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Page last updated at 22:19 GMT, Friday, 11 November 2011

International football as it happened


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Sam Lyon
By Sam Lyon
BBC Sport

2215: Right then, with most Irish eyes probably unable to focus on this page any more anyway, I'm calling that a day. Tremendous work from Ireland tonight, good stuff from Scotland, and top effort from you lot too. Make sure you're back tomorrow to join Saj Chowdhury for more FA Cup first-round action ahead of England v Spain and Wales v Norway, and I'll see you all again Tuesday for more action with Fabio Capello's boys. Tasty. Adios amigos, Sam Lyon out.

Lyle Jackson reports:
"The Republic of Ireland look assured of a place in the Euros after a massive win in Estonia. Tuesday night's second leg is surely a formality - as is a new contract for boss Giovanni Trapattoni, and as is party time for the green army."

Clive Lindsay reports:
"Excellent finishes from Kenny Miller and Jamie Mackie were the high point for Scotland in Larnaca but boss Craig Levein will still have some concerns about the way the lowly-ranked Cypriots managed to threaten his back line at times. Still, the the win was the all-important thing so job done."

2205: What a night, hey? What a night. Scotland and Ireland fans... these are the thoughts of our match reporters...

2200: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni: "We are proud of our players because their commitment, mentality and attitude was very professional and they believed in what I asked of them. We have to be serious for Tuesday and have respect for our opponents and shouldn't underestimate them. Congratulations to the Ireland fans who made a lot of sacrifice to see us here but also to the people in Ireland."

s_mack7 on Twitter: "In reality I'm 100% Scottish but I'm pretty sure that the fortnight my Granda spent in Dublin gives me the right........YES!"

Stew via text: "Shout out for Cambridge. Working wonders this year under a manager with next to nil experience. League Two here we come!"

2155: Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews: "We've set our gameplan all week to get at their back line - and to get four away goals and a clean sheet is a fantastic result. There was only 10,000 in here but it felt like 50,000, they made so much noise. The country [of Ireland] has been waiting for this for a long time and this bunch of players have come together well. It looks like we're off to the Euros now."

StewartA90 on Twitter: "Got all three results I wanted tonight with Scotland, Ireland + Croatia all winning - I quite like football sometimes."

2148: Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane: "We came here to get a result but nobody thought we'd have got one like that. The boys put in a great performance from the start to the end. We kicked on after the great header from Keith [Andrews]. This game should be over now and if we don't qualify we'll be devastated. We'll look forward to Tuesday night."

rippey89 on Twitter: "RE: Anon via text - France and Ireland both likely to be bottom seeds, so not likely unfortunately."

Full time
2143: FULL-TIME Cambridge 2-2 Wrexham

FA CUP LATEST: Injury-time woe for Wrexham as Josh Coulson pounces in the box to bag his second of the game and - more importantly - keep Cambridge in the FA Cup. He didn't make clean contact with the ball but got enough to see the ball trickle in. A replay now beckons.

pjbuckley on Twitter: "The green army are going to hit Poland/Ukraine big time. Come on Trap's Army."

Anon via text: "Who'd bet against Ireland getting France in their Euro 2012 group....?"

morrismike79 on Twitter: "Is the cat in sack yet???"

Full time
2138: FULL-TIME Estonia 0-4 Rep of Ireland

2138: Stoppage time in Tallinn. Estonia punch drunk.

2137: GOALFLASH Cambridge 2-2 Wrexham (Coulson)

2136: By the way, that goal means Robbie Keane is now second on that Euro qualifiers goalscorers list, alongside Czech Republic's Jan Koller and Spain's Raul. All three have scored 18 goals in European qualifiers.

Rep of Ireland goal: Party time. Stephen Hunt earns the penalty when he is bundled over in the box by Estonia's Ats Purje - and Robbie Keane steps up to slot in from the spot. They wouldn't have dared dream this, would they?

2133: GOALFLASH Estonia 0-4 Rep of Ireland (Keane pen)


2131: It can't get any better for Ireland can it? Well...

STAT ATTACK: Robbie Keane has now scored 17 times in all Euro qualifiers. Two goals shy of the record held by Turkey's Hakan Sukur and Denmark's Jon Dahl Tomasson.
Courtesy of Infostrada Sports

_Ashy77 on Twitter: "Don't count your chickens and all that but 1,2,3.... #retribution"

INTERNATIONALS LATEST: Tottenham fans look away now… Rafael van der Vaart has been subbed at the Amsterdam ArenA clutching his hamstring. It's better news for Manchester City fans, though, who can be satisfied that the ever-improving Mario Balotelli has found the back of the net again, the in-form striker scoring against Poland, who now trail Italy 2-0 in Wroclaw.

2128: I've just thought. The Republic of Ireland as good as through to Euro 2012 - and their fans on the loose celebrating in Tallinn. Woah.

2126: Into the final 10 minutes in Tallinn and Republic of Ireland are more comfortable than a pair of Christmas slippers. Happy days.

Smythwicks90 on Twitter: "WE'RE GOING TO EURO 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Red card
Estonia red card: Bad to worse to worst for Estonia, captain Raio Piiroja sent off with a second yellow card after deliberately handling trying to keep Robbie Keane from striding through on goal. Head-scratching time for the home fans.

2121: RED CARD, Raoi Piiroja, ESTONIA

Rep of Ireland goal: It's over, people. This tie is over. Robbie Keane sends the away fans into absolute raptures as he pounces six yards out when Estonia keeper Sergei Pareiko fails to hold on to Keith Andrews's low shot. His celebrations say it all - Ireland think they've already done enough.

2116: GOALFLASH Estonia 0-3 Republic of Ireland (Keane)

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: Czech Republic end their game strongly with Tomas Sivok's late goal sealing a 2-0 home win over Montenegro, prompting fireworks in Prague. Impressive captain Tomas Rosicky was again the provider.

Rep of Ireland goal: Ireland fans, start looking at Poland and Ukraine hotels and flights. Now. What a moment to bag your first international goal for Jon Walters, the Stoke man rising to nod home Robbie Keane's cross after Estonia keeper Sergei Pereiko can only parry Aiden McGeady's shot. Dreamland.

2112: GOALFLASH Estonia 0-2 Republic of Ireland (Walters)

Full time
2111: FULL-TIME Czech Republic 2-0 Montenegro

2110: Damien Duff is back on.

2109: A break in play in Tallinn as Damien Duff clashes with team-mate Glenn Whelan and comes off badly. Looks like he's winded. Bless 'im. He should be fine.

2108: GOALFLASH Czech Republic 2-0 Montenegro (Sivok)

FA CUP LATEST: The pendulum swings Wrexham's way again at Cambridge as Andy Morrell bags his second goal of the game, lashing in a loose ball from 10 yards. 2-1 to the Welsh outfit.

2106: An hour gone in Tallinn and it remains 1-0 to Ireland. Estonia showing plenty of spirit, though. Admirable.

2105: GOALFLASH Cambridge 1-2 Wrexham (Morrell)

FA CUP LATEST: Wrexham pay the price for woeful marking as Cambridge's Josh Coulson ghosts into acres of space to flick in Daryl Clare's free-kick from the left to make it 1-1. Game on.

2100: Close! Konstantin Vassiljev lines up a free-kick 20 yards out and his low, stinging effort ricochets off the legs of Richard Dunne eight yards out - and spins inches wide. Shay Given was getting nowhere near that if it was on target. Sighs of relief all round the Irish section.

2058: GOALFLASH Cambridge 1-1 Wrexham (Coulson)

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: Turkey lose with a whimper, suffering a 3-0 home defeat against Croatia, and showing a lack of discipline late on. Portugal's night ends frustratingly too as they are held 0-0 by Bosnia-Hercegovina - but both sides had chances to nick a win late on. Less than 10 minutes to go in Czech Republic, where the home team still lead 1-0 against Montenegro.

Full time
2058: FULL-TIME Turkey 0-3 Croatia

2057: FULL-TIME Bosnia-Hercegovina 0-0 Portugal

2055: It'll be 10 against 10 for a few minutes as Keith Andrews receives treatment pitch-side after taking a blow on the nose.

2053: Oh cracking build-up play Ireland, Aiden McGeady and Stephen Ward combining well down the left before the latter's cross is met by Robbie Keane, his snap-shot blocked by a defender on the six-yard line. The rebound falls to Damien Duff, whose low left-foot shot is saved.

2050: Back under way in Tallinn, Estonia 0-1 Republic of Ireland.

2048: EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: With the Czech Republic starting to reassert themselves, danger man Tomas Rosicky supplies Vaclav Pilar who finishes well to put them 1-0 up against Montenegro.

Slowbear9 on Twitter: "1-0 up, away from home, and with the opposition down to ten men - just how will Ireland possibly contrive to blow it this time?"

Anon via text: "Why is Tom O'Kink playing for Estonia? Is he related to F1's Tim O'Glock?"

2045: My friends. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). I want your missives and I want them now.

Mike via text: "They may not be as famous as Julie, but Andrews and Walters are playing starring roles tonight."

2040: GOALFLASH Czech Republic 1-0 Montenegro (Pilar)

Half time
2038: HALF-TIME Estonia 0-1 Rep of Ireland
Lyle Jackson's HT snap-shot:
"The Euro 2012 finals seem to be calling for the Republic who lead and now have a man advantage. It is looking good for a big party in Dublin on Tuesday."

FA CUP LATEST: The first half of a typically full-blooded first round FA Cup tie draws to a close, with Wrexham deserving their 1-0 lead through player-manager Andy Morrell. The visitors have been far more dangerous, reducing Cambridge to sporadic counter attacks.

2036: That's half-time in Tallinn.

2035: EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: Turkey aren't showing much threat at the moment but desperately need a goal, trailing 3-0 against Croatia. Portugal's Helder Postiga shoots wide another good chance for them as Bosnia-Hercegovina hold on to the 0-0 scoreline. It's also scoreless in the Czech Republic, but Montenegro are looking sharp with home keeper Petr Cech keeping them out.

2034: Stephen Ward in space on the left - Robbie Keane screaming for the pull-back unmarked on the edge of the box - and Ward fires it at the keeper. Ho hum.

2032: ...a free-kick that Konstantin Vassiljev spanks a mile over. Waste.

2031: Ireland not quite making their man advantage count just yet, Giovanni Trapattoni's men just failing to stretch the play and knock the ball around their opponents. And now Estonia have a free-kick 30 yards out...

thedombutler on Twitter: "I love how one minute everything is normal, then suddenly you give us a shock STAT ATTACK!!"

GaryS via text: "I can see ROI winning over two legs and burying the ghost of that France game."

DavidHickman87 on Twitter: "ROI will not get a better chance to put this game to bed."

Red card
Estonia red card: Deary me. Calamitous from the Estonia defender. Andrei Stepanov - already on a booking - clatters through Robbie Keane, who otherwise would have been through on goal, and Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai has no hesitation in brandishing a second yellow and a red card. Massive moment in the game - and more luck for the Irish.

2023: RED CARD, Andrei Stepanov, ESTONIA

2022: Ireland chance! Keith Andrews putting Jon Walters through after breaking up play in the Estonia midfield, but the angle is against the Stoke man and his rising effort flies over the bar. Better from the visitors, mind.

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: Guus Hiddink will be tearing his hair out as his Turkey team's shambolic marking allows Vedran Corluka to head Croatia 3-0 ahead from Darijo Srna's free-kick. Hiddink suffered play-off heartbreak with Russia two years ago - and it's not looking promising this time round. At Bosnia-Hercegovina, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo mis-hits a shot from Nani's flick - it stays 0-0.

2019: Estonia still bossing things in Tallinn - in every way other than the scoreline, anyway - although Tarmo Kink's latest 25-yard effort from the right is super ambitious and as a result is easily saved by Shay Given.

2016: GOALFLASH Turkey 0-3 Croatia (Corluka)

STAT ATTACK: This Euro Qualifying campaign, the Republic of Ireland have scored the opener of the match on seven occasions, only dropping points in Slovakia (1-1).
Courtesy of Infostrada Sports

2013: Good spell for Estonia, this, with the Republic reduced to defending in numbers and hoping to pounce on the counter attack. Konstantin Vassiljev at the heart of all that is good about the hosts.

2011: Ooof! Shay Given was worried there as Konstantin Vassiljev's flyer from fully 30 yards zips past the far post with the Republic of Ireland keeper at full stretch to save. That was close.

2008: GOALFLASH Cambridge 0-1 Wrexham (Morrell)

2007: Chance! Oh Jon Walters, you should be doing better there son. Sean St Ledger's header across goal finds its way to the Stoke hitman 10 yards out, but on his wrong foot Walters slashes his finish high, wide and not very handsome.

mrcann on Twitter: "Andrews is a class act. He and Walters will be key tonight."

Scotland boss Craig Levein: "We were not at our best tonight and careless in possession at times. But international football is not about going at 100 miles per hour from the start - it is about taking your time and your chances. We were patient and deserved the win. I'm pleased with the boys."

2005: Estonia look to hit back immediately and Dmitri Kruglov, having lost Stephen Kelly on the left, is found in space inside the box, but the midfielder's side-foot volley is well off target and Ireland breathe a sigh of relief.

Rep of Ireland goal: Big goal. Big, big goal. Aiden McGeady gets a yard of space down the left before standing a beauty of a cross up for Keith Andrews to meet with a firm eight-yard header into the bottom corner. Dream start.

2002: GOALFLASH Estonia 0-1 Republic of Ireland (Andrews)

shane_oneill78 on Twitter: "Looking for the purrfect start here in Tallinn, a loss could be CATastrophic."

1959: But there's a half-chance for Estonia - Konsantin Vassiljev swapping passes with Dmitri Kruglov before his shot clips off a defender's leg and loops narrowly over the Ireland bar.

1957: Lest we forget, the Cambridge-Wrexham FA Cup first-round match is also under way. No goals in that one... so far...

Kevin Gallagher on BBC Scotland's Sportscene: "Scotland knew they would be facing a very defensive side, so I would have liked to have seen them play with a little more pace and purpose. But it's a new regime and generally the players are adapting well."

Full time
1956: FULL-TIME Cyprus 1-2 Scotland

1955: Very bright opening six minutes from Ireland, who have completely dominated proceedings in Estonia.

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: It's half-time in the games at Bosnia-Hercegovina and Turkey. Portugal are still dominating Bosnia-Hercegovina but not creating many clear-cut chances so it's scoreless. Croatia lead Turkey 2-0 with the home team wasting a lot of possession. They're lucky it's only 2-0 actually as Olic squandered a great chance. Elsewhere, Czech Republic are being held 0-0 against Montenegro - but Tomas Rosicky's been causing headaches for the away side.

thisisjoeyc on Twitter: "I fancy Trappatoni's boys to lose by a whisker and return home with their tails between their legs. He'll be having kittens!"

1952: And it's the Republic of Ireland immediately on to the front foot, knocking the ball about well, pressing their opponents - and they've had the first shot too, Jon Walters's ambitious effort held comfortably by Estonia keeper Sergei Pareiko.

1950: Under way in Tallinn, Estonia-Republic of Ireland...

1949: A huddle - nay, uber-huddle - from the Republic of Ireland side ahead of kick-off in Tallinn. We're moments away from kick-off in that one.

1947: Back in Larnaca, Scotland are looking a bit disjointed, not helped by the usual plethora of substitutions. Into the last five minutes there, though.

1945: It is absolutely buzzing in Tallinn as Estonia and Republic of Ireland emerge to do battle in their Euro 2012 play-off. Nervous?

Lyle Jackson reports:
"A warning from the boss to any Republic of Ireland fans who may be 'feline' over confident ahead of the Estonia match. In the wise words of Signore Trapattoni - 'Be careful of the cat. Do not say you have the cat in the sack when you do not have the cat in the sack.' Erm, quite. "

ChrisMunday on Twitter: "I'd love to keep watching the Bosnia-Portugal game but this paint won't watch itself dry."

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: Croatia's goal comes against the run of play - and prompts missile throwing from the stands. Mario Mandzukic heads in from close range at the back post after Darijo Srna clips in a cross from the right.

1939: GOALFLASH Turkey 0-2 Croatia (Mandzukic)

1937: Giorgos Vasilou's fizzing shot almost sends Scotland keeper Allan McGregor into the net with the ball - but the Rangers number one gets just enough behind the ball.

1934: The chances have dried up a touch in Larnaca in the last five minutes - but it is Cyprus who have looked the better of the two sides. Just under 20 minutes of normal time left for them to get a leveller.

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFF LATEST: A niggly start in the match between Bosnia-Hercegovina and Portugal, where it remains goalless. However, Portugal are showing some threat with Nani firing across goal and Raul Meireles forcing a low save with a half-volley. Croatia are still leading 1-0 in Turkey, where the game's far more hectic, with Vedran Corluka and Luka Modric looking good.

Yellow card
1929: Booking for Steven Whittaker for a foul on George Efrem.

bresmania on Twitter: "First Miller does a Bergkamp, then Mackie does a Gemmill! And supersub Nikolaou does a Solksjaer..."

Lyle Jackson reports:
"The Republic of Ireland line-up is as expected with Stoke City's Jonathan Walters in for the suspended Kevin Doyle up front, meaning that he partners skipper Robbie Keane. Estonia boss Tarmo Ruutli makes one change to the XI that defeated Northern Ireland in their final qualifier, with Aleksandr Vassiljev replacing Ats Purje."

1926: Double Scotland change as James McArthur and Craig Mackail-Smith replaces Darren Fletcher and Kenny Miller.

AjMupp8t on Twitter: "Jamie Mackie's goal is definately better than his efforts at growing a moustache."

Cyprus goal: Instant impact from Marios Nikolaou, the substitute slotting a fine pass to find Dimitris Christofi in the box and the striker lashes into the corner from the angle with a first-time shot. Game back on.

1922: GOALFLASH Cyprus 1-2 Scotland (Christofi)

1921: Cyprus change - Marios Nikolaou on for Stelios Parpas.

Scotland goal: It's a beauty - and it's thoroughly deserved. A year on from his first cap and first goal, Jamie Mackie gets his second international goal, powering in from the left hand side, past a couple of defenders and slotting into the corner.

1918: GOALFLASH Cyprus 0-2 Scotland (Mackie)

Matt_Morrow11 on Twitter: "Anyone else think that Giovanni Trappatoni looks like Darth Sidious from Star Wars? No? just me then..."

STAT ATTACK: Ivica Olic scores the fastest ever goal by Croatia in all European qualification matches (2nd minute). The previous record was a goal in the third minute by Mladen Mladenovic on 3 Sep 1995, when Croatia beat Estonia 7-1.
Courtesy of Infostrada Sports

1915: First half-chance of the half in Larnaca, Barry Robson's swiped left-foot shot from 18 yards beaten away on the stretch by Cyprus keeper Antonis Giogallides.

Pareiko, Jaager, Stepanov, Piiroja, Klavan, Dmitrijev, Vassiljev, Vunk, Kruglov, Kink, Ahjupera. Subs: Londak, Rahn, Voskoboinikov, Lindpere, Purje, Saag, Teniste.
Rep of Ireland: Given, Kelly, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, Duff, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady, Keane, Walters. Subs: Westwood, Hunt, Keogh, Cox, Fahey, McShane, O'Dea.
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

EURO 2012 PLAY-OFFS LATEST: There is revenge in the air tonight. At Euro 2008, Croatia were dumped out by Turkey in heart-breaking fashion and have already set about settling that score with their early goal. Portugal, meanwhile, beat Bosnia-Hercegovina in a play-off before the most recent World Cup. In qualifying, the Croatians were edged out by Greece while Turkey were a massive 13 points behind Germany in their group. Portugal trailed Denmark in Group H and Bosnia-Hercegovina were just a point behind France. In the other tie, Czech Republic are looking to make amends after finishing 11 points behind Spain and we all know who left Montenegro trailing…

1911: There was a triple substitution at the start of the half for Cyprus, Valentinos Sieles, keeper Tasos Kissas and Nestoras Mitidis on for Jason Demetriou, Antonis Georgallides and Andreas Avraam. Just so you know, like.

1909: GOALFLASH Turkey 0-1 Croatia (Olic)

1908: As is the second half in Larnaca, Cyprus 0-1 Scotland...

1905: Elsewhere in Europe, Euro 2012 play-offs Bosnia-Hercegovina v Portugal and Turkey v Croatia are now under way...

Haz_182 on Twitter: "Hopefully we can qualify this year so I can finally play with my national team on FIFA. COME ON BOSNIA!"

Donal, Co.Tyrone via text: "Our boys in green always seem to get better results away from home so hopefully a 1-0 tonight, that would be delightful."

sortfootball on Twitter: "Trapattoni has made a good choice to choose Jon Walters, he's never let Stoke down and will put in a big shift for Ireland!"

1900: And a reminder that I'm after your input here. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Do it.

Lyle Jackson reports:
"The Republic of Ireland aim to end a poor record in play-offs - they have qualified just once from six attempts - and are favourites to see off unpredictable Estonia who have never reached the finals of a major tournament. Several thousand Irish fans are in Tallinn, many without tickets, and they expect to see the Republic take a huge step towards appearing in the Euro finals for the first time since 1988."

1857: Time in this break for us to have a sneak peek ahead to Estonia v Republic of Ireland at 1945, then...

Half time
1855: HALF-TIME Cyprus 0-1 Scotland
Clive Lindsay's HT snap-shot:
"Scotland coach Craig Levein said pre-match he wanted continuity and he has got it - the defensive frailties remain, but so too does the passing style and the renewed attacking flair. Work to do."

Kevin Gallagher on BBC Scotland's Sportscene: "Scotland have looked good going forward but have rode their luck at times. Having hit the woodwork twice, Cyprus will feel slightly aggrieved to be behind at half time. Scotland's work is far from over here."

1849: And there's your half-time whistle.

1846: Cheeky. The ball finds James Morrison on the edge of the area from a corner and he attempts an audacious chip attempt that forces Cyprus keeper Antonis Giorgallides to tip over from under the bar. Good effort.

1845: Cyprus still getting plenty of joy down the right hand side and yet again a cross from that side is headed goalwards by Dimitris Christofi - palmed away by Allan McGregor.

Caleyman on Twitter: "Watching the Cyprus v Scotland game online down here in the Midlands. Great goal by Mille. C'mon Scotland - Alba gu brath!"

1843: Talking of Jamie Mackie, it's another half chance for the QPR man, his snap-shot blocked on the edge of the box.

Kevin Gallagher on BBC Scotland's Sportscene: "Jamie Mackie is really getting at Cyprus tonight. He's been asking questions of the home defence all half long."

Stoke City forward Jonathan Walters has been chosen ahead of West Bromwich Albion's Simon Cox to replace the suspended Kevin Doyle for the Republic of Ireland in Estonia. Goalkeeper Shay Given has shaken off a neck injury and also plays.

1837: Oh my, how has that stayed out? Steven Whittaker's fine run down the right ends with a cross that looks odds-on to be tapped home by Kenny Miller or Barry Robson, but Cyprus defender Georgos Merkis somehow gets his body between ball and goal and the chance goes awry. Excellent defending.

1835: Oi oiiii... Jamie Mackie goes all Maradona on us with a driving run at the Cyprus defence, dancing past three defenders, before forcing home keeper Antonis Giorgallides into a sprawling save with a rising shot.

EthuCrorie on Twitter: "Wonder goal by Kenny Miller but Scotland are making heavy weather of this!"

Yellow card
1831: And now Sinisa Dobrasinovic has his name taken for persistent fouling. Cyprus not being very friendly about this tonight, it must be said.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1829: Post! Almost an immediate reply from Cyprus - and what a reply it would have been, Sinisa Dobrasinovic letting fly from 30 yards and crashing a pile-driver against the Scotland upright with Allan McGregor beaten.

Scotland goal: Wonder goal. He had one to get his eye in a minute ago and now Kenny Miller makes the absolute most of his second chance, bringing down a ball over the top with one touch and then half-volleying a dipping shot over the keeper and into the top corner from the edge of the area with the next. Aces.

1826: GOALFLASH Cyprus 0-1 Scotland (Miller)

1825: A shot! From Scotland! To be fair, they've knocked it around pretty well so far but this is the first effort at goal from the Scots - Kenny Miller released in a yard of space to the left of the box but flashing his cross-shot past the far post.

Rents1978 on Twitter: "Kaaaaaman Scotland!"

Someone has struck the woodwork
1820: Crossbar! Cracking effort, Cyprus frontman Andreas Avraam turning inside two defenders on the edge of the Scotland box and then hooking a doozy of a shot goalwards - tipped brilliantly on to the bar by Scotland keeper Allan McGregor.

1818: The head-to-head record in this fixture, by the way, is 4-0 in Scotland's favour. The early signs, though, are that the visitors have their work cut out to continue that run tonight. The hosts looking dangerous on the counter attack.

Yellow card
1813: Booking for Orient banner boy Jason Demetriou, going through the back of Jamie Mackie. Not a great challenge that.

1812: Better from Scotland - Barry Robson picking a beauty of a pass through the Cyprus backline and releasing Steven Whittaker in the box, only for the home defence to recover and clear.

1810: Cyprus visibly growing in confidence in these early stages and Dimitris Christofi fires in another effort, this time a firm header from a pin-point cross, that Allan McGregor clasps gratefully to his chest. Worrying signs for Scotland.

1808: And again Cyprus show signs of willing up front, George Efrem turning in the box and clipping in an effort that forces a save low down from Allan McGregor.

1806: Scotland controlling the early possession in Larnaca, but it's the hosts that have the first shot in anger on goal - Dimitris Christofi firing a low shot at goal from 22 yards out, but it is blocked.

1803: Here we go then, up and running in Cyprus.

jackorient on Twitter: "Leyton Orient academy graduate and 'fan' Jason Demitrou starts for Cyprus Vs Scotland tonight."

1759: By the look of things, the Cyprus-Scotland match has completely and unequivocally failed to capture the imagination of the locals in Larnaca. It would appear around one man and his dog have turned out for the locals - and that particular bloke has forgotten the dog. Still, there are a few Scotland fans in situ and they are in exceptional voice, too. Kudos.

finwaygweig on Twitter: "Can't help but think Garry O'Connor or Ross Mccormack would be a better option than Ryan Stevenson tonight."

1757: CYPRUS v SCOTLAND (1800)
Clive Lindsay reports:
"Scotland coach Craig Levein is looking for continuity and to build on some promising performances tonight, saying: 'It is not far away from our strongest team with the players available.' Cyprus coach Nikos Nioplias, the former Panathinaikos boss who is expected to play the 4-3-2-1 system popular in the country, is hoping to arrest a decline that has led to a 34-place drop in the world rankings and said: 'This is an interesting match because it is the start of our preparations for the World Cup qualifiers.'"

1755: If you can't see it already, refresh this page and live video of the Cyprus v Scotland match will appear at the top. You lucky lot.

JohnFowler8 on Twitter: "Would like to see Ryan Stevenson given a run out tonight for Scotland! Really deserves his chance."

Chris in Peterborough via text: "I went to a football game in Estonia in July - great atmosphere and it's a beautiful country. I'll be supporting Estonia tonight!"

1752: CYPRUS v SCOTLAND (1800)
Clive Lindsay reports:
"Having missed out on the play-offs for Euro 2012, Scotland coach Craig Levein begins against Cyprus on the long road that he hopes will lead to qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The opposition this evening have slumped to 120 in the world rankings and Cyprus coach Nikos Nioplias will use the fixture to blood some young players as he looks to end a run of four defeats since he took over. I think they call that 'an opportunity'."

jnthngrvs on Twitter: "Lightning striking twice? ROI have failed at the play off stages five times. More like due a change of fortune!"

1748: CYPRUS v SCOTLAND (1800)
Clive Lindsay reports:
"Jamie Mackie returns to Scotland's line-up in a five-man midfield, with Allan McGregor in goal behind a back-four of Steven Whittaker, Christophe Berra, Gary Caldwell and Phil Bardsley. Kenny Miller adopts his familiar lone frontman role. Whittaker replaces his former Rangers team-mate, Alan Hutton, at right-back, with the Aston Villa defender having withdrawn from the squad last weekend. Georgios Efrem, the former Rangers and Dundee midfielder, starts for Cyprus, who are missing about five of their top players."

1745: CYPRUS v SCOTLAND (1800)
Georgallides, Merkis, Alexandrou, Demetriou, Parpas, Satsias, Dobrasinovic, Solomou, Avraam, Christofi, Efrem. Subs: Kissas, Charalambous, Sielis, Katsis, Stavrou, Vasilou, Mitidis, Nicolaou, Mastrou.
Scotland: McGregor, Whittaker, Caldwell, Berra, Bardsley, Mackie, Cowie, Fletcher, Morrison, Robson, Miller. Subs: Gilks, McArthur, Goodwillie, Mackail-Smith, Stevenson, Crainey, Hanley, Rhodes, MacKenzie, Samson, Conway.

1744: Without further ado, then, let's get all Cyprus-Scotland...

Melwood_LFC on Twitter: "Fancy a beast of a performance from Jon Walters tonight, assuming he gets his deserved chance!!"

Declan, Belfast via text: "In all honesty, I would be content with a score draw tonight!"

1742: All in all, then, a bumper Friday night of top notch football. I can almost taste your anticipation and excitement. Hhmm... salty. Or is it salty? Why don't you let me know what your anticipation and excitement tastes like by tweeting the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, tweeting me @sampatricklyon or texting in via 81111 (UK). Mavericks among you may also consider letting me know your thoughts on tonight's action too. Lovely.

1740: What's that? There's also an FA Cup first-round match between Cambridge and Wrexham? Complete and utter bonanza.

1739: And even if those bad boys don't set your pulse racing - you cold-blooded fools, you - we're only going to kick things off with a little bit of Scotland action aren't we. Craig Levein's boys, having already missed out on Euro 2012 qualification, travel to Cyprus for an international friendly. And it's LIVE on this website too. High five.

1737: A massive night, then, for the Irish - and also for the likes of European big guns Portugal and Croatia, with four Euro 2012 play-off first legs due this evening. Your full line-up, folks, is thus:
Bosnia-Hercegovina v Portugal (1900)
Turkey v Croatia (1905)
Czech Republic v Montenegro (1915)
Estonia v Rep of Ireland (1945)

1735: In case I've lost you early doors here, I refer to all this of course because tonight Giovanni Trapattoni's side face Estonia in a Euro 2012 play-off first leg, kick off 1945. And you have to think the Irish are due a bit of luck. Lightning doesn't ever strike twice, right?

1733: Ah yes. The Republic of Ireland have been here before haven't they. Two years ago in fact - a time when Thierry Henry shed his sheep's clothing and broke the hearts of Irish supporters the globe over with his equivalent of the 'Hand of God'. The striker's blatant handball in the build-up to France's crucial goal in the second leg of their World Cup play-off not only condemned Ireland to a summer away from the 2010 tournament in South Africa, but also ensured the term 'play-off' would only ever strike fear, regret and loathing in Irish hearts from that day forth. I wonder how they're coping tonight?

1730: Déjà vu (French) ("already seen"): the feeling that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain.

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Euro 2012 qualifying results

11 Nov 2011 23:59 UK

  • Bosnia-H0-0Portugal
  • Czech Republic2-0Montenegro
  • Estonia0-4Rep of Ireland
  • Turkey0-3Croatia

see also
Cyprus 1-2 Scotland
11 Nov 11 |  Scotland
Football on the BBC
10 Aug 11 |  separator

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