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Live - International football

International friendly result
Spain 2-0 England

World Cup qualifying results
San Marino 0-3 Northern Ireland
Rep of Ireland 2-1 Georgia

International friendly result
Wales 0-1 Poland



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

By Jonathan Stevenson

2315: That's it for tonight. Join Alan Green on BBC Radio 5 Live right now on 606, though be prepared for a tongue-lashing if you decide to praise David Beckham... Cheesy's back for the FA Cup and Premier League on Saturday - and don't forget to join her on Sunday evening for the Milan derby, too. Have fun.

2312: "A lesson in football well learnt."
Riquelminho on 606
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2310: "We played against a very good team tonight. I have learned a lot, but we can do better. The first goal was a mistake, a gift."
England coach Fabio Capello

2307: "Desperate stuff in the second half, and how Ashley Young is kept at bay by Stewart Downing I will never, ever know. So confused about Capello's statement about form with regards to that decision."
David, Birmingham, via text on 81111

2304: "After the last World Cup, I didn't think I'd be in this position. I'm honoured to be up there with the people like Bobby Moore, but the important thing is the game and we lost. I've always worked hard and I've been lucky enough to have great managers that have believed in me."
England's David Beckham

2302: It's perhaps of little surprise that the Spanish players are dominating their English counterparts on the old Player Rater stats right now. David Villa on 8.39 is out in front, with Xavi his closest challenger. Woe is Stewart Downing on 4.24 and David James on 4.27. You can keep voting, though...
Rate the players

2300: Congratulations to Spain, that was yet another sublime performance, an exhibition of how to keep the ball, move it around and wear your opposition down. England knew what was coming, but that doesn't mean you can do anything about it. He knew as much, but Fabio Capello has still got a fair bit to work on, hasn't he?

2258: Full-time Spain 2-0 England

2257: "Every time Beckham plays for England he seems to put his all into the game. And he has made a couple of great passes tonight. I think he definitely deserves the 108, congratulations to Beckham."
Telloth on 606
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2256: David Beckham is booked for dissent by referee Stephane Lannoy of France.

2254: There's some afters between David Silva and Ashley Cole, but the referee calms things down. No need to flash cards with a minute left of a friendly. Not such a one-sided friendly, anyway.

2253: That's better - brilliant from David Beckham, who slides a fabulous ball into the path of Carlton Cole, the West Ham forward taking it round Pepe Reina but taking it too wide and Carlos Marchena gets back to clear off the line, excellent defending. Unluckly, Cole.

2251: David Beckham pumps a long ball towards Peter Crouch in the Spain box, but Pepe Reina collects. I cannot tell you how depressing it is to see that after the pretty patterns Spain have weaved over the last 86 minutes. Dark age football.

2250: By the way Arsenal fans, Eduardo made his long-awaited return to first-team football today when he came on for Croatia against Romania - and the Brazilian-born striker set up Niko Kranjcar to score the winner in a 2-1 victory.

2249: Xavi gets a standing ovation as he walks off the pitch in Seville and Daniel Guiza replaces the midfield genius.

2249: "Not even an appearance for Ashley Young, yet Stewart Downing starts - shocking, I'm speechless."
William, via text on 81111

2247: GOAL Spain 2-0 England
Xavi, the best player on the pitch by miles, whips over another fine free-kick from about 40 yards out and young substitute Fernando Llorente rises highest to nod powerfully into the corner of Robert Green's net. That is now a more accurate reflection of proceedings.

2245: Alvaro Arbeloa gets some revenge on David Beckham with a very naughty late challenge on the midfielder's ankle, but from the resulting Glen Johnson cross, Carlton Cole half-volleys miles over on the turn. Very difficult chance, though.

2243: David Beckham is a touch late on Gerard Pique and the Barcelona defender clutches his ankle as he goes down to the floor. Some long overdue pressing, perhaps.

2241: "In my opinion, two people look interested on that pitch right now, Wright-Phillips and Beckham."
Godez23 on 606
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2240: Carlos Marchena comes on for Raul Albiol for Spain, while Carlton Cole wins his first England cap in place of the ineffectual Gabby Agbonlahor. Am I the only one who thinks this is too soon for Cole?

2238: Gabby Agbonlahor sends over a cross from the right and Frank Lampard glances a header straight at Pepe Reina from 10 yards.

2236: Much better from David Beckham as his searching pass this time finds Shaun Wright-Phillips and he cuts inside to open up a real sight of goal, but his right-foot shot lacks conviction and Pepe Reina gathers low down.

2235: David Beckham gives the ball away with a silly crossfield pass and only some good covering from Matthew Upson prevents Sergio Ramos from getting into the area down the right.

2233: Oh dear. Peter Crouch, moments after hopelessly giving the ball away on the edge of the Spain area, slides through Marcos Senna and concedes a free-kick. I like Crouch, but he looks out of place on the pitch with those boys.

2232: We're halfway through the second half and has this game got a Beckham-sized twist yet to come?

2231: "England have to admit that the gulf between the two countries is huge. Spain are superior in every department, stringing passes together and cutting through England's defence like it's not even there. Their movement is fantastic to watch. As impressive as wins in Germany and Croatia were, there is still a long way to go for England to even come close to the European champions."
Anonymous via text on 81111

2228: Frank Lampard is not having his best moment in an England shirt and another shocking pass runs out of play after even Gabby Agbonlahor could not catch it. Spain bring on Fernando Llorente Torres for Fernando Torres, if that's not at all too confusing.

2226: Spain bide their time and when he's good and ready, Xavi plays another killer pass to Fernando Torres after a lovely spin off John Terry from the Liverpool striker, but he cannot quite collect the ball and the chance has gone begging.

2225: "Johnson has been very poor, giving the ball away, running down blind alleys and getting caught out of position."
MadMancHatter on 606
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2224: Frank Lampard plays one of those not-very-percentage-friendly Hollywood passes I was banging on about earlier, and true to form it flies out of play over Shaun Wright-Phillips' head. Keep the ball, just keep it.

2222: England play some keep-ball of their own down the right, clumsy though it was a little, with David Beckham and John Terry dominating the ball until Glen Johnson gives it away.

2220: Remember the time - 54 minutes, 42 seconds: Marcos Senna gives the ball away in the Spanish midfield. Meanwhile, David Villa gets a standing ovation as he is taken off and replaced by Valencia team-mate David Silva.

2217: "I am impressed so far with both teams. As friendlies go it is fairly competitive, plus the atmosphere sounds dynamite."
Martino, via text on 81111

2215: Xavi plays one of those mind-boggling passes to bring Sergio Ramos into play down the right, but Shaun Wright-Phillips is alert enough to get the block in. He must be able to see round corners, that Xavi.

2214: It sounds like a cracking atmosphere in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville. I was there four months ago to see Sevilla lose 1-0 at home against Malaga. Despite losing, their fans never, ever shut up. Neither did the 50 or so Malaga fans, come to think of it.

2212: Spain brought on Pepe Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa at the break for Iker Casillas and Joan Capdevila.

2211: David Beckham fires in a free-kick from the right and Pepe Reina punches the ball away. David James, Gareth Barry, Emile Heskey, Phil Jagielka and Stewart Downing have all gone off.

2209: Robert Green, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Matthew Upson and Peter Crouch all come on for England at half-time. Beckham has now equalled Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps for an outfield player. Congratulations, son. You deserve it.

2205: "To be fair, Jagielka did play against Torres a few times and knows how he moves about, but as for Villa, that guy is different class."
robbert69 on 606
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2201: MJF, below, might just be right. England did OK at the start, but the better Spain started to keep the ball, the more cheaply Fabio Capello's men seemed to give it away. This isn't a time for Hollywood passes, Beckham will know that, it's a time for discipline.

2158: "This is a perfect time for Beckham to come on. England need someone to use the ball intelligently. Carrick and Barry have been anonymous."
MJF, via text on 81111

2157: Full-time in France and the hosts have gone down 2-0 to Diego Maradona's Argentina, goals from Jonas Gutierrez and Lionel Messi.

2154: "They kept passing and kept passing and eventually opened us up. England put an awful lot into that half because Spain had most of the ball, but they just needed one chance and made it count."
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Paul Jewell

2152: Half-time Spain 1-0 England

2150: Sergio Ramos fairly smashes in a right-foot shot from outside the area on the right, on the half-volley, but David James is in position to make the save.

2149: It's now France 0-2 Argentina, and the world's finest footballer Lionel Messi has doubled the visitors' advantage.

2148: Andres Iniesta plays the ball in for Joan Capdevila down the left and his pull-back is fired goalwards by David Villa, only for John Terry to make the block. Moments later, Xabi Alonso rifles narrowly wide from distance.

2145: England have to stop giving the ball away. Marcos Senna lets fly again from 30 yards and it's a little bit closer than the nonchalant David James would have us all believe.

2144: "What a goal."
Pepe Consoli on 606
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2142: GOAL Spain 1-0 England
You have to say, that's too good. David Villa collects the ball from Xabi Alonso on the edge of the England box, twists and turns John Terry and Phil Jagielka inside and out and back in again, before slotting past a mesmerised David James from 15 yards. Sensational.

2140: Full-time Republic of Ireland 2-1 Georgia

2139: Cracking run from Shaun Wright-Phillips, cutting in from the right, and he is taken down by Gerard Pique on the edge of the box. Stewart Downing's curler hits the wall.

2137: David James, what are you doing? He comes off his line to gather a deflected, looping Fernando Torres shot, but he spills and is grateful to his defence for clearing. But there was some gorgeous inter-play between Andres Iniesta and David Villa in the build-up there, a warning shot for England.

2134: "I don't care what people say - any Englishman should be proud to see Beckham get his 108th cap tonight. He has been an icon, leader, villain and hero for us and still he has fought for his shirt. Well done the lad, I just hope Capello gives him more than 10 minutes."
Jez the Gooner, via text on 81111

2132: David Villa puts the ball in the England net but he is just offside from Andres Iniesta's defence-splitting slide-rule pass.

2130: Five minutes left in the Republic of Ireland game. Meanwhile, England get in Spain's half...

2128: "Can we add up the minutes messrs Moore and Beckham have actually spent on the pitch to earn their caps? I feel Mr Beckham might not look so great by comparison."
Chaz in London, via text on 81111

Oh pipe down. Do you Beckham-bashers never get bored?

2125: Michael Carrick is getting close to Xavi, but sometimes the Barcelona maestro looks like he's playing all on his own. Marcos Senna forces David James to get down to save his 30-yard effort after some routine keep-ball from the hosts.

2123: GOAL Rep of Ireland 2-1 Georgia
Kevin Doyle's header forces a fine save and from the resulting corner, Robbie Keane , while falling, somehow manages to stick the ball in the net via his, er, shoulder. It doesn't matter how they go in, eh Robbie? That's his 37th international goal.

2123: Cracking win for Nigel Worthington's Northern Ireland, that, and puts them on seven points in Group Three, level with Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia, though they have played a game more.

2122: Full-time San Marino 0-3 Northern Ireland

2121: Apparently, the referee gave the Croke Park penalty for handball, though it looked like it hit the Georgia defender on the shoulder. Confusion reigns.

2119: Gerard Pique hauls Emile Heskey down on the edge of the Spain area, but the Villa man was adjudged to be marginally offside.

2118: GOAL Rep of Ireland 1-1 Georgia
It's a very controversial penalty - the Georgia players are disgusted because it looks like Kevin Doyle is outside the area when he is fouled. But Robbie Keane rolls the ball into the net and we're all-square.


2116: Stewart Downing's cross from the left is powerfully headed wide by John Terry. David Beckham, meanwhile, starts warming up on the touchline.

2115: "Stevo, the t-shirts the Spain players were wearing were in support of a missing teenager from Sevilla whose disappearance has been major news in Spain for couple of weeks."
TC, Pimlico and sometimes Santiago de Compostela, via text on 81111

2112: Gareth Barry swings over a cross from the left after a lovely through ball from Ashley Cole, and his cross is somewhat unconvincingly volleyed wide by Aston Villa team-mate Gabby Agbonlahor.

2111: Michele Marani fires in a shot straight at Maik Taylor and there's only a few minutes left in the San Marino-Northern Ireland game.

2109: "Can somebody please, please, please tell me why Downing is even allowed anywhere near the England squad. Stevo, please, I'm completely at an ends."
CarefreeCoor on 606
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The Germany game at the back end of last year, he was brilliant, wasn't he? That apart, you're on your own, Ted.

2108: I wonder if David Beckham has been briefed on the England bench of the latest development in his protracted will-he-won't-he move permanently from LA Galaxy to AC Milan. This is it: Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has set a Friday deadline for AC Milan to agree a deal to sign Beckham from the Los Angeles Galaxy.

2106: We're under way in Seville.

2104: It's Georgia's turn to have a goal disallowed at Croke Park, as a shot from the edge of the area is deflected on to the post and Beka Gotsiridze taps it in, but it's ruled out.

2103: They're out now. The England anthem is belted out, the Spain one is listened to proudly, and we're almost good to go.

2059: The players aren't even out yet at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville. Looks like we'll be starting a little bit late.

2057: SENDING OFF (Manuel Marani, San Marino)
The San Marino striker is shown his second yellow card and that's the end of his evening in Serravalle.

2055: Let's get one thing straight: this isn't the time for Fabio Capello to experiment. He had to pick a strong team tonight, because Spain are pretty much at full strength. Had he chucked in a couple of kids, they could have got murdered. Did you see Euro 2008?

Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Albiol, Capdevila, Alonso, Senna, Iniesta, Xavi, Torres, Villa.
Subs: Reina, Marchena, Busquets, Riera, Llorente, Guiza, Juanito, Silva, Arbeloa, Santi Cazorla.
England: James, Johnson, Ashley Cole, Carrick, Jagielka, Terry, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Heskey, Downing, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Beckham, Bridge, Carlton Cole, Crouch, Ferdinand, Green, Hart, Lampard, Milner, Upson, Ashley Young.
Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

2051: Back under way at Croke Park as Rep of Ireland search for a leveller at home against those pesky Georgians.

2051: It's half-time in France, with Argentina taking their slender lead into the interval.

2049: GOAL San Marino 0-3 Northern Ireland
Oh dear. San Marino go all schoolboy on us again as Chris Brunt curls in a left-footed free-kick from about 30 yards out right of centre, it evades everyone and sneaks into the far corner.

2048: The Diego Armando Maradona reign continues to sparkle, as Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez puts Argentina ahead against France in what you'd have to call a prestigious friendly at the Stade Velodrome.

2047: Great news for Guus Hiddink and Chelsea fans: Didier Drogba bagged an injury-time leveller to give Ivory Coast a 1-1 draw in their friendly with Turkey in Izmir.

2045: The San Marino-Northern Ireland match has pretty much died a death. There's very little happening, looks like the visitors are going to pick up the three points with minimum fuss.

2043: "Carlton Cole fulfils the same role as Heskey, is three times as fast, years younger and is in much better goal-scoring form than Heskey AND Agbonlahor - so where is he? What does Capello learn from including Heskey? Crazy."
Andy, Leeds, via text on 81111

2041: Kyle Lafferty, who has had a mixed evening, is taken off by Nigel Worthington and replaced by Chris Brunt.

2038: San Marino full-back Carlo Valentini provides Northern Ireland with a minor scare as he whistles a shot past Maik Taylor's left-hand post from 22 yards.

2037: "I see two of Liverpool's most important players, Alonso and Torres, have started despite Rafa's warnings..."
Riquelminh on 606
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Worried about him losing it, are you?

2035: Half-time Rep of Ireland 0-1 Georgia

2032: We're back under way in Serravalle as Northern Ireland hunt for more goals.

2029: Aiden McGeady goes on a slaloming run from inside the Ireland half and it ends with a right-foot shot arrowing towards the bottom corner, before Alexander Lomaia gets down well to make the save.

NI fans tie the knot in Venice


If you're a fan of romance, you might like to know that two Northern Ireland fans tied the knot in Venice recently en route to the World Cup qualifier against San Marino. Altogether now - ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

2026: Spain team to face England: Casillas, Ramos, Capdevila, Pique, Albiol, Senna, Alonso, Iniesta, Xavi, Torres, Villa.

2024: Georgia give the ball away recklessly and Kevin Doyle bursts into the area, seemingly brought down by AC Milan's Kakha Kaladze. No penalty, though, rules referee Jouni Hyytia. He might have a marvellous name, but he's not helping the Irish much tonight.

2022: David Beckham will come on tonight, of course, and in the process, he will move level with the late, great (Sir) Bobby Moore on 108 caps, an England record for an outfield player. In a shameless piece of self-promotion, we're covering Beckham again on Sunday, when Caroline Cheese will bring you live updates on the Milan derby, which you can also watch on BBC Three. Magic.

2019: "What does Ashley Young have to do to get a start for England? Shocking."
The Villa Six, via text on 81111

Good point. I agree.

2017: BBC Radio 5 Live's Alan Green also reports that England defender Rio Ferdinand has not been named on the bench for tonight's game as he has had an upset stomach in the last few hours.

2016: Half-time San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland

2015: "You've only got to go back one week to see how well Phil Jagielka - along with Joleon Lescott - dealt with Fernando Torres in the Everton-Liverpool derby."
BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Alan Green

2014: Keith Andrews wheels away, celebrating an equaliser for the Republic of Ireland - until a linesman's errant flag goes up and it's wrongly ruled out. Andrews side-foot shot from 20 yards sneaks into the corner via a slight deflection off a Georgia player, but Kevin Doyle is adjudged offside. He isn't, and it's a poor decision.

2013: David Healy cracks a shot into the side-netting from 12 yards.

2011: Manuel Marani goes all Beckham on us and tries to score from 45 yards, but the pony-tailed San Marino striker gets it all wrong and the ball sails away, miles off target.

2010: "Good to see that Fabio does pick those in form. Carrick and Jagielka have been outstanding recently and deserve their place."
Matt_Utd_FC on 606
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2008: Kyle Lafferty cuts in from the left and hits a fine right-foot shot that almost catches Federico Valentini unawares and clips the top of the netting as it drifts over.

David Beckham will have to come off the bench to earn his record-equalling 108th England cap as manager Fabio Capello puts the midfielder on the bench as Shaun Wright-Phillips starts on the right flank. Phil Jagielka starts with John Terry in central defence and Villa duo Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor spearhead the attack.

2006: "I feel sorry for Torres seeing Jagielka, he's only just managed to get out of his pocket! He'll be sat on the pitch crying!"
Bilo, St Helens, via text on 81111

2004: Therefore, AC Milan midfielder David Beckham is among the substitutes for England tonight.

2004: England team to face Spain: David James, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, John Terry, Michael Carrick, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Gareth Barry, Emile Heskey, Stewart Downing, Gabriel Agbonlahor.

2002: GOAL San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
That makes it safe, if it wasn't already before, as Grant McCann of Scunthorpe swings a right-footer into the far corner of Federico Valentini's net from 20 yards. It's his third international goal, lovely strike.

1959: Kyle Lafferty cuts back on to his right foot after another ball into the San Marino box is half-cleared, but keeper Federico Valentini gets down well to gather safely.

1956: Northern Ireland's game against San Marino has gone a little bit scrappy. Remember, there were serious doubts about whether the pitch would be playable after all sorts of weather conditions.

1955: "I feel England will be slaughtered tonight."
Thanks A lot BBC7 on 606
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1952: Well we weren't expecting that. The Republic have got it all to do now against the Georgians, who have only conceded five goals in their four qualifying games so far in this campaign.

1949: GOAL Republic of Ireland 0-1 Georgia
Disaster! With less than a minute on the clock, Kakha Kaladze launches a ball into the box, it's flicked on, Stephen Kelly fails to clear and Alexander Iashvili gets to the ball before Shay Given to prod into the net. Home fans stunned into silence.

1948: Three minutes late, brilliantly-named referee Jouni Hyytia gets us under way at Croke Park.

1947: Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is booked for a silly trip on Manuel Marani and he will now miss the game against Poland.

1944: The Republic and Georgia teams are out at Croke Park, and that one will be getting under way very shortly.

1943: Northern Ireland are having an awful lot of joy with their set-pieces and another Steven Davis inswinger is poorly defended, though San Marino survive on this occasion.

Rep of Ireland: Given, Kelly, Kilbane, O'Shea, Dunne, Whelan, McGeady, Andrews, Doyle, Keane, Duff.
Subs: Kiely, Delaney, Foley, Keogh, Gibson, Stephen Hunt, Noel Hunt.
Georgia: Lomaia, Lobjanidze, Kaladze, Kvirkvelia, Razamadze, Iashvili, Siradze, Khizanishvili, Gotsiridze, Kobiashvili, Menteshashvili.
Subs: Kvaskhvadze, Merebashvilli, Kvakhadze, Aleksidze, Odikadze, Khmaladze, Martsvaladze.
Referee: Jouni Hyytia (Finland)

1941: "See 1927 - it is reported elsewhere that Beckham isn't in the team. Jaglieka is though! Good lad!"
Dan, Atlanta, via text on 81111

1939: Punters, punters. I know you are clamouring for France v Argentina, but let's get some perspective here: that's a friendly, these are important World Cup qualifiers. That said, I'll keep you posted on the score. It'd be rude not to.

1936: GOAL San Marino 0-1 Northern Ireland
Cracking start for Nigel Worthington and his men as Steven Davis swings over a corner from the right and Ipswich Town's Gareth McAuley meets it on the half-volley to smash it into the roof of the minnow's net.

1935: Remember, keep those missives coming in, it's going to be a very, very long night. Texts on 81111 and get stuck in to 606 , there's plenty of people about already.
Join the debate on 606

1934: I can't watch San Marino without thinking of Stuart Pearce and THAT back pass in the 1993 World Cup qualifier. Sends a shiver down my spine every time. Northern Ireland doing the early pressing.

San Marino: Federico Valentini, Carlo Valentini, Della Valle, Davide Simoncini, Vannucci, Bacciocchi, Berretti, Muccioli, Michele Marani, Matteo Vitaioli, Manuel Marani.
Subs: Aldo Simoncini, Fabio Vitaioli, Cibelli, Casadei, Bugli, Andreini, Albani.
Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, Craigan, Hughes, McCartney, Johnson, McCann, Davis, Healy, Paterson, Lafferty.
Subs: Mannus, McGivern, McGinn, McCourt, Feeney, Shiels, Brunt.
Referee: Dragomir Stankovic (Serbia)

1930: We're only under way. Honestly. Northern Ireland kick us off.

1928: The teams are out at Serravalle and we're very close to getting under way.

1927: "Do you know what time the England team is announced Stevo? I bet my mate 10 quid Becks will start so Capello better not let me down. He never has before."
sunderlonian_no1 on 606
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No idea, pal. You'll know when I do. I reckon you might just be a tenner richer by tonight, though.

Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Kelly is handed a first competitive start under Giovanni Trapattoni after Paul McShane failed to recover from a hamstring injury. Blackburn midfielder Keith Andrews is also involved, with Manchester United youngster Darron Gibson making way. AC Milan defender Kakha Kaladze starts for Georgia .

1920: Sammy, I'm so sorry I made you sit through that. I deserve a couple of thoroughly dull goalless draws in return. Of course that's not what will happen, because Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are both going to secure very crucial World Cup qualification victories tonight. NI face San Marino at a drenched Serravalle, while Eire host Georgia at Croke Park. You've got to fancy them, haven't you?

1916: Most out of place goal in a game ever? What dire fare that was, but what a sublime, gorgeous goal to light up the evening. Hello, everyone.

By Sam Lyon

1910: Not a night to remember for Wales, but for young Sam Vokes it will be one that will live long in the memory as he takes the full-time Player Rater honours with a very healthy 7.63. With 20 minutes before Northern Ireland kick off, it gives you the perfect opportunity to head over and crunch some numbers:
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1908: There's only one way to bounce back from that second half - the introduction of Stevo . Be gentle with him people.

"Maybe not deserved for us (Poland), but nevertheless, we've won!"
RKW - Poland's Finest Kopite™ on 606
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1905: An encouraging first-half display from Wales is overshadowed by a dour second 45 minutes that will have done very little to excite the 487-strong crowd, then. There were four times as many fans at last night's Blue Square Premier match between Torquay and Weymouth, by way of comparison. Nice.

1903 - FULL TIME: Wales 0-1 Poland

1902: Ebi Smolarek heads goalwards for Poland but it falls limply into the hands of Boaz Myhill in the Wales goal. Thirty seconds for John Toshack's men to salvage something here...

1900: David Cotterill goes into the book for kicking out at a Polish defender - it's all got a bit frustrating for Wales, this. A minute of normal time to go.

1857: News away from this game, now, as England's Group Six opponents Ukraine have won their friendly tonight, beating Cyprus 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sergei Nazarenko.

1855: You'd have to think Toshack will push David Edwards or someone up to support Sam Vokes after that goal, but no change just yet. This may just peter out now I fear...

1851 - GOAL! Wales 0-1 Poland
Oh that's just quality, sorry. Roger Guerreiro - far and away the liveliest player on the pitch this half - latches onto a long ball over the top and, with the outside of his left boot, lobs Boaz Myhill and home from 18 yards out. Tremendous finish and pretty much completely out of character from what's gone before in this half.

1849: Ooh, some action! Mariusz Lewandowski has a go from range, kerplunking one at goal from fully 25 yards, but Boaz Myhill does excellently to palm it round the post on the dive.

"I love the use of hyperbole on 606. Gareth Bale and the words 'world class' should not be used in the same sentence. He is just a run of the mill Premier League footballer who's more well known for his ratching up PL losses than any ability he may have."
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1843: Wales finally get their passing game going again but, after swapping passes brilliantly down the left with Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale's pull-back is easily cleared by the Polish defence. Shame.

1840: Decent ball in from Roger Guerreiro, but two Poles are offside and the chance is gone. Boaz Myhill clatters into Dariusz Dudka anyway, but it looks like the keeper came off worse there and he will need treatment...

1838: Yellow card for new Wales skipper Carl Fletcher for a bit of a cheap shot on Robert Lewandowski.

1835: A real lack of urgency from either team at the moment - I think both sides feel like they've given it a go first half so they may as well play out time before hitting the Algarve strip later this evening. I can't say I blame them, but there's not a great deal John Toshack will be learning about his side ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Germany in this second half.

1830: Roger Guerreiro takes aim with a free-kick 30 yards out - and promptly rips it miles over the bar. Ho hum. On a side note, this isn't the kind of atmosphere that inspired Russ Abbott all those years ago, I tell you. You get more folks watching Sunday morning kiss-chase over Clayhall Park.

1828: Close! Cracking free-kick from Gareth Bale, whipped across the six-yard box, but Lewis Nyatanga contrives to head wide unmarked with practically the whole goal to aim at. Poor.

1825: Nervy moments these for Wales as Poland dominate possession, with Brazilian-born Poland substitute Roger Guerreiro making a huge difference already.

1822: Alert from Lewin Nyatanga as the Wales defender clears under pressure from Robert Lewandowski. Boaz Myhill replaces Hennessey between the sticks, Fletcher and Cotterill also on, Bellamy among those substituted.

Martin Paterson and Kyle Lafferty have both been named in the Northern Ireland team to face San Marino in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier in Serravalle. Paterson will partner David Healy in attack, while Lafferty edges out Chris Brunt for the left-wing position. Grant McCann joins Steve Davis in midfield in the absence of the injured Sammy Clingan with Damien Johnson playing on the right side of midfield.

1815: With the sun fast going down in the Algarve, Wales get the second half under way. Sam Vokes and Aaron Ramsey are on...

"Why is Gareth Bale world class for Wales and disturblingly sub-par for Tottenham?"
dahitman55 on 606

"I got Rickrolled today. It was the single most entertaining experience in my life."
njackson118 on 606
(No offence mate, but you really need to get out more)
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1805: So after a start that was tamer than a newly-born dolphin on morphine, that livened up a bit towards the end didn't it? Wales certainly bossed the latter stages with some fine pass-and-move play, but Poland reminded everyone of the threat they still carry in attack on occasion. A decent workout all round, really. Cup of tea anyone?

"I keep reading Collison as 'collision'. That would be a great name."
Andy, Brixton via text on 81111

HALF-TIME: Wales 0-0 Poland

1800: Robert Lewandowski brings Wayne Hennesey into action, the Polish striker's side-foot finish from the edge of the area well held on the dive by the Wales keeper. Should have done better, the Pole.

1757: More excellent play from Wales as Gareth Bale, Jack Collison and David Edwards swap intricate passes in the Poland box, only for the official's flag to stop the latter in his tracks with a shot imminent.

1753: Close again from Wales, who are starting to boss this now. Craig Bellamy rolls Dariusz Dudka on the halfway line, charges into the box and slips a cute side-foot finish inches past Lukas Fabianski's post.

1750: Woodwork! Twice! A dire free-kick from Craig Bellamy somehow finds its way to Joe Ledley, who cleverly chips Lukas Fabianski only for his strike to crash off the bar. Moments later and David Edwards smashes a header onto the bottom of the post. Poland are very, very lucky to survive.

"This game needs one person to liven it up. Aaron Ramsey."
Rob, Cardiff via text

1748: Jubbly! The Northern Ireland World Cup qualifier against San Marino - streamed live on this website for UK users - goes ahead after a pitch inspection. Beautiful scenes.

1745: Half decent chance for Craig Bellamy, set up by the lively Ched Evans, but the captain blazes his half-volley miles over.

1744: Jakub Wawrzniak blazes high, wide and not very handsome from 25 yards.

1742: All very 'friendly' at the moment, with just four fouls all game so far and very much a training-ground-exercise atmosphere. That said, they are all doing infinitely more running about than I did the last time I was in the Algarve, when I managed to remain horizontal on a sunbed for almost an entire fortnight. Good from me.

1738: More good play between Bale and Bellamy down the left, the latter's cross almost finding Ched Evans in the box but Fabianski does enough to snaffle the ball. Snaffle - great word.

1735: Ooh - sigh of relief from Poland as Bale plays in Bellamy, who 40 yards from goal finds himself up against the out-rushing Fabianski. The Manchester City striker loops the ball over the keeper with ease but Zewlakow gets back to clear Poland's lines with Bellamy bearing down on goal.

1731: As Wales enjoy their best spell of the game, what happens? That's right - Poland open them up nicely on the break. Dariusz Dudka finds himself in space on the left and his shot slips narrowly wide of the post with Hennesey beaten. It's the Poles who are dominating the chance count at the moment. A chance count that's reached the heady heights of maybe three but still...

"Collison of West Ham looks like yet another fantastic prospect from their coveted academy. It's astonishing to think he was going to off on loan to Perterborough at the beginning of the season."
Riquelminho™ on 606
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1727: Craig Bellamy, who passed a late fitness test on a knee injury to take his place in the side as captain this evening, produces the best moment of the game so far for Wales as he plays a one-two with Joe Ledley, gets to the byline, only for his cut-back to be cleared.

1723: Encouraging signs down the Wales left as Gareth Bale beats his man before his cross is easily collected by Poland keeper Fabianski. Just to reiterate, there are less fans here than staff by the look of things - it's quieter than a dormouse's picnic at the moment.

1721: As if Wales needed reminding Poland are more than a half decent oufit, this start will have done the trick - it's all Poland in the early stages and a decent move down Wales' left hand side finishes with Mariusz Lewandowski blazing wide from the edge of the area.

1718: First opportunity to Poland after a somewhat lukewarm start in the Vila Real sunshine at the De Santo Sports Complex, Dariusz Dudka firing straight at Hennesey from 20 yards.

1716: And we're under way...

1714: Now then, the anthems are done, the obligatory handshakes have been, erm, shaken, and we're moments away. Toshack's men will be lining up in a 3-5-2 formation, while I will be doing my absolute best not to incorrectly spell the names of every single member of the Polish squad. Wish me luck.

1710: Erm, FYI, this match is being played in Portugal because that is where Toshack's boys have been enjoying a training camp together. The couple of dozen Wales fans who are in attendance quite literally cannot believe their luck. The sun is shining, the beer has been flowing, and now their boys are ready to get going...

"I reckon the future is bright for Wales. Their lack of experience may mean they miss out on 2010, but after that the sky is the limit for the talented youngsters they have."
Almo on 606
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1706: A little update on Northern Ireland's qualifier against San Marino, by the way, with news reaching us that a pitch inspection to determine whether that match goes ahead is going on as we speak. Heavy, heavy rains have been falling at the Serravalle. If that game does go ahead, though, don't forget UK users can watch that live on this very website.

1704: I tell you what as well, huge applause to whoever in the Wales office organised a friendly against Poland... in the Algarve. Tremendous work, that. Next we'll see England playing all their friendlies in St Kitts, Northern Ireland travelling to Cuba for their matches and Scotland playing their 'home' ties in, erm, Magaloof (sic). The world's gone mad, I tell you!

1658: So Wales, with two wins and two defeats so far in their World Cup qualifying group, take time out from their campaign to reach a major finals for the first time since 1958 to hone their skills against a Poland side who are second in their own qualifying group with two wins, a draw and a loss so far. And here are the teams...

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Bale, Ricketts, Williams, Nyatanga, Collison, Bellamy (capt), Edwards, Evans, Ledley.
Subs: Myhill, OT Jones, Fletcher, Williams, Ramsey, Crofts, Vaughan, Vokes, Cotterill, Eardley, OF Williams.

Poland: Fabianski, Wawrzyniak, Zewlakow, Wasilewski, Krzynowek, Boguski, Murawski, Gargula, Mariusz Lewandowski, Dudka, Robert Lewandowski. Subs: Boruc, Wojtkowiak, Roger, Smolarek, Brozek, Pawlowski, Lobodzinski, Tralka, Kokoszka.

Referee: Bruno Miguel Duarte Paixao (Portugal).

"Come on Wales!! Like most friendlies, the result is secondary today. A good performance will give our young team confidence ahead of the visits of Finland and Germany to Cardiff next month..."
chrisp2412 on 606
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1653: So, Wales - very much a team on the up, no? Toshack seems to have brought through his current crop of youngsters very nicely in the last couple of years and the team that will face Poland tonight boasts six stars of the Premier League - it's not been too often in the recent past you could have said that about the Dragons is it? Their recent resurgence is even more impressive than Rick Astley's return to the big time. Ah, Rickrolling... what's it all about huh?

"1st post??"
Macho Threat Crazy Assassin DodgyGambit on 606
(I won't lie, it's not the greatest chat ever to appear on a BBC live text commentary, but well done nonetheless...)
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1650: I'm going to leave the chat on England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Stevo , who will take over from me after the Wales game, so we can concentrate on Toshack's boys for now - I hope that's OK. Of course, I'm expecting all of you to get involved in a massive, massive way as usual - on 606 or via text on 81111 - and, if you do, I'll promise to make at least a handful of you web-famous for 15 minutes. What more do you want?
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1647: Right then, how are we folks? International football - the cream of world football - don't you just love it? Tonight we get to assess England's renaissance under Fabio Capello, Northern Ireland's fortunes under Nigel Worthington, the Republic of Ireland's potential under Giovanni Trapattoni and, first, Wales' continued improvement under John Toshack. And you can keep up to date with all of it right here, you lucky people. Happy days.

1645: Boa tarde everyone. That's Portuguese. Because this live text commentary will kick off with Wales' friendly against Poland, which is being played in Portugal. You see? Should I stop writing in this annoying snap-sentence format? Agreed.

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see also
Beckham reaches England landmark
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
San Marino 0-3 Northern Ireland
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Worthington bemoans 'blip' in win
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Georgia
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Keane accepts luck was with Irish
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Wales 0-1 Poland
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Keeper not to blame, says Toshack
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals

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