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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007, 20:32 GMT 21:32 UK
Euro 2008 qualifying as it happened
England 3-0 Israel Latvia 1-0 Northern Ireland Scotland 3-1 Lithuania Slovakia 2-2 Republic of Ireland Wales 0-2 Germany

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

By Charlie Henderson

2130: So, a mixed bag with two wins, a draw and two defeats. Just four days until they are all at it again and you can keep up to date with those matches right here on the BBC Sport website. They are "must-win" for England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, while Scotland have a mouth-watering trip to France. Until next time.

Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifying action

  • Slovakia v Wales, 1730 BST
  • Iceland v Northern Ireland, 1905 BST
  • Czech Republic v Republic of Ireland, 1930 BST
  • England v Russia, 2000 BST
  • France v Scotland, 2000 BST

    Player of the day: The silver medal goes to England's Shaun Wright-Phillips, who is joined on the podium by German duo Bastian Schweinsteiger and your top performer of the day Miroslav Klose. A special mention for Lithuania's Saulius Mikoliunas who blatantly dived to win a penalty against Scotland. His 2.57 is some way off Klose's 8.71.

    2129: Late news for Scotland supporters. Group B rivals Italy and France are all square at 0-0 with 10 minutes remaining. Spain are losing to Iceland in Northern Ireland's group.

    2128: FULL-TIME Wales 0-2 Germany
    Wales were second best throughout, although BBC Radio 5live pundit Leighton James is talking about some "odd positives" to take out of the game. Not strange positives, just a few of them.

    2127: The effervescent Bastian Scweinsteiger is still so eager to get on the ball he slips over in his efforts. Minute 92. Amazing commitment.

    2125: Great news. The fourth official says we only have to hang around for another three minutes before going out for a belated start to Saturday night.

    2123: A low-key end to proceedings. Germany have the points in the bag. They were in the bag from about minute three to be fair.

    2121: A pitiful 25,000 at the Millennium Stadium. A quiet night there and a quiet night here, but thanks to those of you who have stayed to the bitter end. Particularly bitter for those of an Irish persuasion.

    2120: These two matches started at the same time, but lax time-keeping in Cardiff means the Wales and Germany match still has five minutes plus added time to run.

    2119: FULL-TIME Slovakia 2-2 Republic of Ireland
    They were a matter of minutes away from a first decent competitive away win in 20 years. Those misses from John O'Shea and Kevin Doyle late on were so so costly. They lose precious ground on Germany and the Czech Republic in Group D.

    "Bye-bye qualification. But I bet no bye-bye Stan. Despite his uselessness. I'd settle for McClaren at this stage."
    barrygunner on 606

    2117: GOAL Slovakia 2-2 Republic of Ireland
    Having just had a let off you'd have thought the Republic of Ireland would be more organised and watchful at the back. But no. Marek Cech latches on to a loose ball in added time and drills a fierce effort home from just outside the area.

    2115: A vital interception by Richard Dunne in defence after the Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given goes walkabout.

    2114: Two good chances for the Republic of Ireland. John O'Shea is free at the back post but cannot hit the target. Kevin Doyle's attempt is smothered by keeper Stefan Senecky.

    2113: A final change for Wales. Andrew Crofts for Simon Davies.

    2112: Kevin Kilbane takes a rather ungainly tumble over the corner flag. A mixture of annoyance and embarassment creases his face.

    2111: Robbie Keane looks to get a nibble on a dropping ball in the box from over his shoulder and his touch trickles wide of the Slovakia post.

    2107: Into the final 10 minutes in Bratislava.

    2103: Republic of Ireland boss Steve Staunton makes a change. Jonathon Douglas for Stephen Ireland.

    2101: Have Wales thrown in the towel? Playmaker Jason Koumas is off for Carl Fletcher.

    2058: Germany cut through Wales like a warm knife through butter. Easy-peasy. Miroslav Klose's rising shot is straight at Wayne Hennessey.

    2054: GOAL Wales 0-2 Germany
    Gareth Bale gets ahead of himself and attempts to play the ball out from the back. Bad idea. Germany pounce, steal the ball and skipper Miroslav Klose has the easiest of headers when Roberto Hilbert's cross comes in.

    2050: Bastian Schweinsteiger slaloms forward to the edge of the box and shaves the Wales crossbar with a curving right-footed shot. He is the boss of this game.

    2048: REACTION Latvia 1-0 Northern Ireland
    Nigel Worthington questions his side's passion, complains about the lack of urgency in the Northern Ireland ranks and says they failed to execute the basics. Seems a bit harsh but that's the coach's verdict. "That was disappointing and frustrating. We let ourselves down," he says.

    2047: Darron Gibson on for Aiden McGeady in Bratislava.

    2045: Almost another goal by a green-shirted Republic of Ireland player - although this one would have been an own goal. A slippery cross comes in from the left and Richard Dunne manages to scoop it up over his own goal instead of into it.

    2043: GOAL Slovakia 1-2 Republic of Ireland
    Wow! That goal will wake up those of you dozing at the back of the class. Reading's Kevin Doyle picks up the ball outside the area and then cracks a left-footed effort home. Little back lift. 0 yards out, or thereabouts. Another excellent goal.

    2041: Marek Mintal heads narrowly wide of the Republic of Ireland goal.

    2040: Those substitutions mean Gareth Bales drops back to left wing-back. For the Germans Marcel Jansen goes into the defence in place of Christian Pander.

    2039: Finally Wales emerge and the second 45 can start. A change apiece. Rob Earnshaw on for Joe Ledley and the highly-rated Piotr Trochowski replaces Christian Pander.

    2037: Piotr Trochowski is getting a lengthy talking to from Germany coach Joachim Low as the visitors wait for their hosts to emerge.

    2032: Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland resume.

    2031: The suited Steve Staunton strides across the Bratislava pitch to the dug out before the second half. The Republic of ireland boss was lucky not to lose a brogue in the potted pitch.

    Player rater: You think Miroslav Klose and Gareth Bale are the men standing out in these late matches. All much of a muchness for the Republic of Ireland in Bratislava. Agree or disagree? Get involved with these games and those that have come and gone earlier in the day.

    2021: HALF-TIME Wales 0-1 Germany
    How on earth it is only 1-0 who knows? Wales have been second best from one to 11 for 98% of the match.

    2018: The best spell of the game from Wales by a million miles. It ends up with a corner after Gareth Bale's cross to Freddie Eastwood is headed behind off a German head.

    2015: Referees really can be ridiculous sometimes. James Collins is fine after all but soon gets a yellow card from Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez when he complains about the time it took to allow him back on the pitch. Pernickety in the extreme.

    2014: HALF-TIME Slovakia 1-1 Republic of Ireland
    All square. A good first half of the first half from the visitors. A better second half of the first half from the hosts.

    2012: Poor play by Lewin Nyatanga and Wales are in trouble. James Collins comes in with a decisive challenge on Kevin Kuranyi to clear up, but it looks dead set to see him go off. He is in agony.

    2006: GOAL Slovakia 1-1 Republic of Ireland
    It had been coming, and there it is. Maros Klimpl heads in Marek Sapara's corner at the back post after a flick on.

    2002: Shay Given does well to push away a rifled effort from Slovakia's Marek Sapara. The ball was moving about a bit. Good work from the Newcastle keeper.

    2000: Wayne Hennessey flaps at a Christian Pander corner. Let off for Wales.

    "Freddie Eastwood could finish anything past Jens Lehmann - it's just a shame Wales can't get the ball out of their half."
    dirk-kuyt18 on 606

    1956: Good tackle by Lewin Nyatanga to deny Kevin Kuranyi.

    1953: Still all Germany in Cardiff.

    1948: REACTION Scotland 3-1 Lithuania
    Massively delayed after early evening excitment elsewhere. Apologies. Alex McLeish clearly thinks he's some sort of modern-day Nostradamus. "I said that things can change 'like that' - I clicked my fingers - and those were prophetic words," he says, giving himself a big pat on the back with the other hand when asked about those substitutions. Darren Fletcher described the actions of Saulius Mikoliunas - who dived to win a penalty - as "embarassing".

    1945: All Germany.

    Player rater: Not too many stand-out performers today, but so far England's Shaun Wright-Phillips has your nod for the BBC Sport Player of the Day award. Plenty of time left yet for movers and shakers. You rate David Healy as Northern Ireland's top performer, while James McFadden has a narrow lead for Scotland. We know why everyone hates the diving Saulius Mikoliunas, but what has Latvia's Andrejs Rubins done to deserve a lower score?

    1939: GOAL Wales 0-1 Germany
    The worst start for John Toshack's men. Jason Koumas is dispossessed in the centre circle, Kevin Kuranyi races forward before releasing Miroslav Klose who scores from the left.

    1936: GOAL Slovakia 0-1 Republic of Ireland
    The perfect start for Steve Staunton's men. Robbie Keane releases Kevin Kilbane on the left, steps over the return pass which allows Stephen Ireland time and space to pick his spot on the edge of the six-yard box. He shoots high into the net.

    1934: The pitch at the Tehelne Pole Stadium in Bratislava is a right old bobbler. Not too much of a surprise as it has been sheeting down over there in the last few days.

    1933: Wales and Germany start.

    1929: Slovakia get the ball rolling in Bratislava as the last chords of 'Land of My Fathers' ring round the Millennium Stadium.

    1927: Not much in the way of crowds at either venue. Well, there are crowds, but a lot of empty seats as well.

    1923: It's a Group D double bill to end the day. Wales host table toppers Germany in Cardiff. In Bratislava, Slovakia welcome the Republic of Ireland.


    TEAM NEWS Wales v Germany
    Wales are without skipper Craig Bellamy who is with his wife at the bedside of their sick daughter. Joe Ledley comes in at left wing-back with Gareth Bale pushing into midfield. Kevin Kuranyi and Robert Hilbert are late additions to an injury-hit Germany side.

    Wales: Hennessey, Ricketts, Gabbidon, James Collins, Nyatanga, Bale, Ledley, Koumas, Robinson, Davies, Eastwood.
    Subs: Price, Morgan, Llewellyn, Jones, Crofts, Fletcher, Earnshaw.
    Germany: Lehmann, Jansen, Pander, Mertesacker, Arne Friedrich, Schweinsteiger, Hitzlsperger, Metzelder, Hilbert, Klose, Kuranyi.
    Subs: Hildebrand, Podolski, Odonkor, Manuel Friedrich, Trochowski, Helmes, Rolfes.

    TEAM NEWS Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
    Shay Given and Lee Carsley return for the Republic. John O'Shea and Stephen Kelly come in at full-back with Kevin Kilbane in midfield.

    Slovakia: Senecky, Gresko, Cech, Durica, Klimpl, Krajcik, Hamsik, Sapara, Mintal, Holosko, Sestak.
    Subs: Kuciak, Petras, Brezinsky, Strba, Obzera, Hodur, Sebo.
    Republic of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, Kelly, McShane, Dunne, Carsley, McGeady, Ireland, Kilbane, Kevin Doyle, Keane.
    Subs: Colgan, Hunt, Reid, Douglas, Gibson, Long, Murphy.


    1906: FULL-TIME Latvia 1-0 Northern Ireland
    No there isn't one last chance and that could have torped Northern Ireland's hopes of qualifying. Latvia started the day bottom of the table beneath Liechtenstein and Iceland. Nigel Worthington's squad travel to Iceland now for Wednesday's match.

    1905: Is there one last chance for Northern Ireland?

    1904: Keith Gillespie catches Dzintars Zirnis and the Latvian is writhing around as if wrestling a Boa constrictor and a crocodile at the same time. He's a canny fella. It will eat up a bit of time in added time. Gillespie is booked.

    1903: Northern Ireland still press. Latvia still hold.

    1901: Another excellent Chris Brunt cross and Jonny Evans is on the end of it with a fierce header on target. Unfortunately Andris Vanins is in exactly in the right place at exactly the right time to beat the effort away on his goal line. The Latvian keeper didn't know much about it.

    1859: Chris Brunt and Keith Gillespie link up again. Cross from the left and square-ish shot-cum-cross on the right byeline.

    1857: REACTION England 3-0 Israel
    England head coach Steve McClaren hails a "good performance and a good win". Emile Heskey also had a "good performance". Shaun Wright-Phillips had an "excellent performance". To sum up, he is "pleased about the performance" and looking forward to Russia on Wednesday. More England reaction will appear on the BBC Sport website in due course.

    1856: Keith Gillespie comes steaming in at the back post to meet Chris Brunts cross on the half volley. His effort is high and wide.

    1854: The action is concentrated around the Latvia box, but time and time again that final ball is slightly off or hammered away by the hosts.

    1852: What of Northern Ireland? A little over 10 minutes remaining and things are not looking good. They're struggling for a point, let alone all three.

    1849: There is a very short 606 on BBC Radio 5live before Wales play Germany. It's set to start in minutes so give Alan Green a call on 0500 909693 or text in on 85058. The action at the Millennium Stadium starts at 1930 BST.

    1848: FULL-TIME England 3-0 Israel
    First part done for Steve McClaren's men. Next up Russia. See you back here on Wednesday.

    "A stroll. England dominant, Israel awful. Wembley is satisfied, McClaren's critics - myself included - are satisfied. Let's not rain on England's parade, but if Russia string three passes together and have a shot on goal they will have posed a greater threat than Israel. Job done. And no-one could ask any more."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    "Even regarding the opposition, it's still been a decent performace and the best one from England for a while. Probably since McClaren took over."DJBoogie on 606

    1847: Two minutes of added time at Wembley.

    1844: A chance for England to make it four. Andrew Johnson's pass splits the defence and Michael Owen is through. Round the goalkeeper and sidefoots home... but there's a sliding block by Yoav Ziv.

    1843: Keith Gillespie cannot believe it as Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca waves play on after his run is blocked. Northern Ireland have got little out of the man in the middle.

    1842: More boos for David Bentley. Not the sort of thing that normally greets your debut. People are flooding for the Wembley exits. Not in response to Bentley by the way. Well, hopefully not.

    1841: Long throw into the box for Northern Ireland. There's just no way through. Frustrating.

    1839: Blackburn's David Bentley is on for his England debut. Shaun Wright-Phillips makes way. He is booed when he attempts to keep a pass in. That is a hangover from his refusal to play for the Under-21s during the summer.

    "Bentley may have made a mistake, but that reception for Bentley is a disgrace Wembley. Nothing less. As a greeting for a gifted young player making his international entrance, it is an embarrassing display."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1838: Northern Ireland are having plenty of the ball in Riga but can't find a way through the home defence. Chris Brunt is on for the visitors.

    "Chelsea duo Wright-Phillips and Joe Cole have both been lively. Steve McClaren is hardly dancing on the touchline shouting "bring on Russia" but he'll be feeling a whole lot better."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1835: Bang. John Terry steps in on Toto Tamuz on halfway and nails man and ball. He plays the pass away with Tamuz on the deck.

    1832: David Healy's fizzing free-kick is beaten away.

    1831: A final change from Israel. Michael Zandberg replaces Yaniv Katan.

    1830: Not what Northern Ireland wanted. Nigel Worthington had targeted at least four points from this match and the trip to Iceland on Wednesday. They have a little over 30 minutes to get back on level terms... and hopefully go ahead.

    1829: GOAL Latvia 1-0 Northern Ireland
    A counter-attack from the hosts and the ball is worked to Irmants Bleidelis on the right. Chris Baird turns the Latvian's cross into his own net for an own goal. That's Latvia's first goal in seven-and-a-half hours.

    1828: Changes for England with Everton duo Andrew Johnson and Phil Neville coming on for Emile Heskey and Steven Gerrard. The Neville brothers have now won more caps than the Charltons.

    "This is party time given the short rations of entertainment previously in the McClaren reign. Israel look ripe for the picking in the last 20 and a healthy boost to goal difference beckons."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1825: Kyle Lafferty tries to do a Michael Owen. The turn on the edge of the box is a touch more labourious and the shot is low and wide.

    1823: John Terry is booked for a late tackle. That means three of England's defence are on yellow cards in the competition. Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole are the others.

    1822: GOAL England 3-0 Israel
    Gareth Barry's flighted free-kick from the left is headed home by Micah Richards. The Manchester City man really does leap like the proverbial salmon. Dudu Aouate looks to have been booked for complaining about being blocked off at the corner by Michael Owen as he came for the ball.

    1821: Steve Gerrard's long-distance shot is straight at Dudu Aouate. Gerrard should surely be going off soon. Aouate would be good on a Scrabble board if you're ever stuck with vowels.

    1820: A spark for Israel, but Rio Ferdinand recovers to dispossess Toto Tamuz on the edge of the box.

    1819: The difference in pace between the two games is remarkable. It's as if Latvia-Northern Ireland is on fast forward. They're going 10-to-the-dozen and Latvia are on both 10 and a dozen. The visitors have come out a touch flat.

    1817: All set to go again in Riga. The players wait for Nigel Worthington to jog across the pitch from tunnel to dug out before resuming.

    1815: Ashley Cole in space on the left, but instead of motoring for the byeline he dawdles and a chance to open up the blue-shirted visitors is gone.

    1812: Israel make an attacking change. Arik Benado goes off and Omer Golan is on.

    1808: England are well and truly on easy street now.

    Player rater: Give your verdict on the players.

    1805: GOAL England 2-0 Israel
    Michael Owen collects a pass from Gareth Barry on the edge of the Israel box with his back to goal, swivels and fires in a wonderful shot that beats Dudu Aouate all ends up. Great goal.

    "Say what you like about injuries, losing a yard of pace and whether he should still be the main marksman - Michael Owen is still, as he has been for years, England's best bet for a goal. Not a typical Owen strike and the way in which he was engulfed by team-mates shows they understand his importance."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    "Here we go, everyone goes WAY over the top over a goal Owen scores that you see week in, week out all over the world. Firstly, look at the opposition. Secondly, what about the two sitters his missed in the first half? Owen WAS a great player."
    kickaballandscore on 606

    1802: HALF-TIME Latvia 0-0 Northern Ireland
    Tight and potentially tense.

    1801: England and Israel resume, and there is a change for the visitors in attack. Barak Itzhaki is off and the wonderfully-named Toto Tamuz is one. They are Beitar Jerusalem team-mates.

    1758: David Healy fizzes a shot wide of the Latvia goal.

    1757: Results from elsewhere. Russia, who are in England's group, may have played out time with 10 men but they scored twice more and end up beating Macedonia 3-0. Over in Scotland's group, Georgia and Ukraine drew 1-1. What a great day for Scots everywhere. And the Last Night of the Proms hasn't even started yet!

    1750: Juris Laizans catches Sammy Clingan with a nasty stray boot. He is treading a very fine line with his rough-house tactics, but still, amazingly, no booking.

    Player rater: Goalscorer Shaun Wright-Phillips is a short nose in front from Joe Cole and Micah Richards. They are a long nose in front of all Israel's players, for whom Yossi Benayoun leads the way. Give your verdict.

    1747: David Healy spins and turns outside the box, but his effort is straight at Latvian keeper Andris Vanins.

    1746: HALF-TIME England 1-0 Israel
    Could be worse, could be better. Actually, couldn't be worse against this toothless Israeli outfit, but it could be better.

    "England end a satisfying first 45 minutes with a spell of sustained pressure, with Joe Cole and Emile Heskey prominent. The nagging fear lurks that they could be punished for their generosity in front of goal - but Israel look nowhere near good enough to grab hold of any lifelines."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1744: Arik Benando is booked for complaining about a tackle from Micah Richards.

    1743: Corner for Northern ireland which should help check a good spell from Latvia. A foul in the box and any chance of creating some pressure goes up in smoke.

    1741: Shaun Wright-Phillips escapes on the right but his stabbed cross is poked clear by Israel with Michael Owen threatening in the six-yard box. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    1739: Russia will play out the last 20 minutes against Macedonia with 10 men. They still lead by just that one goal but it should be all square! Russia goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov was sent off but Alekandar Mitreski missed the resulting penalty.

    1738: Injury worry for Northern Ireland as Keith Gillespie is caught trying to avoid a lunge from Juris Laizans. Ouch. He is back on his feet after the magic spray does its stuff.

    1736: Excellent play from England... but no goal. Emile Heskey plays the ball back to Shaun Wright-Phillips for a cross and a delightful cushioned touch from Joe Cole in the box tees up Michael Owen. He slams one shot straight at Dudu Aouate and then fires the follow-up wide. Owen should have done better.

    1735: Stupid play from Shaun Wright-Phillips as he stretches for the ball and brings down Yoav Ziv on the left. Poor free-kick into the box from Israel.

    1734: Good play from Joe Cole on the left. He stays on his feet in confined space in the box and releases the ball... but nobody can get on the end of it.

    1731: Micah Richards is on the charge for England until Yoav Ziv gets in his way like a Robin Reliant blocking a Ferrari. Free-kick for England. Dudu Aouate punches the delivery clear. Seriously, that is his name.

    1729: Latvia aren't shy about throwing themselves around. Diminuitive Northern Ireland striker David Healy looks aghast at a barge. He's being tossed about like a green and white shirt in a red washing machine.

    1728: Micah Richards heads away Idan Tal's free-kick in a crowded England box.

    1727: John Terry and Yossi Benayoun look OK. Oh for the days of Terry Butcher or Paul Ince when footballers just crash, bang, wallop got on with things.

    1726: Neat player by Keith Gillespie, but the final pass goes astray in the box. Maybe it's the strikers who went astray. The pass was good.

    1725: England skipper John Terry is hobbling a touch. Worth keeping an eye on that. Yossi Benayoun is also in a bit of bother.

    1724: A rare moment of promise for Israel in that they are actually in the England half. They do not get close to the Paul Robinson's penalty area.

    1723: Kyle Lafferty is almost in for Northern Ireland but the big striker can't quite reach a bouncing pass as he gets in behind the Latvian defence.

    1721: Northern Ireland are dominating territory against Latvia but have yet to really threaten their hosts.

    1718: GOAL England 1-0 Israel
    Joe Cole whips a right-footed ball across the box. His Chelsea team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips ghosts in at the far post and his crisp half volley breaks the deadlock.

    1715: Latvia, all in red, get things started in Riga. Northern Ireland are wearing white shirts and green shorts.

    1714: The free-kick is headed behind for a corner as John Terry sniffs out a chance at the back post. Emile Heskey heads the corner wide.

    1713: Shimon Gershon is booked for a blocking challenge on Steven Gerrard. A typical barn-storming run from the Liverpool man as he burst forward to get on to a chested pass from Emile Heskey.

    "Anyone bored already? TopTorres on 606

    Is that personal abuse or a reflection on the game?

    1711: A scare for England as Barak Itzhaki is through on the England goal. The flag is up. Paul Robinson saves anyway.

    1710: The Skonto Stadium in Riga is a pokey place, but the 2,500 travelling fans have added some vibrant colour and noise to proceedings as the players emerge.


    TEAM NEWS: Latvia v Northern Ireland
    Latvia: Vanins, Zirnis, Gorkss, Klava, Ivanovs, Bleidelis, Laizans, Astafjevs, Rubins, Verpakovskis, Karlsons.
    Subs: Romanovs, Blanks, Solonicins, Visnjakovs, Surnins, Rimkus, Kacanovs.
    Northern Ireland: Taylor, Baird, Duff, Evans, McCartney, Gillespie, Clingan, Davis, Elliott, Healy, Lafferty.
    Subs: Mannus, Sproule, McAuley, Feeney, Jones, Craigan, Brunt.

    1709: Gareth Barry plays a lovely floated ball into the box and Michael Owen tees up Emile Heskey. Groans all round. He lashes an effort high over the bar.

    1707: Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington will be taking nothing for granted against Latvia but expresses his desire for an early goal.

    1703: Shaun Wright-Phillips sneaks in behind his full-back but his cross is blocked for a corner. Nothing to write home about with the delivery for the right angle. What the hell does that mean? Apologies.

    "Steve McClaren has kept Joe Cole on the left flank when many suspected he would be pushed into the centre to accommodate Gareth Barry. Plenty of responsibility now rests on Gerrard in the middle, but he is no stranger to that, already demanding the ball and attempting to spread play."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1701: A quiet-ish start for England.

    1659: Right then. All eyes on Wembley. Dutchman Peter Vink blows his whistle to get things going. This is the 13th game for Steve McClaren as boss. Are you feeling lucky Macca?

    1657: National anthems at Wembley and in Lens... and they're both the same. If you want to keep up with the rugby try Radio 5live Sports Extra or this link...

    "How sad that a beautiful rendition of the Israel anthem is ruined by morons who chose to jeer at the start and end. It may be a new home for England but some of their fans still have the same bad habits. Some things have changed. Emile Heskey's name receives a rousing reception. Let's hope it is still the same in 90 minutes."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1654: FULL-TIME Scotland 3-1 Lithuania
    There it is. Scotland maintain their 100% home record and go top of Group B... for the time being. Italy and France play later tonight.

    Player rater: Darren Fletcher is still leading the way. What about Saulius Mikoliunas? The man who won Lithuania's penalty with a dive is ranking 2.20. How low can he go?

    1653: Where's that whistle for Scotland and Lithuania?

    1652: The players are in the tunnel at Wembley. England in traditional white, Israel in traditional blue. Skippers John Terry and Yossi Benayoun lead their teams out on a cloudy London day.

    1651: Lithuania close out time with a couple of corners. Stout Scottish defending.

    1649: There will be four minutes of added time at Hampden Park. Attention then turns to Wembley and Riga.

    1647: Party time at Hampden, although Darren Fletcher isn't too happy. The Scotland skipper picks up a yellow card.


    1646: TEAMS England v Israel
    England: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Terry, Ashley Cole, Wright-Phillips, Gerrard, Barry, Joe Cole, Heskey, Owen.
    Subs: Brown, James, Neville, Bentley, Downing, Johnson, Defoe.
    Israel: Aouate, Spungin, Ben-Haim, Gershon, Ziv, Benayoun, Badir, Benado, Tal, Katan, Itzhaki.
    Subs: Zandberg, Tamuz, Golan, Antebi, Balili, Alberman, Davidovitch.

    1642: GOAL Scotland 3-1 Lithuania
    Those last 10 minutes will be a breeze now. Kris Boyd holds up the ball from a throw on the edge of the box and lays it off to James McFadden who unleashes a whizzbanger of a shot. Game over. Happy days.

    1641: Lithuanian heads have not dropped. Scotland face a potentially testing 10 minutes before the final whistle.

    1639: Saulius 'Diver' Mikoliunas fires a low cross into the near post. Craig Gordon envelops the ball before a foreign boot can get to it. Mikoliunas is going to get a hot welcome wherever he goes with Hearts in the next few weeks - and maybe from his own fans as well...
    "I hope Mikoliunas never plays for us again. He will be crucified at Tynecastle."
    Steve the Jambo via text on 81111

    1638: A great chance to put the game to bed. Scotland break but at the crucial moment three players over-run James McFadden on the edge of the box as he looks to thread someone through with a killer pass.

    1637: GOAL Scotland 2-1 Lithuania
    What a substitution! Darren Fletcher plays a corner out to Shaun Maloney and his devilish, whipped delivery from the left is bundled over at the back post by Stephen McManus. Not a bad impact from the Aston Villa man. One touch, one assist.

    1636: Craig Beattie and Shaun Maloney are set to come on for Scotland. Garry O'Connor and Lee McCulloch go off.

    "Garry O'Connor has been so ineffective I'm wondering if he's ill."
    Pat Nevin, BBC Radio 5live pundit

    1635: James MacFadden jinks and jives his way to the edge of the box on the right, but the cross is too high for Kris Boyd.

    1633: Corner for Scotland on the left. Not the best from Darren Fletcher. Too deep. Throw to the hosts on the right. The throw-in's not much better.

    1632: Stephen McManus on defensive duties now. Lithuania streak away down the left and when the cross comes in McManus blocks the shot from Mindaugas Kalonas.

    1630: A fine double-handed parry from Zydrunas Karcemarskas to push away a Stephen McManus header from Darren Fletcher's free-kick low to his right.

    1628: Here, finally, comes a Scotland change. James McFadden replaces Gary Teale. A huge roar from the fans for that one.

    "We need Barry Robson on to finish the game with one of his trademark free-kicks! Come on Scotland."
    Brian, from Thurso, via text on 81111

    1625: England head coach Steve McClaren reveals Steven Gerrard - a "massive player" - will play without a pain-killing injection for his toe. As for the decision to play Gareth Barry: "He is in great form, is a good passer and a good foil for Stevie." And Heskey: "He is target and we are hoping he will be awkward for their defence."

    1621: Just about half-an-hour for Scotland to dig themselves out of this one.

    "Scotland's qualifying chances are lying in the balance and it is time for Alex McLeish to make some big, brave decisions."
    Pat Nevin, BBC Radio 5live pundit

    1620 GOAL Scotland 1-1 Lithuania:
    Tomas Danilevicus scores right down the middle as Craig Gordon dives left after one of the most dubious penalty awards you will ever see. Saulius Mikoliunas took a blatant dive. Darren Fletcher is incredulous as the referee claims he tripped the Hearts man.

    "England's goalkeepers are first out to warm-up under the watchful eye of coach Ray Clemence - understandably so after recent calamities involving Paul Robinson. Coach Steve McClaren must hope his loyalty in retaining Robinson does not back-fire. Israel have a healthy following in a currently sparsely-polulated Wembley."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1617: Stephen McManus sees his shot on goal blocked at source as the ball breaks for him from the free-kick.

    1616: Garry O'Connor breaks down the right and as he steps inside Tomas Zvirgzdauskas is cut down. Booking for the man with the ridiculously long and complicated name. Free-kick for Scotland.

    1614: Marius Stankevicius is not good to go. Edgaras Jankauskas comes on. Striker for defender. Lithuania are up for this - and why not on their second-half showing.

    1612: News from elsewhere in Europe and some early goals to interest Scotland and England fans. Not good interest. Bad interest. Ukraine (in Scotland's group) lead Georgia and Russia (in England's group) lead Macedonia. About 10 minutes gone in both games.

    1611: Corner for Lithuania but it goes behind. Marius Stankevicius falls awkwardly as he comes steaming in to get his head to the ball. The Brescia man has a spot of treatment to that hydraulic arm of his.

    1610: Scotland started the first half on top. Lithuania have come out for the second 45 in good order.

    1605: Scotland get the ball rolling at the start of the second half. A couple of changes for Lithuania.

    1556: Anyone want to guess what the half-time entertainment is over the PA at Hampden Park? The Proclaimers are walking and walking and walking and walking and walking and walking and walking and walking...

    "I bet Jamie in Ayr celebrated Boyd's goal."
    Calum, in Mearns, via text on 81111


    1555: TEAM NEWS Latvia v Northern Ireland
    Jonny Evans and Stuart Elliott start. Stephen Craigan and Chris Brunt miss out. Evans starts at right-back and Michael Duff moves into the heart of the defence.
    Northern Ireland: Taylor; Evans, McCartney, Duff, Baird; Johnson, Clingan, Gillespie, Elliott; Healy, Lafferty.

    1552: TEAM NEWS England v Israel
    Owen Hargreaves is unfit for England so Gareth Barry starts with Steven Gerrard at the centre of midfield. Recalled striker Emile Heskey is up front with Michael Owen.
    England: Robinson; Richards, Terry, Ferdinand, A Cole; Wright-Phillips, Gerrard, Barry, J Cole; Owen, Heskey.

    "Gaz Baz is better than Hargreaves anyway! Hargreaves = most overrated and rubbish player in the world."
    HolteEnders07 on 606


    "That is not a surprise. We'd heard Hargreaves wasn't training for some time. It looks a straightforward 4-4-2 and our two most important people are our full-backs as Israel will defend deep."
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio 5live pundit

    Player rater: Nobody at Hampden Park is setting the world alight. Darren Fletcher gets your nod as the star man at half time.

    1550: HALF-TIME Scotland 1-0 Lithuania
    Some good stuff from Lithuania in the closing stages, but Scotland are good for their lead.

    "Lithuania are a team that can be beaten, and beaten well if Scotland get a second goal."
    Pat Nevin, BBC Radio 5live pundit

    1548: Marius Stankevicius has an absolute boomeroonio of a throw. His effort torpedoes over every one. People can't kick corners that far!

    1546: An awful shot from Deividas Cesnauskis. He latches on to a dropping ball after Jay McEveley clears the free-kick. It ends up going out for a throw on the right. That's worse than Geoff Thomas!

    1545: Jay McEveley heads a cross clear at the back and Darren Fletcher blocks a shot. Garry O'Connor is booked for a rash foul on Marius Stankevicius on the right flank.

    1543: Darren Fletcher slips a sweet pass through to Kris Boyd on the left. The striker stays onside but his shot from the angle is blocked by the spread-eagled Zydrunas Karcemarskas. As Boyd latches on to the loose ball and looks to swivel and cross into the box Karcemarskas cynically clatters him from behind.

    1541: Scott Brown gets a vital touch on a dropping ball in the Scotland box as Mindaugas Kalonas lines up a shot in the box. The pace has picked up since that goal.

    1539: Good save from Zydrunas Karcemarskas to deny Kris Boyd.

    1538: Marius Stankevicius hacks down Scott Brown. Booking.

    1537: Another Darren Fletcher free-kick in the vicinity of the box. He takes his time over this one. It is off the training park and causes panic in the Lithuanian ranks but they hold firm.

    1534: GOAL Scotland 1-0 Lithuania
    Darren Fletcher catches the visitors on the doze with a quick free-kick. His low delivery from the right is met at the near post by the stooping Kris Boyd and his glancing header nestles in the net. Alex McLeish didn't see it as he was still scribbling in his little black book!

    1533: Scotland boss Alex McLeish reaches for his little black book. Not that sort of little black book. This one has got his tactics in it.

    1531: A cheeky long throw from Marius Stankevicius deep on the left which Graig Gordon gathers under his bar at the near post.

    "Brown has 2 get on the ball. He's world class."
    SG via text on 81111

    1528: Great tackle by Alan Hutton on the floppy-haired Mindaugas Kalonas. That's the view from here, but not from the referee. BBC Radio 5live pundit Pat Nevin is getting mildly irate with the man in the middle. "He's having a nightmare," is the verdict. Agreed.

    1527: Another Scotland corner. This is more like it from the boys in blue. Nothing from that one either as Kris Boyd is caught offside as the ball comes back in.

    1526: Scotland corner. Not the excitement of the last one.

    1524: BBC Radio 5live pundit Pat Nevin said the referee definitely wasn't a "homer" earlier - that's homer - but the first booking of the afternoon goes in favour of Scotland. Andrius Velicka is booked for a foul on Alan Hutton.

    1523: Darren Fletcher's outswinger is headed goalwards by Garry O'Connor and flicked on target by Kris Boyd. That effort is clawed away under his bar by Zydrunas Karcemarskas straight to Lee McCulloch. The Rangers man's header is saved. He had time to hammer that home from point-blank range.

    1522: A bright start followed by a poor patch but now there's something for the home fans to cheer.

    1521: Darren Fletcher runs the ball out of the Scotland defence. No support for the skipper and things soon break down as he goes down a cul-de-sac.

    "Scotland need to look out for the dreaded counter attack. That's the only way they can lose this game."
    dirk-kuyt18 on 606

    1518: Scotland fail to clear and Mindaugas Kalonas fires a first shot of the afternoon wide of Craig Gordon's right post.

    1517: Tomas Danilevicius auditions for Rada with a dramatic dive as Scott Brown comes in with a tackle. Looks ridiculous but the referee likes it and it is a Lithuanian free-kick on the left of the box.

    1515: It could be famous last words, but Lithuania don't seem to have much in attack. A couple of throws deep on the left, but they show no ambition to get the ball in early and ask the Scottish defence questions.

    1514: Harrying work from Scotland in midfield. Good work-rate - although Lithuania come away with the ball.

    1512: Things have settled down a bit now. Why is the Lithuanian keeper Zydrunas Karcemarskas wearing tracksuit bottoms on a beautiful Scottish afternoon?

    1510: Cross from Gary Teale. Oh dear. The less said about that the better.

    1509: A theatrical fall to ground from Garry O'Connor on the edge of the box as he looks to get on the end of a Kris Boyd flick-on.

    1507: Scotland's start is as bright as the gleaming sunshine.

    1506: The Lithuanians who have come from further afield than Edinburgh look as if they have done so simply to get the Duty Free. They are happy to sit back, have handed the initiative to their hosts and it could be a long afternoon for the visitors.

    1505: If at any stage during the afternoon any website users want to give a verdict on the players get involved with the player rater. Jamie from Ayr will no doubt be clicking on the zero mark for the poor, beleagured Kris Boyd.

    1504: All the pre-match stuff is eventually sorted and we are under way.

    1459: That's more like it. A throaty rendition of Flower of Scotland from a silver-haired lothario in a kilt who even gives it a couple of "Come ons!" midflow. Fantastic.

    1458: No offence to any Lithuanians out there, but that is a poor national anthem. You'd hear better from some buskers on trumpets on a Glasgow street corner.

    1457: Never mind it being 8 September. It's like Guy Fawkes night with fireworks soaring skywards. Frenzied expectation as Hampden roars.

    1456: Players in the tunnel. Scotland in all blue, Lithuania in yellow shirts and green shorts. Postbox red for our Slovenian referee Damir Skomina.

    "I don't expect a big score for Scotland. Usually Scotland don't do it the easy way."
    Pat Nevin, BBC Radio 5live pundit

    "History tells us that confidence & Scotland go together like strawberries & raw mince. Expect a nervy home win and then England to repeat the trick."
    R McInroy, in Glasgow, via text

    1454: Cue the bagpipes. That must mean the players are coming out in a bit. Break-beat bagpipes. Interesting.

    1451: A brief word from Scotland boss Alex McLeish in the tunnel. He is calling for "passion and commitment" on a level with the last performance at Hampden against Georgia. The PA is ramping up the passion in the crowd. Top marks to him.

    1447: Rugby to the right, cricket to the left, and here were in the middle with football. No stuck about it. This is the place to be. But if you want to keep abreast of the others click around...

    1443: Jimmy K's taking some flak. Makes a change, it's normally someone who goes by the name Charlie H. "He's forgotten that there are three England matches today" is the general, snappy theme flooding in. Yes, the cricket is also on.

    1439: The Scots have not lost a competitve match at home since October 2005. Lithuania don't beat anyone of note away from home... unless that particular note is spelt Faroe Islands. They beat the giants of Turkmenistan 2-1 in their last outing.

    1437: Can anyone really see beyond a Scotland win. They've got their tails up these days and Lithuania are 78th in the world.

    1432: BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson believes none of the Home Nations will lose. Can that really be right?

    1428: It is one year and two days since the Scots last played Lithuania. Walter Smith was the boss that day. New coach Alex McLeish will take the same result before heading to France for Wednesday's big match.

    "I'm off up to Wembley. Train's full of people in England shirts! No rugby ones though. Why on earth are both England matches at the same time?"
    Jimmy K, in London, via text on 81111
    Accepted Jimmy. Absolute madness.


    1422: TEAM NEWS Scotland v Lithuania
    Kris Boyd is... in the team. He's in attack with Garry O'Connor. Gary Teale is a surpise starter wide on the right of midfield. Deividas Cesnauskis and Andrius Velicka are the only starters from the six Hearts players in the Lithuania squad.

    Scotland: Gordon, Hutton, Weir, McManus, McEveley, Teale, Brown, Fletcher, McCulloch, Boyd, O'Connor.
    Subs: McGregor, Alexander, McFadden, Beattie, Maloney, Caldwell, Hartley.
    Lithuania: Karcemarskas, Stankevicius, Skerla, Zvirgzdauskas, Klimavacius, Semberas, Kalonas, Cesnauskis, Morinas, Danilevicius, Velicka.
    Subs: Grybauskas, Beniusis, Mikoliunas, Paulauskas, Jankauskas, Zelmikas, Ksanavicius.

    "Boyd has his detractors. He grazes around the penalty area until something attracts his attention. He has one trick, but it's a remarkable trick. He shoots at every opportunity."
    Roddy Forsyth, BBC Radio 5live commentator


    1420: It's almost team news time, but first a message to help build up an incey-wincey bit of tension and excitement before that. It has come in via text...
    "I've got my fingers crossed you aren't about to announce Boyd as a starter - all the skill and workrate of a hippo. Never an international player."
    Jamie L in Ayr

    1418: A free advert for BBC colleagues working on these games today. Radio wise you can listen to Scotland, England and Wales on BBC Radio 5live, while Northern Ireland is on BBC Radio Ulster. Audio from all four matches are on the BBC Sport website. And the England game is on BBC One from 1630 BST.

    1416: Wales are playing for pride. OK, there's a long shot they could qualify... blimey, is that a pig flying over the Gower Peninsula. Yeah, forget that. As for the Republic of Ireland, who are also in Group D, they are handily placed. Germany await the Welsh, while Steve Staunton's lot are in Slovakia.

    1413: Northern Ireland may have swapped managers half way through the qualification marathon but it has not slowed their progress. If Nigel Worthington's boys beat Latvia they will go top of Group F... at least for a bit. They should beat their hosts. The Latvian's might have reached Euro 2004 but are ranked 110th in the world these days.

    1410: England have got themselves in a fine old mess and fail to win against Israel and they may as well pack their bags and start planning for the 2010 World Cup instead. Coach Steve McClaren can just pack his bags and head to a hermit's cave in deepest, darkest Cornwall.

    "Fans want something to cheer and nothing less than a convincing win is good enough."
    Lee Dixon, BBC Sport pundit

    1407: Well in chronological order there is England against Israel at Wembley, Latvia against Northern Ireland at the Skonto Stadium, Wales against Germany at the Millennium Stadium and the Republic of Ireland against Slovakia at the well-known Tehelne Pole Stadium.

    1405: What's that you cry? Please reveal what those other games are?

    1402: Don't feel that's an exclusive invitation to those only in Glasgow. If you're going to any of the afternoon's other games, or even just chipping about some soulless shopping centre, get texting with your views on the action. The wittier the better. Anonymity and typooos are frowned upon. Sorry. That should by typos. Unlikely that either of those will be the last.

    1359: Early doors predictions get the ball rolling on 606 where it is Scotland all the way. Take your pick from 2-1, 3-0 or 6-0. At least we should get some goals. As well as getting involved thoughout the afternoon on 606 drop us a text on 81111 if you're on your way to Hampden.

    1356: Scotland keeper Craig Gordon knows a few of the Lithuania boys from his time at Hearts and told Football Focus that he expects them to be "organised". He added "They'll be difficult to beat and on their day they can be a handful."

    1353: There was the potential for this to be Scotland v Hearts, but visiting boss Algimantas Lubinskas has opted against that and pulled no punches in explaining why: "If we played all six of the Hearts players then we would lose because, as we know, Hearts are sitting a way down the Scottish Premier League."

    1350: So the countdown's on to the first kick-off at Hampden Park where Scotland host Lithuania. Win and the Scots could end the day second in Group B. The pool's supposed top dogs Italy and France meet in a replay of the 2006 World Cup final at 1950 BST.

    "It would suit Scotland if France beat Italy as it would keep the Italians lower in the pecking order. Then we just need to go to France on Wednesday and pick up three points."
    Craig Brown, BBC Sport Scotland pundit

    1348: First stop is Glasgow, and thereafter we will be on a whirlwind tour of London, Riga, Bratislava and Cardiff until close of play at about 2130 tonight. And if you haven't had enough of waving your chosen flag through that you can then tune in to the Last Night of the Proms on BBC One. Does life get any better?

    1346: We have hit the start of the home straight for Euro 2008 qualifying. The whole process started 13 months ago and while this weekend will not make-or-break chances of progress to Austria and Switzerland next summer, it will make the picture a whole lot clearer.

    1345: Hello Europe.

  • SEE ALSO
    Euro 2008 qualifying results
    08 Sep 07 |  Football
    International football photos
    08 Sep 07 |  Football
    International football as it happened
    22 Aug 07 |  Internationals


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