Roman Berezovski

1910: Strange. Very strange. Armenian keeper Roman Berezovski deals well with a deep cross by Stephen Kelly, despite Simon Cox jumping into him, and clearly feels he has been fouled. There is no whistle by the referee but Berezovski wants treatment and drops the ball at the feet of Cox, who promptly taps in to the unguarded net. Only then does Spanish official Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez get involved, but I'm pretty sure that should be a goal. Massively unsporting, yes, but still a goal as far as the rules go.

Annie McGuire reports: "It's all eyes on Alicante, but for Scotland fans the match between Lithuania and the Czech Republic is just as important. If the Baltic side can defeat third-place Czech Republic then the result in Spain won't matter. Many observers have suggested that may be Scotland's best hope of hanging on to the play-off spot in Group I. Spain, the world champions, have a 100% record in qualification so far, while Scotland have just 11 points from seven fixtures."

1905: We are under way at an almost entirely empty Vasil Levski Stadium too. A draw with Bulgaria will keep Wales off the bottom of Group G, and a win could leave them in third.

1903: Danger at the other end too, with Yura Movsisyan surging through. Shay Given is off his line, though, and cleverly pulls out of his attempt to dive at the Armenian striker's feet because he knows Movsisyan's touch is too heavy. Still 0-0, after 15 minutes.

1900: A first sight of goal for the Republic. Simon Cox cannot quite bustle through the Armenian defence to get away a shot himself, but manages to tee up Kevin Doyle to slam in a low effort which is straight at keeper Roman Berezovski.

Bulgaria v Wales line-ups
Mihailov, Manolev, Zanev, Miliev, Terziev, Gadzhev, Tonev, Petrov, Popov, Domovchiyski, Ivanov. Subs: Vladislav Stoyanov, Minev, Genchev, Bojinov, Delev, Rangelov, Aleksandrov.
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Ashley Williams, Blake, Taylor, Allen, Ramsey, Crofts, Bale, Bellamy, Morison. Subs: Myhill, Matthews, Nyatanga, Vaughan, Edwards, Robson-Kanu, Church.
Referee: Pawel Gil (Poland)

Ryno_Waters on Twitter: "Come on Ireland, an early goal would settle a few nerves."

1858: Russia are already a goal up against Andorra, with Alan Dzagoev netting after five minutes. That would suggest Republic of Ireland's faint hopes of winning Group B are over. More importantly, they are putting Armenia under a spot of pressure here.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "12:49 - The Republic of Ireland have not conceded a goal in 12 hours & 49 minutes of international football before tonight. Crunch."

1855: The Republic need to get the ball down and try to settle themselves down. They cannot keep hold of it at the moment. Armenia are growing in confidence too.

1852: Armenia have started the brightest, with Henrik Mkhitaryan having a pop from the edge of the box. It rolls wide. Sean St Ledger has just conceded a corner with a horrible mis-kick too.

caddycadogan on Twitter: "8 clean sheets in a row, 9 and Ireland are into the play-offs. Can we do it?"

GavinHaddock on Twitter: "I hope Simon Cox puts the performance of his life in!"

1848: Some tense times ahead in Group F, too Group leaders Greece are trailing to David Targamadze's goal at half-time in Georgia and Croatia can overhaul them if they beat Latvia. That one is also currently 0-0 at the break.

1845: Here we go then. A point will do for the Republic of Ireland to reach the play-offs, and a win will see them top the group if Andorra shock Russia. Let's not get too carried away with that thought, though. Anyway, Armenia have just kicked off at the Aviva Stadium.

1843: The national anthems are being played in Dublin. Armenia look pumped, as you would expect knowing it is win or bust for them tonight. The Republic of Ireland players don't look too nervous though... well, not yet anyway.

1840: A few potentially crucial goals have gone in already, with Germany looking set to qualify from Group A with a 100% record after roaring into a 2-0 lead against Belgium. Mesut Ozil and Andre Schurrle have got the goals, meaning Turkey could overtake the Belgians for seconds spot if they beat Azerbaijan. It's currently goalless in that game.

Dewi Hughes reports: "A surreal atmosphere awaits Wales in Sofia, with fewer than 600 spectators expected at the Vasil Levski Stadium because of a boycott by Bulgaria fans. Victory and a possible third-place finish is the carrot for Wales at the end of another fruitless campaign, but defeat to managerless Bulgaria would see Gary Speed's improving side finishing bottom of Group G."

Gary Speed names the same team that beat Switzerland on Friday. It's the first time since 2003, and the two Euro 2004 play-off games against Russia, that Wales have named an unchanged side.

1835: By the way, Scotland announced their line-up earlier on today. They will be unchanged from Saturday's win over Liechtenstein with Kenny Miller missing out because of a groin injury but Craig Mackail-Smith, captain Darren Fletcher and fellow midfielder Barry Bannan all passing late fitness tests.

John Haughey reports: Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni picks West Brom striker Simon Cox to replace Keane with Stephen Kelly and the influential Richard Dunne replacing suspended Stephen Ward and Darren O'Dea in defence. Key Armenian players include Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan and Yura Movsisyan, who set up three goals in Friday's 4-1 win over Macedonia.

Rep of Ireland v Armenia line-ups
Rep of Ireland:
Given, St. Ledger, Dunne, O'Shea, Kelly, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Doyle, Cox. Subs: Westwood, Coleman, Walters, Long, Hunt, Fahey, O'Dea.
Armenia: Berezovsky, Hovsepyan, Mkrtchyan, Pizelli, Malakyan, Ghazaryan, Movsisyan, Mkoyan, Aleksanyan, Mkhitaryan, Hayrapetyan. Subs: Petrosyan, Yuspashyan, Artur Edigaryan, Sarkisov, Artak Edigaryan, Badoyan, Manucharyan.
Referee: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez (Spain)

1830: A reminder that Spain versus Scotland (KO 1945) is live on BBC Two and this website (in the UK). There will be live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland too, if you want it, plus a text commentary dedicated to that game.

From Gaz, via text: "Hope Scotland qualify, they deserve it. Hope they show that fighting spirit they always produce on occasions like this, unlike our overpaid wimps who throw towel in when going gets tough."

Caleyman on Twitter: "Good to see that the pessimists are alive and well among the Scottish fans! I'm sure a draw is our best bet."

stuartymorris on Twitter: "Scottish sport is based on optimism, COME ON SCOTLAND!"

Nigel Worthington
1822: Nothing hanging on Northern Ireland's trip to Italy, but it is significant for being Nigel Worthington's last game in charge before he steps down. Sounds like the first job for his replacement will be to build some team spirit - veteran keeper Maik Taylor says there is an issue with the number of players pulling out of squads after claiming to be injured, explaining: "I sense there is a lot more resentment among the lads who do turn up and put their necks on the line for the country. Some of them are not playing regularly for their clubs and maybe are not quite fit enough but they are still there for every game."

John Haughey reports: "A nervy night looks to be in store at the Aviva Stadium with the Republic of Ireland needing a point to guarantee a play-off but Armenia knowing that a win would secure them the play-off spot. The Republic are minus skipper and record goalscorer Robbie Keane as they face an in-form Armenian side that have hit four goals in both their last two group fixtures against Slovakia and Macedonia."

IainFordyce17 on Twitter: "The odds may be stacked up against Scotland tonight but I believe we can do this!"

peterscirocco on Twitter: "Goodnight Scotland! Alicante or bust... bust I think, all those poor results come back to haunt you!"

1808: So, how are we all feeling? I've already wrongly announced Scotland are playing in Madrid, rather than Alicante, but maybe their best hope is that the Spanish fail to turn up? Let me know what you're thinking. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK). Don't be shy.

1802: There are 22 qualifiers tonight, and 11 of them have something riding on them. A whole raft of matches have just kicked off too, although the Republic of Ireland (1845 BST), Wales (1905), Northern Ireland and Scotland (both 1945) don't get going until later on.

1757: Lots to be sorted out elsewhere too. Wayne Rooney might not yet be certain of being in Poland and Ukraine next summer but England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Spanish have all secured their spots. Tonight, we will find out five more finalists, plus the eight teams who will fight it out in the play-offs next month. Should be pretty lively, I reckon.

1754: Let's try to be positive about Scotland's prospects, though. Only a victory will make absolutely certain of putting them in Thursday's play-off draw, but they could lose and still make it if Lithuania beat the Czech Republic. That sounds a lot more doable, huh?

1749: For some nations, the road to Euro 2012 ends here, with tonight's final group games. Scotland hope they are not among them. But, if Craig Levein's side are to be sure of extending their journey to the play-offs and possibly beyond, they need to beat world champions Spain in Alicante. Er, is anyone out there feeling confident that they will do it? Anyone?

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

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