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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 21:44 GMT 22:44 UK
Poland close in on qualification
Poland closed to within a point of the World Cup finals in Germany on a night when Portugal and Italy also moved to within one win of qualification.

Maciej Zurawski's penalty against Wales means Poland need a draw in their final match against England to qualify.

Portugal and Italy need one more win from their final two games to join Ukraine in qualifying for Germany.

Elsewhere, Switzerland and France remain locked at the top of Group Four after wins, with Israel a point behind.


GROUP ONE

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored two goals to help Holland to a 4-0 home win over Andorra and stay top of the group.

But the Manchester United striker also missed a penalty in a match in which the hosts saw Philip Cocu sent off.

The Czech Republic leapfrogged above Romania into second place with a 4-1 win over Armenia but remain four points behind the Dutch with two games left.

Birmingham striker Mikael Forssell scored a hat-trick in Finland's comprehensive 5-1 win over Macedonia.

GROUP TWO

Ukraine, fresh from sealing their place at the finals, lost their unbeaten qualifying record at home to Turkey.

Tuemer Metin scored the only goal of the game to keep the Turks in second spot ahead of Greece, who denied Kazakhstan a first qualifying point.

The European champions had trailed before Bolton's Stelios Giannakopoulos equalised and Nikos Liberopoulos struck deep in injury time for a 2-1 victory.

Denmark stay in the hunt for second after a 6-1 win over 10-man Georgia.

GROUP THREE

Portugal moved one win away from a place at the World Cup finals with a 0-0 draw against Russia in Moscow.

Home hopes were hit by the 43rd-minute dismissal of captain Alexei Smertin for dangerous play and the visitors are now five points clear in top spot.

Slovakia remain level on 19 points with Russia in second place after a 1-1 draw away to Latvia, Juris Laizans cancelling out Robert Vittek's opener.

Liechtenstein beat Luxembourg 3-0 in the group's battle of the minnows.

GROUP FOUR

Arsenal's Philippe Senderos scored to help Switzerland maintain their advantage at the top of the group with a 3-1 win over Cyprus.

The Swiss stay top, level on points with France who edged past the Republic of Ireland in Dublin with a goal from another Arsenal player - Thierry Henry.

And Israel moved to within a point of the leaders, two ahead of the Irish.

Goals from Avi Nimni and Yaniv Katan helped them ease past the Faroe Islands, but they have played a game more.

GROUP FIVE

Luca Toni sent Italy to within one win of a place at the World Cup finals with a hat-trick against Belarus.

The Italians trailed after four minutes but were dominant thereafter with Toni and Mauro Camoranesi scoring the goals in a 4-1 victory.

Scotland's 2-1 win in Norway, courtesy of two Kenny Miller goals, has opened up the race for a play-off place.

Slovenia's 2-1 win over Moldova moved them level with Norway on 12 points and Scotland are two points further back.

GROUP SIX

Poland stamped their authority on the group with a 1-0 win over Wales as England crashed to Northern Ireland in Belfast by the same margin.

Celtic's Maciej Zurawski scored from the penalty spot to deny Wales and the Poles will need one more point to be sure of a place at the finals.

David Healy's winner over England means Sven-Goran Eriksson's team must win their last two games to top the group.

Azerbaijan and Austria played out a 0-0 draw in the night's other match.

GROUP SEVEN

Spain and Serbia and Montenegro maintained their unbeaten qualifying records after a 1-1 draw in Madrid.

Mateja Kezman equalised Raul's opener and ensured his side stay two points clear at the top of the table.

Bosnia kept alive their hopes of qualification with a goal from Sergei Barbarez in a 1-0 win in Lithuania and are now three points off top spot.

Belgium cruised to a comprehensive 8-0 victory over San Marino, who played two-thirds of the match with 10 men.

GROUP EIGHT

Sweden moved top of the group with a last-minute winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Hungary.

The 1-0 victory proved enough for the Swedes to leapfrog above Croatia who slipped to a shock 1-1 draw in Malta.

Stephen Wellman's 30-yard free-kick cancelled out Niko Kranjcar's goal and crowd trouble marred the final moments.

Hermann Hreidarsson helped Iceland to a two-goal lead, but Bulgaria bounced back to win 3-2 with Martin Petrov scoring the decisive goal.



SEE ALSO
Ukraine clinch place at World Cup
03 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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