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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 18:12 GMT 19:12 UK
Round-up of Euro 2008 qualifiers
Croatia's Goran Sablic (L) and Russia's Roman Pavlyuchenko
Croatia and Russia were playing their first competitive games under new coaches
Russia and Croatia shared a goalless draw in a Euro 2008 Group E qualifier.

After a lacklustre first-half Milan Rapaic struck the bar with a free-kick, while Eduardo da Silva and van Klasnic also missed good chances for Croatia.

Coach Guus Hiddink's decision to introduce Pavel Pogrebniak revived Russia's attack, with the Tom Tomsk striker twice going close.

Igor Semshov's volley drew a reaction save from Stipe Pletikosa and Andrei Arshavin's went close with a shot.

Both teams, who are regarded as England's main rivals in Group E, were playing their first competitive games under new coaches.

Former Australia boss Hiddink has taken charge of Russia, with former Everton defender Slaven Bilic now guiding Croatia.

England top Group E on goal difference ahead of Israel, who beat Andorra 4-1 in Nijmegen.

First-half goals by captain Yossi Benayoun and debutant striker Amit Ben Shushan as well as Shimon Gershon's penalty put Israel in control.

Substitute Toto Tamuz added a fourth, before Andorra defender Fernando Silva was sent off, though late on substitute Juli Fernandez scored the Andorrans' first goal of the campaign.

The game was played in Nijmegen after Uefa in July banned all matches under its jurisdiction from being hosted in Israel due to the month-long Lebanon war.

In Group B Ukraine came from behind to beat Georgia 3-2 in Kiev.

Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko gave Urkaine the lead with a header, but a Shota Arveladze shot and Georgi Demetradze's free-kick put Georgia 2-1 ahead.

But Ruslan Rotan's header pulled Ukraine level and with 10 minutes left defender Andriy Rusol scored the winner with a header from a corner.

Scotland top Group B on goal difference after beating Lithuania 2-1 in Kaunus.

France are second in the group after beating World Cup holders Italy 3-1 in Paris.

Finland, coached by former Blackburn manager Roy Hodgson, drew 1-1 with 10-man Portugal in Group A in Helsinki.

Ricardo produced a string of saves as the World Cup semi-finalists played most of the second half with 10 men following defender Ricardo Costa's dismissal.

Finland took a surprise lead when Jonatan Johansson tapped home, before Nuno Gomes equalised for the visitors four minutes before halftime.

Asked whether he was satisfied with four points from two games Hodgson said: "I'm overjoyed."

Holland beat Belarus 3-0 in Eindhoven to move two points clear of Bulgaria in Group G.

Robin Van Persie and Marco van Basten
Van Persie's double guided Holland to victory

Robin Van Persie opened the scoring for the Dutch after 32 minutes when Belarus failed to clear a corner, allowing the Arsenal forward to hammer the ball home.

Van Persie sealed victory with 12 minutes left with a well-placed shot.

Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt added a third when he headed home a free kick by Van Persie.

Bulgaria beat Slovenia 3-0 in Wednesday's other game in Group G.

Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg missed a penalty as Sweden beatLiechtenstein 3-1 in Gothenburg to go three points clear in Group F.

Former Aston Villa striker Marcus Allback scored twice and Markus Rosenborg added a third late on.

Dennis Rommedahl made one and scored the other as Denmark made a winning start to their campaign against Iceland, in a group that also contains Northern Ireland, who beat Spain 3-2.

Jon Dahl Tomasson hit the second for Denmark as Morten Olsen's men had the game wrapped up by half-time in Reykjavik.



SEE ALSO
Euro 2008 qualifier photos
06 Sep 06 |  Football
Lithuania 1-2 Scotland
06 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Macedonia 0-1 England
06 Sep 06 |  Internationals
France 3-1 Italy
06 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Northern Ireland 3-2 Spain
06 Sep 06 |  Internationals
San Marino 0-13 Germany
06 Sep 06 |  Internationals


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