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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007, 22:04 GMT
Euro 2008 qualifying as it happened
Group B
Scotland 1-2 Italy
Group D
Wales 2-2 Republic of Ireland
Group E
Israel 2-1 Russia
FYR Macedonia 2-0 Croatia

Group F
Northern Ireland 2-1 Denmark


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

2201: Thanks for all your texts and 606 chat today. I was expecting drama but not on the scale we have just witnessed. Here's Steve McClaren's view: "What a night! I'd like to pay tribute to Israel for the professional way they went about the job." The lucky so-and-so. See you on Wednesday for more fun and games.

2156: Player of the Day goes, rather bizarrely, to Nicklas Bendtner. This is what happens when you let the good people of the BBC Sport website choose their player ratings. The Danish striker's on 8.33 but honourable mentions go to Northern Ireland's Warren Feeney (7.76), Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane (7.87), Wales midfielder Jason Koumas (7.88), Italy goalscorer Luca Toni (7.70) and Scotland right-back Alan Hutton (7.68).

2148: Spain take a 2-0 lead into the half-time interval in Madrid thanks to Andres Iniesta's goal. It means Northern Ireland's hopes of qualification for Euro 2008 are panatela-slim but they have hope and that is an achievement in itself.

2146: What a day. Scotland are left to rue a dodgy free-kick and a rubbish ref in Glasgow, England have a new hero in Israel matchwinner Omer Golan and Northern Ireland can still qualify thanks to magic man David Healy in a match that nearly didn't happen. And Wales drew with the Republic of Ireland. You can pour your heart out to Spoony on 5 Live on 0500 909 693 or text 85058. Alternatively, why not have a word with the good folk of 606?

2142: "I'm just proud to wear the shirt. The record doesn't mean anything, It was all about winning, we've been written off every game we've played but we can still do it."
Northern Ireland matchwinner David Healy

2139: FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 2-1 Denmark
The dream lives on. Windsor Park erupts after that man David Healy's winner. Healy has broken Davor Suker's record of 12 goals in a qualifying campaign.

2137: What drama! Dennis Rommedahl's curling free-kick hits the inside of the post and is somehow cleared for a corner. From it, Dennis Sorensen's close-range shot is cleared off the line by Sammy Clingan. Denmark appeal for handball but nothing given and from the next corner, Sorenson blazes over from six yards out.

2135: Into the last minute in Belfast on a day of late, late goals.

2133: If Spain win tonight, it will leave Northern Ireland needing victory in Spain on Wednesday and hoping Sweden lose at home against Latvia.

2129: But bad news for Northern Ireland as Spain take the lead against Sweden through Joan Capdevila.

2125: GOAL Northern Ireland 2-1 Denmark
You don't really need to ask who scored that goal do you? Gareth McAuley's throw-in finds David Healy but the striker still has plenty of work to do. Healy turns and digs out a superb chip which floats over Thomas Sorensen and nestles gloriously into the bottom of the net. Brilliant goal.

2123: "We were close but if you don't convert your domination then in the end you do not win."
Russia coach Guus Hiddink on the defeat in Israel

2119: Winger Keith Gillespie is replaced by Ivan Sproule as Northern Ireland go in desperate search for a winner.

2117: This game is being played at "a million miles an hour", according to the BBC commentator. Northern Ireland look the more likely scorers...

2113: For those of you texting in questioning my maths, only a 2-0 win would be enough to see England top the group ahead of Croatia. The first determining factor is the head-to-head record, not goal difference. A 1-0 win for England would mean Croatia stay top because they beat England 2-0.

2111: Warren Feeney hammers a fabulous volley against the bar. So unlucky. Moments later, Keith Gillespie gets a talking-to from the ref after clashing with Thomas Sorensen. It was accidental. I think.

2109: The crowd at Windsor Park are going billy bonkers as Northern Ireland press for a winner. "2-1. We're going to win 2-1, we're going to win 2-1..."

2106: GOAL Northern Ireland 1-1 Denmark
Moments after Steven Davis goes so, so close, Chris Brunt crosses from the right and Warren Feeney heads in. Another goal will see Northern Ireland stay alive.

2103: Warren Feeney's glancing header is brilliantly saved by Thomas Sorensen. Hope for Northern Ireland, and the crowd responds.

2101: "Shaun (see 2044), if we want England to win Euro 2008 then I think Caroline needs to be on the bench. Maybe even the assistant coach."
Arunav in SE London via text on 81111
(Quite fancy that job to be fair)

2056: GOAL Northern Ireland 0-1 Denmark
Leon Andreason smashes the ball into the box and it appears to get stuck under Nicklas Bendtner's feet but Northern Ireland can't clear and the Arsenal striker eventually stabs home.

2052: FULL-TIME Macedonia 2-0 Croatia
Macedonia's win means lucky old England have gone from clinging on for a miracle at the start of the day to having a geniune hope of finishing top of the group by the end. And to think Steve McClaren was bemoaning his luck last night when Michael Owen got injured. My my reckoning, a 2-0 win for England on Wednesday put them top of Group E.

2051: Denmark make a change at half-time, bringing on Dennis Sorensen for Thomas Kahlenberg. Dennis' arrival makes it three Sorensens on the pitch for Denmark. They're not related though.

2049: The teams are back out at Windsor Park and Northern Ireland kick off the second half. The fans have been absolutely tremendous throughout this game - despite the atrocious conditions.

2046: "Is this Euro 2008 qualifying scripted? And has an Englishman written it?"
theothefuture on 606

2044: "Can we make sure Caroline is here again on Wednesday, she is our lucky charm."
Shaun in Bedford via text on 81111
(Barring injury, illness or sacking, I'll be here Shaun)

2040: GOAL Macedonia 2-0 Croatia
Ilco Naumoski doubles the hosts lead in Skopje.

2039: If Macedonia hold on to beat Croatia, it means England could actually top the group with victory at Wembley on Wednesday. All sorts of complicated maths needed but it can be done.

2035: HALF-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Denmark
All square in Belfast. Northern Ireland need a victory to keep their qualifying hopes alive.

2033: GOAL Macedonia 1-0 Croatia
Unbelievable. I bet Steve McClaren's won the blimmin lottery tonight as well. Goran Maznov puts Macedonia ahead.

2031: Dennis Rommedahl shows Northern Ireland how to deliver a corner properly but Martin Laursen heads over as Denmark create their best chance of the match so far.

2029: The hard-working Warren Feeney earns a corner for Northern Ireland but it's an awful one and as half-time approaches, there's not much to get excited about in Belfast.

2025: Let's start the campaign now... Craig texts in to say: "Vote OMER GOLAN BBC Sports Personality of the Year."

2020: I know you're thinking I'm ignoring the game at Windsor Park. I'm not. I'm watching intently. It's just there's not a lot happening. And I don't want to keep boring you with weather reports.

2017: "Message from Wembley Stadium to all stewards: Do NOT allow anyone claiming to be (or resembling) Gordon Brown to enter on Wednesday evening. The man's a jinx..."
YesterdaysMan on 606

2015: "God really loves us Scots today, huh?"
Paul, Scotland, via text on 81111

2009: Northern Ireland winger Keith Gillespie gets a booking and will miss the game in Spain on Wednesday. No clear-cut chances so far for either side in Belfast. The rain has eased but the standing water on the pitch is making life very difficult for both sides.

2008: Incidentally, that result in Israel also means Croatia have sealed qualification for Euro 2008. If you're an England game, you'll be hoping they celebrate long and hard between now and Wednesday.

2006: "There are 15 guys in my lounge, all cheering our hearts out! Congratulations to Israel on a brilliantly proud display and thanks so much!"
LukeArchbold on 606

1956: FULL-TIME Israel 2-1 Russia
A knighthood for Omer Golan. His goal wins it for Israel and leaves England needing a point at Wembley on Wednesday. A dramatic and unexpected lifeline for England and their manager Steve McClaren.

1953: GOAL Israel 2-1 Russia
Can you believe it??? As Russia press forward for the winner, Israel go on the counter and Omer Golan slots the ball under the Russia keeper. That was pretty much Israel's first attack of the second-half and if things stay the same, England now need a draw against Croatia on Wednesday to qualify.

1952: Russia livewire Dmitri Sychev bursts through on goal but his shot hits the post. These are crucial moments for England. Four minutes of injury time to be played.

1951: HALF-TIME Macedonia 0-0 Croatia
Goalless in Skopje.

1949: As the rain pours down, Northern Ireland kick off a must-win game in Belfast. There is standing water all over the pitch and the ball keeps getting held up.

1946: "Just had 100 on Russia at 2/1 in my local betting shop to ease the pain of the inevitable."
Tim from Loughborough via text on 81111

1944: "To Matt (see 1940), I won't! Hold on Israel!"
Luke via text on 81111 (Seven minutes remaining in Tel Aviv)

1942: Northern Ireland v Denmark definitely gets the go-ahead. They will play on what, essentially, is a bog.

Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, Evans, Hughes, Craigan, Clingan, Gillespie, Davis, Brunt, Healy, Feeney. Subs: Mannus, Baird, Sproule, Capaldi, Hamilton, Robinson, Paterson.
Denmark: Thomas Sorensen, Priske, Chris Sorensen, Martin Laursen, Kroldrup, Christian Poulsen, Andreasen, Kahlenberg, Rommedahl, Jorgensen, Bendtner. Subs: Andersen, Niclas Jensen, Ulrik Laursen, Wurtz, Simon Poulsen, Larsen, Dennis Sorensen.

1940: "If England quailfy after Scotland's heroic efforts fail, then as an Englishman I will feel embarrassed"
Matt in Stockport via text on 81111

1938: It's hard to believe that Northern Ireland v Denmark will go ahead at Windsor Park but it looks like it will despite the fact the rain appears to be getting worse. I suppose it would be a logistical nightmare if it doesn't.

1937: "I've never been so nervous watching a game concerning two teams I don't support."
WillParishLFC on 606

1936: More from Belfast... As of now, the game is still on but there will be a further pitch inspection at 1940 GMT - five minutes before the scheduled kick-off. However, the Windsor Park groundsman has told BBC Northern Ireland that the match should not go ahead.

1935: Russia midfielder Dmitri Sychev unleashes a vicious shot which fizzes just past the post. Nervous moments for Israel - and England.

1931: Russia sacrifice a defender for an attacker as they seek the victory which would keep their Euro 2008 destiny in their own hands. As it stands, England will pip them to the post with victory over Croatia on Wednesday.

1930: "Let's face it, Russia deserve to qualify. Coached by a better tactician and motivator in Hiddink who always does a good job. They have great potential as a European force. England are becoming somewhat of a European farce under McClaren."
Richard (England fan) in Cardiff via text on 81111

1926: "We didn't deserve that, to lose that game, we battered them in the second half and they were dead men walking at the end. The set-piece that led to their second goal was an unbelievable decision."
Scotland boss Alex McLeish

1922: GOAL Israel 1-1 Russia
Uh-oh. Andrei Arshavin dinks the ball across for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who makes no mistake this time, his drive finding the roof of the net via a touch off the keeper.

1919: Russia carve out their best chance of the match so far. Dmitri Sychev crosses and the ball comes out to Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who puts his shot straight at the keeper. Much better from the visitors.

1917: "What a great game. So many emotions, unfortunately wasn't the right outcome. They should not have had the free kick which they scored their second but Ukraine wouldn't have beaten France anyway. But the players have made every single Scot proud and I would walk anyway with my Scotland shirt on and have my head held high. Thanks for a fantastic campaign lads will always be remembered."
The_mighty_Scots on 606

1915: Not much sign of a Russia revival so far in this second half. As it stands, England will only need a draw against Croatia on Wednesday.

1908: The game in Israel is under way in the second half as the second Group E game between FYR Macedonia and Croatia kicks off.

1905: To cheer up the Scotland fans just a tiny little bit, Scotland's efforts mean they should be one of the second seeds when the draw for the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign is made next week.

1904: The Scotland players are back out on the pitch at Hampden to show their appreciation for the fans. They are clearly absolutely gutted but they are receiving a heroes welcome from the fans, who have stayed behind in numbers to celebrate a nonetheless brilliant campaign.

1858: "It has been a wonderful journey. We have a team and squad to be proud of and beat the World Cup finalists home and away without conceding a goal. If France lose in the Ukraine it will be the final twist of the knife, but I think we will qualify for the next World Cup."
hawick on 606

1856: "That should not have been given as a free-kick to Italy. You have to feel for Scotland. And Uefa have to investigate the horribly shoddy refereeing."
Chacor on 606

1855: HALF-TIME Israel 1-0 Russia
Israel lead going into half-time in Tel Aviv. Russia will have to do what they did against England last time out and come back from a goal down to earn a win. But this time there's no plastic pitch and they are away from home. They do have the tactical mastery of Guus Hiddink though.

1854: "The referee was shambolic. For both sides. Absolutely shambolic."
Mark Pougatch on BBC Radio 5 Live

1851: FULL-TIME Scotland 1-2 Italy
A choker for Scotland. The Scots' equaliser had a touch of offside about it but that should never have been a free-kick for Italy's winner. Assistant Roy Aitken is remonstrating with the officials but Alex McLeish drags him away. It pains me to say it but it's another hard-luck story for Scotland. Italy and France qualify for Euro 2008.

1848: GOAL Scotland 1-2 Italy
Heartbreak. Absolute heartbreak. Alan Hutton is shoulder-barged off the ball by Giorgio Chiellini but the free-kick goes to Italy. Christian Panucci heads in Andrea Pirlo's free-kick.

1846: Christian Panucci is so, so close to winning it for Italy but his header from a free-kick skims wide. Maybe the fates are smiling on Scotland?

1845: Italy bring on Daniele de Rossi in place of Gennaro Gattuso. Three minutes remaining.

1843: Italy are clearly worried. They are time-wasting and trying all the tricks in the book. But then they do only need a draw and then another draw against the Faroe Islands to qualify.

1841: Scotland are dominating the game. Get all the cliches out because this is as a brave a performance as you could hope for.

1838: Incredible. Absolutely incredible. If Scotland don't win this, this is the moment they will look back on. A low cross evades everyone and lands with James McFadden, but with the goal gaping, the striker can't get the angle right and fires wide. He lies on the turf, his head in his hands.

1837: James McFadden lashes wide after a silky move from Scotland. He saw glory again there.

1836: "I'm watching the Israel game and they've just missed a sitter. This is horrible, things not being in our own hands, but i'm Israeli today. They've just just shown Mr Abramovich with a right scowl on his face. Let's hope it becomes more permanent."
Steve via text on 81111

1833: Kenny Miller is on for Scott Brown. About 15 minutes to go for Scotland to score the goal that would put them into Euro 2008.

1832: News from Belfast... The Uefa delegate says that the pitch is "currently playable because 50% of the ground is unaffected". There will be a further pitch inspection at 1930 GMT.

1832: Barak Itzhaki glances a header just wide from an Israel free-kick before Diniyar Bilyaletdinov goes close with two long-range strikes at the other end. Israel are playing with freedom but Russia - in a promising sign for England - look nervous.

1831: Andre Pirlo's free-kick from 40 yards whistles past the post. A heart-stopping moment for Scotland fans.

1830: Kenny Miller is getting ready to come on for Scotland, probably to replace Scott Brown.

1828: "It's not how we expected it to happen - but we're back on script. Level with 20 minutes to go with just a little chance..."
Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 Live

1827: "THE HOME NATIONS ARE BACK IN CONTENTION!!!! England v Scotland in the final next year YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!"
Moobabe on 606

1825: Alex McLeish turns and asks Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller to warm up. Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta is on to replace Antonio Di Natale. As it stands, Scotland will qualify if Ukraine beat France on Wednesday - or Italy slip up against the Faroe Islands.

1821: GOAL Scotland 1-1 Italy
A goal. A goal to Barry Ferguson. Look at that. James McFadden's free-kick is deflected to Lee McCulloch, his shot is saved by Gianluigi Buffon but Ferguson bundles in to send Hampden Park into ecstasy.

1821: Scotland appeal for a penalty in desperation but it's a free-kick just outside the box as Alan Hutton is brought down by Gianluca Zambrotta.

1820: Darren Fletcher gives the ball away to Mauro Camoranesi just outside the box but he gets away with it as the Italian can't get his pass away. The Manchester United midfielder looks, shall we say, rusty today.

1817: "We all know we're going to lose to Croatia though so it's just getting our hopes up."
united_i_said_united on 606

1813: GOAL Israel 1-0 Russia
Kkahol Oleh! Just after going close, Israel give England hope by taking the lead against Russia. A slide rule pass puts Elyaniv Barda through and he dinks the ball over the onrushing keeper.

1811: Paul Hartley brings down Mauro Camoranesi after Scotland lose possession and is fortunate to escape a booking. Andrea Pirlo's free-kick is easy for Craig Gordon.

1807: It's a strong start from Italy in this second-half. Gennaro Gattuso gets away down the right for the second time in as many minutes and his cross finds Antonio Di Natale but his volley is blocked.

1806: News reaches us that the game between Northern Ireland and Denmark is in jeopardy because of a waterlogged pitch at Windsor Park. We'll keep you posted.

1803: The first-half in Tel Aviv is under way, as is the second-half in Glasgow.

1801: The atmosphere at Hampden is phenomenal. There is a huge roar as Scotland sprint out for the second-half. Italy saunter out behind them. They've already proved they're not really bothered by all this noise.

1759: "A goal early in the second half (for Scotland) would put all the pressure back on the Italians."
shaunsjfc on 606

1754: "How many people shouted Yeeeah OHHH! there? Thought that was in then."
Wackster219 on 606

1750: Russia kick off in Israel in 10 minutes time, with England hoping for a miracle. Altogether now: "Yalla Yisrael".

1747: HALF-TIME Scotland 0-1 Italy
Luca Toni's goal within two minutes has the Italians ahead and as it stands, Scotland will not be going to Euro 2008 despite a stirring campaign.

1746: Agony. Absolute agony. Barry Ferguson swings over the corner and David Weir's header is headed off the line. Alex McLeish and almost the whole of Hampden are celebrating the goal for a millisecond before they realise it hasn't gone in.

1745: Luca Toni is in the book for a late challenge on David Weir as the defender clears. He follows Scotland's Lee McCulloch into the book.

1743: "But for a few lapses in concentration, Scotland have been on top. The Fletcher-Ferguson-Hartley triangle is working superbly and they are running this game. We need a stroke of good fortune for a goal - just keep pressurising...AND LISTEN TO THAT CROWD!"
jpalongo on 606

1741: "Scotland assistant manager Roy Aitken exchanges a few words with Italian left-back Gianluca Zambrotta. Suddenly the Barcelona defender doesn't seem so keen on hugging the touchline..."
BBC Sport's Colin Moffat at Hampden Park

1739: It all threatens to kick off. Luca Toni clashes with David Weir in the centre circle. Lots of shoulder shrugging from the Italian - who Weir accuses of diving. No cards though.

1735: "Why does Buffon have a lampshade on his head?"
tigggywinkle on 606

1731: A lifeline for Scotland. Craig Gordon makes a brilliant save from Massimo Ambrosini but Antonio Di Natale tucks away the follow-up. The linesman flags for offside. Replays show he was well onside.

1729: Lively passing on the edge of the box from Scotland but Barry Ferguson's shot is too weak to trouble Gianluigi Buffon.

1727: BBC 5 Live analyst Pat Nevin is not very happy with our Spanish referee Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez as James McFadden is penalised for pushing. Still Pat's a wee bit biased I think.

1725: Gianluigi Buffon is wearing a ridiculous hat with a hole in the top. What is the point of that? He looks an absolute Buffon.

1720: "Scotland should have had a penalty. The Italian defender leaned into the shot to block it with his arm."
BBC 5 Live commentator John Murray

1718: A third chance for Scotland. Alan Hutton heads inches wide from another corner. Scotland will surely regret missing these chances.

1717: Another Scotland corner is cleared - this time to Barry Ferguson, who blazes over on the half-volley. Much better from the hosts though - and the crowd are loving it.

1716: Barry Ferguson's corner is cleared only to Lee McCulloch, but his shot is deflected behind by what looks like the arm of an Italian defender. No penalty though.

1713: Luca Toni is on fire. The striker goes past Stephen McManus as if he's not there but lashes his shot into the side netting.

1709: "I didn't think anything could be worse than the bagpipe version of Status Quo's Rocking All Over The World... Luca Toni proved me wrong after one minute 10 seconds!"
BBC Sport's Colin Moffat at Hampden Park

1703: Scotland boss Alex McLeish is absolutely irate. His defence is all over the place.

1701: GOAL Scotland 0-1 Italy
How to take the wind out of your sails. Italy take a quick throw, Antonio Di Natale crosses and Luca Toni is all on his own to stab the ball high into the net. Awful start for Scotland.

1701: Hold on to your hats. We're off.

1700: "You can't be afraid of challenges like this. These are the opportunities of a lifetime. Sometimes it can be your only chance."
Scotland manager Alex McLeish

1657: As the rain drives down at Hampden, former Corrie Ronnie Browne leads the crowd in a stirring 'Flower of Scotland', bellowing "Scotland" as a final flourish.

1654: If you, like me, are far too young to remember Scotland's last win over Italy in 1965, check out the video highlights which are available to UK users on the BBC website. If you're outside the UK or using a mobile or other handheld thingy, you'll have to trust me, it's brilliant. The commentator seems fantastically underwhelmed by the whole thing. Then when Scotland score, he just goes: "A goal. A goal to Greig. Look at that." If Scotland score today, I will use those exact words (obviously replacing Greig).

1653: FULL-TIME Wales 2-2 Republic of Ireland
Jason Koumas' penalty earns Wales a draw in an entertaining game.

1652: The Proclaimers' 'I'm gonna be (500 miles)' is belting out at Hampden Park. Gordon Brown sings his heart out. Not really. The PM is there though.

1649: GOAL Wales 2-2 Republic of Ireland
David Cotterill cuts in from the right and gets goalside of Paul McShane who drags back the Wigan forward on the edge of the box. Jason Koumas tucks away the penalty. Dubious spot-kick but McShane was a bit clumsy.

1649: "Scotland need to be patient at the beginning, and starting Hartley suggests McLeish is doing the right thing. I would like to see how Big Eck plays Miller and Boyd later."
supermokh on 606

1646: Aiden McGeady's low shot is well saved by Wales keeper Wayne Hennessy. The Welsh have five minutes to find an equaliser.

1643: Today is also 'Black Cat Day' in Italy when animal rights groups try to stop the killing of black cats in the country. The moggies are thought to be instruments of the devil in Italy. Now... wouldn't it be awful if a black cat were to somehow find its way into the Italian dressing room wouldn't it? Very unfriendly...

1637: Here's a thing... the number 17 is considered unlucky in Italy. Something to do with the Roman numeral which can be switched around to spell the word 'vixi' which means 'my life is over' in Latin. It is of course the 17th today and Scotland kick off against Italy at 1700 GMT.

1634: Absolutely nothing against Wales or Republic of Ireland, but I want to fast-forward to 1700 GMT. I am starting to feel sick with excitement/nerves.

1630: Wales midfielder Jason Koumas lets fly from 30 yards but Republic keeper Shay Given is equal to it.

1628: "Wonder if Staunton is watching the Ireland game???"
reddeviller on 606

1625: "The expectation was that we would be in contention for longer, but to finish third in the group would not be a disaster at all."
Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr on BBC Radio 5 Live

1621: GOAL Wales 1-2 Republic of Ireland
Robbie Keane controls Shay Given's long kick and lays the ball off for Stephen Hunt, whose brilliant cross from the left is bundled in by Kevin Doyle. Hunt sets up the goal just seconds after coming on as sub.

1619: Wales striker Freddy Eastwood's afternoon comes to an end and is replaced by Jermaine Easter. Stephen Hunt is on for the Republic.

1617: So James McFadden plays on his own up front for Scotland with Paul Hartley playing the holding midfield role. Christian Panucci is at right-back for Italy instead of Massimo Oddo. Let me know your thoughts on 606 or via text on 81111.

Scotland: Gordon, Hutton, Weir, McManus, Naysmith, Brown, Ferguson, Fletcher, McCulloch, Hartley , McFadden.
Italy: Buffon, Panucci, Cannavaro, Barzagli, Zambrotta, Pirlo, Gattuso, Ambrosini, Camoranesi, Toni, Di Natale.

1614: Simon Davies' right-foot shot is deflected just wide for a corner but Wales can't capitalise. The hosts have started the half better though.

1612: It is absolutely belting down at Hampden. That won't suit Scotland's silky passing game will it? Oh well...

1609: Wales go close. Freddy Eastwood's header deflects off Paul McShane's head and Shay Given pulls off a brillant save to tip over.

1609: "England fan here, but couldn't care less about the Israel game. It's no good relying on others, full stop. One hour left to kick-off, have never looked forward to an England game this much. Am I Scottish in disguise?"
hero3279 on 606

1605: Off we go again then.

1602: News reaches us that Rod Stewart is flying in from a concert in Nevada to be at Hampden today. Thank goodness. Sir Sean of Connery will surely be on his way too. With just an hour to go, expect much of this second half in Cardiff to be peppered with Scotland v Italy build-up...

1559: "Right Scotland, I'm off to the pub. Do us proud. We've been taken on a cracking journey and seen things I never ever thought Scotland were capable of. No matter what happens today, I'll be proud to have been watching you do your best."
plymjock84 on 606

1556: Fulham striker Shefki Kuqi keeps Finland's Euro 2008 hopes alive with a late goal against Azerbaijan. If the Finns hang on for a 2-1 win, they will go into their final game against Portugal with hope of progressing to their first ever major tournament.

1553: Republic striker Robbie Keane is bossing BBC Sport's Player Rater. The striker is on 7.86. His nearest challenger is Aiden McGeady on 6.98. BBC website users have the power to change all that though...

1549: HALF-TIME Wales 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Jason Koumas' header puts Wales ahead before Robbie Keane's delightful finish brings the visitors level.

1547: Jason Koumas delivers a beautiful pass for Simon Davies on the right but the winger can't get the ball into the box and Wales have to settle for a corner - which comes to nothing.

1545: It's all gone a bit scrappy in Cardiff as half-time approaches. It's not been a bad first-half though.

1538: Another blow for Wales as Carl Robinson is stretchered off after twisting his ankle. He gets the dreaded sympathetic round of applause as he leaves the pitch to be replaced by David Edwards - the Luton midfielder getting his first cap.

1536: "1-1, great goal, we're on our way to Euro 2008! Oh hang on..."
RebelArmyRedDevil on 606

1533: GOAL Wales 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Simple but effective. Kevin Doyle slides the ball through for Robbie Keane, who waits for the keeper to commit himself before coolly lifting the ball over him. Classy finish from the Spurs man.

1532: "I'm looking out of my flat window on the south side of Glasgow, and I think Alex McLeish must have had a word with the gods. It's cold, it's wet, and it's windy. Let's hope Hampden looks the same... and Pirlo et al have forgotten their gloves!"
TheMightyBoosh99 on 606

1529: Ever since my Welsh colleague Bevo walked back into the room, it's been all Wales. He now thinks they're world-beaters. Carl Fletcher blasts over from a decent position.

1525: GOAL Wales 1-0 Republic of Ireland
Joe Ledley spins away from Steve Finnan on the right, cuts back on to his right foot and delivers an inch-perfect cross for Jason Koumas to head home. A brilliantly-worked goal from Wales.

1519: Chris Gunter escapes down the left and sends in a dangerous low cross but Joe Ledley completely misses his kick. The ball runs for Jason Koumas but the Wigan man fires wide.

1517: "Scotland U21s winning 4-0 away to Slovenia U21s. Another result like that in Scotland's favour against Italy would be nice."
KrisBairn06-Falkirk4Top6 on 606

1514: Oof. Wales' Carl Robinson blocks Andy Reid's shot and ends up with tears in his eyes. Nasty.

1508: A driving run from Aiden McGeady on the left and his cross finds an unmarked Robbie Keane, but the striker heads straight into Wayne Hennessy's arms.

1504: Robbie Keane is the first to have a shot - and it's on target. From just outside the box, the Republic skipper's low shot is easily gathered by Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey.

1503: Away we go then. They're not exactly packing them in at the Millennium Stadium. You could almost hear John Toshack belting out the Wales national anthem.

1456: Here comes the teams and the Ukrainian match officials. The Republic of Ireland are in their grey strip, Wales in their home red.

1451: There's Sir Bobby Robson in his green scarf. This is almost certainly his last game as Republic of Ireland football consultant.

1447: Afternoon all. Big thanks to Captain Bevo for steering the good ship 'Live - Euro 2008 qualifying' while I've been resting my head this morning. Terrible name for a ship...

By Chris Bevan

1445: Well, that's about all from me folks. I'm about to hand you over to Caroline Cheese, who will be taking you right through to the end of today's Euro 2008 action. Enjoy all the games, whoever you support, and I will sign off by saying that I totally echo Saints19's thoughts below...

"Come on Wales. Let's end this wretched campaign on a high with a good performance and a win that will hopefully see us finish in the top four. Good luck to Scotland, Northern Ireland and even England too. It wouldn't be a major tournament without Ian Wright, Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen getting their hopes up only to see England lose on penalties...again. I hope all three of you qualify."
Saints19 on 606

1443: TEAM NEWS Wales v Republic of Ireland
Simon Davies leads out Wales for the first time with Craig Bellamy sidelined with a hernia injury. Cardiff defender Chris Gunter wins his second cap and Carl Fletcher comes into midfield.
Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given returns for his first game since 27 October after shaking off a groin injury.

Wales: Hennessey, Eardley, Collins, Gabbidon, Gunter, Ledley, Koumas, Robinson, Fletcher, Simon Davies, Eastwood. Subs: Price, Crofts, Cotterill, Easter, Morgan, Edwards, Evans.
Rep of Ireland: Given, Finnan, McShane, O'Shea, Kilbane, Miller, Carsley, McGeady, Reid, Kevin Doyle, Keane. Subs: Hunt, Stokes, Daryl Murphy, Joe Murphy, Potter, Bruce, O'Dea.

1439: Not often you hear from Finnish fans, but maybe they want to get involved in our Home Nations tournament next summer if they don't qualify? We could invite ALL the teams who don't make it to Euro 2008...

"About time Finland got a mention. They have NEVER qualified for ANYTHING, so the fact they're still very much in it at this stage is a feat at least as great as Scotland's if you ask me. Come on Hyypia!"
SRThomasnz on 606

1430: "Spanish radio is already trailing their party at the Bernabeu tonight to celebrate qualification. Their main Saturday sports programme will be presented from the stadium from 5pm UK time. It seems that the possibility that Northern Ireland will not play along does not exist."
Cricketing_stargazer on 606

1424: Some good news for Scotland, well their Under-21 team at least, who have gone 1-0 up in their Euro 2009 qualifier in Slovenia. Kilmarnock's Jamie Hamill got the goal.

1417: "Why are so many people saying 'we deserve this' or 'they don't deserve that'? Facts are, England messed up at the start of this campaign, which meant the result against Russia meant way too much. So, if they go out, it will be because of that more than because of recent form, which hasn't been utterly awful.
Scotland did brilliantly against France but what about in Georgia? I really don't get the whole gloating thing either. It's not like you're actually playing for these teams or have any influence on the outcome of these games. Peace out!"
MrBallFace on 606

1408: "I think the lads from Ayr have arrived in Glasgow after 12 hours of walking. Ex-Scotland (and Ayr) manager Ally MacLeod's grandson has completed it with them - the march is in the great man's honour. People are out in the streets applauding and rightly so."
Jamie L, wishing he was marching too, in Ayr, via text on 81111

1403: The first of today's games has just got under way with Roy Hodgson's Finland looking to boost their qualification hopes by beating Azerbaijan.

1400: I'm glad it's not just me who finds the idea of a home nations tournament about as tempting as a wet weekend in Rhyl...(of which I've had plenty!)

"Home Internationals!!?? No thanks. Reserve sides playing out meaningless games in half-empty stadiums. Sounds very tempting..."
Clarkespies on 606

1355: "Thought my uncle deserved a mention - he's going to Hampden having flown from Dubai, and is heading home on Monday. So we'd better win!"
Graeme, in Glasgow, via text on 81111

1346: Do you believe in fairytales? Phil in Carnmoney does...

"It may sound a little Hans Christian Andersen but Northern Ireland to beat the Danes tonight 2-1."
Phil, in Carnmoney, via text on 81111

1344: Blimey, the Northern Irish have just made a very welcome contribution to today's chat (more please!) and, all of a sudden, the Italians are getting involved too. I wouldn't invite them into our new Home Nations Championship though!

"There is not a more dangerous opponent than one that does not have anything to lose. The Scots have started the campaign with that attitude and I see it being tough for Italy today. As an Italian, I hope to see a good game, one in which the Champions will triumph again! Forza Azzurri!
Nickalab on 606

1337: "Not much from Northern Ireland fans Chris? A 2-1 victory today along with a victory for for Sweden in Spain and its back in our hands! C'mon lads - bring it home!"
Michael, in Co. Armagh, via text on 81111

"Healy to score the only goal in Belfast and the Swedes to beat Spain. Good luck Scotland too."
Mark, in Northern Ireland, via text on 81111

1330: Ah, yes. Of course! When our national sides are on the brink of failure you can always rely on people to suggest a new Home Nations Championship. Because that would solve everybody's problems wouldn't it...

"Lets look at this sensibly, the chances are none of the home nations will qualify for Euro 2008. If they don't, why not have a UK Four Nations Championship next summer? A bit of money for the FA to pay for their new stadium, and bragging rights for whichever team wins. Because let's face it an England triumph is by no means certain."
GeordiePikey on 606

1321: The Ayr Tartan Army's charity walk in aid of Alzheimers research has, quite rightly, not gone unnoticed. Well done fellas - remember to let us now how you are getting on.

"Ah, so that's who I passed on my morning bike ride near Kilmarnock....the Ayr Tartan Army marching to Hampden! Awesome effort lads!"
Cyclist Dan, via text on 81111

1317: It may be all doom and gloom for England but the Scots are still shouting about their chances from the rooftops (or, more accurately, on 606 or via text on 81111!). Can you imagine what they will be like if they qualify!?

Still nothing from Northern Ireland fans though. C'mon guys, where are you all hiding?

"McFadden has scored in eight different qualifying matches for Scotland. We won all eight. So as long as he scores today, finals here we come!"
anon, via text on 81111

1312: Quite a bit of chat from English fans who actually DON'T want to qualify...echoing Paul Parker's thoughts from earlier this week. Any thoughts?

"I agree with Saint. I will be supporting Scotland and Russia. I'm also English but if Russia win, then obviously we didn't deserve to go through. We're not positive enough, we're not creative enough and we'll go on getting bad results."
Robbie85 on 606

1307: "The Scots are sounding more like us English everyday. Can someone please remind them they are playing Italy today, and not Uzbekistan. I thought Israel may do England a favour and at least try to get a draw, but reading the press in the last few weeks it is clear that Irsael want Russia to qualify. It will be a lovefest, not a football match."
ColdWarKid on 606

1301: Er, obviously I can't speak for all my countrymen when I say that as a Welshman I'd like ALL the home nations to do well...

"As a Welsh fan the only joy I have today is to support the success of Scotland... and RUSSIA! Come on Russia, make the English suffer. After years of taunts from the English, it'll be nice for them to taste some disappointment and REALITY!
Christiansurfer on 606

1257: "Why is BBC sport forgetting that N.Ireland can still qualify? There is so much hype about England and Scotland, and nothing about N.Ireland."
Niall, in Belfast, via text on 81111

I haven't forgotten about you Niall. I would like to hear from a few other Northern Ireland fans though!

1252: Thousands of Austria fans have signed a petition asking to see their national side withdrawn from Euro 2008. Austria have qualified automatically as co-hosts with Switzerland but last night's defeat by England means they have not won any of their last eight games.

I suspect quite a few teams will be hoping to be drawn in Austria's group next summer!

"I'm Welsh and I can totally sympathise with the Austrian fans who want their team withdrawn from the European Championship Finals. Trouble is that we'll never ever qualify for that to ever happen. Good luck to Scotland and England but I think you'll both be disappointed by the final whistle."
Clarkespies on 606

1247: "I hope all the home nations get the right result today and set up a nice Euro 2008 showdown between Scotland and England, which we would win of course!"
Kenny, in Aberdeen, via text on 81111

1242: With the focus on today's games, it is easy to forget that England played last night...and possibly for good reason! BBC Sport's John Sinnott has given his take on the friendly win over Austria, but do you agree with him?

1238: "Spare a thought for the Ayr Tartan Army members currently marching 34 miles in the rain in aid of Alzheimers research. They're presenting their cheque on the pitch before the game, though they might have to be wheeled out to do so. An awe-inspiring effort, it really is."
Jamie L, not marching from Ayr, via text on 81111

1234: Quite a pragmatic view here from Houseoftherisingsun. He/she wouldn't last long as a TV pundit though...

"I see a lot of people saying 'We deserve' or 'Such and such a team deserves to qualify'.
Surely the teams with the most points after all the games deserve to qualify? That's why it's set up like that so the teams who do best over all the games get into the finals.
Houseoftherisingsun on 606

1231: "Chizzleface, you speak as if Scotland are easy to beat on a good day. We beat France twice! C'mon the Scots for today! Italy? Easy!"
Eoghan Smith, via text on 81111

1225: It's not only the home nations who are sweating on their place in Switzerland and Austria next summer. There are plenty of important games taking place across Europe and Poland, Norway, Turkey and Holland are among those who could qualify for the finals today.

1219: Good to see there are a few Welsh people getting involved in the chat, even if we are not involved in the qualification shakedown!

"I'm Welsh and I feel so left out of all this tension and drama! As Chris Bevan will understand I'm sure! I can see a 0-0 draw for us, or a narrow Republic of Ireland win. But GOOD LUCK SCOTLAND!! I'l be delighted if you win today."
Chrisp2412 on 606

1213: Hmmm...the general feeling I'm getting is that England fans aren't happy, even if they do qualify, while Scotland fans are, even if they don't! You can kind of understand why too...

"Just popped a tenner on Scotland to win the European Championship at 125-1. Happy days. Come on Scotland!
Dave, in Aberdeen, via text on 81111

"Whether England qualify or not it won't disguise how awful we are. Maybe everyone realises now what an extremely good job Sven did.
Chris, in Buckley, via text on 81111

"I'm English & supporting Russia & Scotland. England scraping in & Scotland falling at the final hurdle would be so undeserved for both teams. The whole England set-up, players, manager, fans, media & the FA need the slap in the face failing to qualify would give them.
Nothing else is going to stop the pointless hype surrounding English football. Although Gerrard and McClaren are already trying to switch the blame."
Saint on 606

"I agree that England don't deserve to qualify for the finals, the players have been too complacent and Steve McClaren should never have been appointed in the first place. It would probably be good in the long term if we don't qualify, as it will make the FA and the players realise that we're not the world class team everyone thinks we are.
However - being English - I still want us to qualify and anyone who doesn't, like the idiot above, should be deported.
Sauceball1703 on 606

1205: Whatever happens over the next few days I think everyone has to agree that England really do not deserve a place in the European Championship after poor results against the better teams in the group.
If we can't beat the likes of Russia or Croatia, what hope would we have against France, Italy, Spain? To be honest, unless we sort out our tactical position I could see us struggling to beat Scotland!
Chizzleface on 606

1159: Everyone's got an opinion about what willl happen today, but what does Lawro think? You can check out his predictions on the BBC Sport website and they are actually quite optimistic.

1154: "Great atmosphere building in the pubs in Glasgow, still five hours to go. Everyone in usual Tartan Army party spirit."
The Toshack brothers, via text on 81111

It's going to be a long day and you might want to go for a brisk stroll, or even a stiff drink, to take your mind off things. So don't forget you can keep up to date on your WAP and PDA phones too, no matter where you are...

1150: Things are getting a bit feisty on 606, particularly between England and Scotland fans. At least some of you do want as many home nations to qualify as possible though...

"I hope that for once Scotland don't hit the glorious failure button and self destruct. We deserve to get through this group and play in the finals. I also really hope Israel get a result to help England, because I'd love to play them in the finals, remember Euro '96? what a game!
Best of luck to Northern Ireland. Hope you get the results falling your way too! Can't remember the last time football matches meant so much!"
Bistogravy on 606

1143: As a Welshman (who saw our qualification hopes end about a year ago!), I can honestly say I would like to see all three of the home nations who are still in contention make it to the Euro 2008 finals.

Judging from your comments so far, it is clear some of you are a little more partisan than me!

"Wouldn't it be quite ironic if Scotland failed and England triumphed. COME ON ENGLAND."
StokeCity_Potter on 606

"England deserve nothing, Scotland everything. This could be their greatest moment. The nerves have started and I'm off to the pub to calm them."
FaddyIsALegend on 606

1138: Coming up in Football Focus (1210 GMT on BBC ONE and this website) is an interesting interview with Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, who chats about his team's successful (so far at least!) Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and why he believes England have struggled.

But why wait for Focus?

1134: So can England rely on Israel to do them a massive favour?

Former Liverpool striker Ronnie Rosenthal thinks so, and let's hope the 'Rocket' is more accurate with his prediction than he ever was with his shooting.

But some of Saturday's newspapers suggest differently. Israel's manager Dror Kashtan has apparently confessed his undying admiration for Russia coach Guus Hiddink - that doesn't bode well does it?

1125: Lots of Scots seem to be confident of beating Italy, including former captain Colin Hendry, who I bet would love to be out there playing himself today. He loved a scrap did Colin - they didn't call him Braveheart for nothing!

"Scotland have got a player who can win a game on his own in James McFadden. We have seen what he did against France in Paris."
Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry on BBC Radio 5 Live

"Morning Chris. I'm off to Hampden later but am quite hungover. Can you ask the Tartan Army to keep the noise down please?!"
Mac, in Glasgow, via text on 81111

1118: "Caroline, why do you have to get up four hours before a match starts? Nevertheless, Ireland to win 3-1."
Irishfootballguy on 606

Ah, I don't think Caroline is even awake yet actually - I was the lucky guy who got the early shift. But then I am Welsh and don't have much to get excited about today. Perhaps that is why?

1115: And that's not forgetting Northern Ireland, who will be trying to salvage their qualifying campaign against Denmark in Group F.

Nigel Worthington's men need to beat the Danes, hope other results go their way, and then win in Spain on Wednesday to reach the finals. Hmmm, not easy, to say the least!

1105: England, of course, are not in action today. As you may have seen, and have no doubt heard, Steve McClaren's men beat Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria in a friendly last night.

But what was the point? And at what cost? Little Michael Owen is injured, again, and will miss Wednesday's potentially decisive qualifier against Croatia. Can England cope, or more importantly score goals, without him?

It might not matter of course, depending on what happens in Tel Aviv and Skopje tonight.

All English eyes will be on Israel v Russia from 1800 GMT and Macedonia v Croatia at 1900 GMT. You probably know this by now but, just in case you don't, England need Israel to pick up at least a point to keep their hopes alive, or see Macedonia beat the group leaders. Otherwise, forget it!

1053: Scotland are the only home nation who have their fate in their own hands, but unfortunately they have to beat the world champions Italy to secure qualification. Could be a tad tricky that...

Scotland boss Alex McLeish is confident but then he has to be really doesn't he?

But after the way the Scots' qualification campaign has gone so far, including two wins over France, you have to think that anything is possible. You can't write them off, that is for sure.

1040 GMT: Morning all, and welcome to what could be a decisive day on the road to Euro 2008 for Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Let's hope it will be a day to remember for all concerned but of course it could just as easily turn out to be one to forget. Hero or zero? We will find out later...

Rest assured though, myself and - later on - Ms Caroline Cheese, will be keeping you fully informed throughout the build-up and then with all the action, starting with Wales v Republic of Ireland at 1500 GMT. Both are out of the running of course but there is plenty of pride to play for at the Millennium Stadium nonetheless.

And I want to hear from you too. Did you wake up this morning full of hope or full of fear? What could go right or what will go wrong? Get involved on 606 or via SMS on 81111 to let me know your thoughts on the day ahead.

Euro 2008 tables
12 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Lawro's predictions
15 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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