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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 18:26 UK

World Cup qualifiers as they happened


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

By Jonathan Stevenson

1825: That brings to a close a day of agonising frustration for all of us. I can only apologise once again for the updates not working for so long, I do hope you can forgive us in time. Cheesy's back on Wednesday, and I'm done until next season. Thanks a million times over for all your company and contributions, and see you for 2009/10. Have a cracking summer.

1820: England have just picked up their eighth successive World Cup qualifying victory, their second best run. The best started in October 1949 and was ended by Northern Ireland in May 1957. Victory over Andorra at Wembley on Wednesday would equal that run.

1816: Here's Danny the Stat with the very latest on England's qualification status: "Should Croatia and Ukraine draw tonight, then two wins from their final four matches will guarantee qualification. In any event, with six successive wins, they are huge odds-on favourites to claim top spot."

England coach Fabio Capello: "It wasn't easy to play here, the pitch wasn't fast like English pitches and it made passing very hard. They started strong, pressed a lot, and for us it was difficult, but that's sometimes what happens when you play against a team who aren't at the same level. It's another big step forward to qualification."

Text in your views on 81111
From Joe Wright, via text on 81111: "Who cares how England play? They won and that's all that matters. Why are we so obsessed as a nation about playing great every game?

1808: Oh it's just all gone to... Anyway, Danny the Stat sent me this missive when the updates weren't working, so sorry about that. Here it is: "Japan are the first team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa (SAF didn't qualify, silly). They beat Uzbekistan 1-0 in Tashkent thanks to Shinji Okazaki's goal, and they are there! It's over to you now, Australia... They're playing in Qatar and if they win or draw, they're also in."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty: "England's players troop off with the job done - but not in a convincing fashion by any means. Fabio Capello insisted the trek east would not be used an excuse for any flaws in this display, so he will be picking over the faults ruthlessly. It has, however, been a memorable week for Kazakhstan and they gave their players a rousing ovation at the final whistle. They can take much from this performance while England can take what they came for - three more points towards World Cup qualification."

England's Frank Lampard: "It's been a good week for me, the Cup final was a big highlight. But we had to focus on this game, it took us 20 minutes or half an hour to get going and in the end we won comfortably. We can do better, but it was a professional display. We're on a confident run and we need to keep it going - we've not qualified until we're qualified."

Wales captain Joe Ledley: "It was a bit nervy at the end but we defended well as a team. Credit to Azerbaijan, they played well and put us under pressure but credit to the lads too, we held on and did well. Realistically we won't qualify but games like this are great for confidence."

Get involved on 606
From robayeit on 606: "England were kind of lucky today, they scored an offside goal, Glen Johnson almost gave them two goals and the man that was causing the problems was taken off injured. Against Belarus, Ukraine or Croatia we would been beaten tonight, or maybe strapped a draw, because we were awful overall."
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Full-time Azerbaijan 0-1 Wales
Great result from an unbelievably young Wales team in Azerbaijan, John Toshack's kids can be very, very proud of that mature display, led by captain Joe Ledley. It keeps their very, very slim chances of second place just about alive.

1752: We're into three minutes of added time in Baku. Can Wales hang on and make it a British World Cup qualifying one-two?

Full-time Kazakhstan 0-4 England
Frankly, that England performance was about as good as our live text one this afternoon, but unlike us they got the job done, and Fabio Capello's men have taken another stride towards the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.

1749: Joe Ledley blazes a shot over and Wales will just be happy that the ball is in the Azerbaijan half in Baku. The hosts do no look like being able to make the breakthrough.

Text in your views on 81111
From Tom in London, via text on 81111: "I've seen more fluid passing football in an Under-9s game. England look amateur."

1747: Hey - it could be worse, we could have come back with England pegged back to 2-2 and Wales 2-1 behind. Every cloud...

1745: Wales are still hanging on to their slender 1-0 lead in Baku. They have another four minutes plus injury time to pick up the three points.

1745: There's a fan on the pitch in Almaty. He's rugby-tackled to the ground next to the England goal. I fear for that boy, I really, really fear for him.

1744: Guys, I am so sorry about the lack of updates. It's embarrassing and frankly not good enough, and trust me, we'll get to the bottom of what went wrong for you. But please accept our humblest apologies in the meantime, and thanks for sticking around, we don't deserve you. England are 4-0 up in Kazakhstan and Wales are beating Azerbaijan 1-0 in Baku. About five-ish mins left in both.

Live text update: Apologies, but the live text has been down for the past hour and a half. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Half-time Azerbaijan 0-1 Wales

1648: It's now 2-0 to Slovakia over San Marino. One suspects they'll be easing back to the top of Group 3 tonight.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "Gareth Barry's goal has really taken the sting out of the Kazakhstan fans - and it is a lead England's performance barely merits. Fabio Capello will be satisfied with the advantage, but it will surely not be enough to spare England the Italian coach's anger at half-time after a display laced with lethargy and lacking in order and composure."

Half-time Kazakhstan 0-2 England

That Fabio Capello - he's a lucky manager as well as a good one. England have no right to be ahead but they double their lead, as Steven Gerrard's cross is deflected and a backpeddaling Alexandr Mokin can only palm it into the path of Emile Heskey, who lashes home. Game over.
GOAL Kazakhstan 0-2 England

Wales ahead and great timing, just before the break in Baku. Robert Earnshaw fires over a cross from the right and David Edwards is on hand at the back stick to tuck it away.
GOAL Azerbaijan 0-1 Wales

1642:Danny the Stat update: "Slovakia have taken all of three minutes to break San Marino's resistance, thanks to Marek Cech. The West Brom man puts his side ahead - if they win they take over at the top of Group Three from Northern Ireland."

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard combine with a short corner down the England left and from Gerrard's cross, Man City's £12m man Gareth Barry is unmarked at the far post to head into the corner. How against the run of play is that?
GOAL Kazakhstan 0-1 England

1637: Robert Earnshaw is inches away from getting on the end of a cross from the Wales right as John Toshack's boys threaten in Azerbaijan.

1636: I'm with England's travelling support (not literally). Get David Beckham on, Fabio. The rest of them have been comprehensively useless thus far.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "Kazakhstan have taken real heart from their start - encouraged hugely by a desperate display so far by England. Capello's side have failed to exert any measure of control, although it will surely be impossible for Bernd Storck's side to maintain these energy levels. A drummer is driving Kazakhstan forward and he is hitting a brisk beat in a wonderful atmosphere here in Almaty. England's small travelling support is already calling for the introduction of David Beckham."

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From Wonderkind on 606: "Gareth Barry is playing absolutely rubbish! He gives the ball away every time he gets it, no technique no vision! How much did City pay for him?!"
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1628: Good football from England after Kazakhstan give the ball away and Steve Gerrard tees up Emile Heskey, who sees a right-foot shot tipped on to the inside of the post by Alexandr Mokin. Good hit, good save.

Yellow card
1627: Booking in Baku now and it's Wales defender Craig Morgan who goes into the book for a cheeky little shirt pull. The free-kick is shambolically wasted by Fabio Ramin.

1625: Sergey Ostapenko has been taken off and Sabyrkhan Ibrayev comes on for Kazakhstan.

1624: Bit of pressure for Wales as stand-in captain Joe Ledley has a shot deflected over.

1623: Steven Gerrard's clever back-flick tees up Wayne Rooney to fire high and wide from 25 yards. There's still absolutely nothing happening in Baku between Azerbaijan and Wales. Goalless all round.

1621: Sergey Ostapenko is stretchered off and he is having some treatment on the touchline. He looks in a bit of pain, the big unit up front.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "Kazakhstan have never had a problem starting games. The difficulties arise when they run out of gas later on in the piece, and they have put a ragged looking England under real pressure in the opening exchanges here. Fabio Capello looks to be fuming in his technical area - but the Almaty locals are loving it, and who can blame them?"

1616: Mayhem in the Central Stadium. Zhambyl Kukeyev swings over a free-kick from the right and Robert Green completely misses it as Sergey Ostapenko nods in at the far post. But it's correctly ruled out for offside - a massive relief for Green, who was in no-man's land.

Yellow card
1615: Gareth Barry's just made sure this is his last game of the season as a foul on Zhambyl Kukeyev earns him a yellow card and rules him out of the Andorra game on Wednesday.

1612: Emile Heskey needs to get himself into the game for England - he's had absolutely no involvement so far. They are giving the ball away too much in Almaty, the visitors.

Text in your views on 81111
From George, London, via text on 81111: "We've got loads of up and coming keepers like Ben Foster and Joe Hart, but what's worrying is the same thing was said about the average Chris Kirkland and Scott Carson."

1608: Azerbaijan have probably just had the better of the start in Baku against Wales, but there's not a great deal going on at the minute.

1606: England coach Fabio Capello looks utterly appalled by his team's start in Almaty and he is in lively form on the bench, even appearing to brush against Stuart Pearce at one point. Steady on, Fabio. He's not called Psycho for nothing.

1604: Want to know who can play in the Kazakhstan team? Left-footed left-winger Zhambyl Kukeyev, that's who - and he's giving Liverpool/Chelsea/Tottenham/Real Madrid (I may have made the last one up) target Glen Johnson a tough time already.

1601: They're under way in Baku too, now, as a very young Wales team takes on Azerbaijan.

1600: Incredible scenes. Glen Johnson gives the ball away and as the ball comes in from the Kazakh left, Sergey Ostapenko is fractions away from sticking it in the net after 19 seconds. John Terry clears his lines. The crowd are very, very excited.

1559: They aren't messing about in Almaty. We're already under way in the world's ninth largest country.

Text in your views on 81111
From X Jo, Surrey, via text on 81111: "Stevo, you're probably right about this being a relatively easy game but please stop tempting fate, you know what England are like and it's making me nervous. Also, loving the fact that Phil has his own graphic."

1556: The four teams are out, the four anthems are being bashed out and we're about to get under way in two World Cup qualifiers right on the very cusp of Europe.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "The Central Stadium is a tight squeeze - especially for the members of the media following England. In fact it is so tight that some of our colleagues have been moved to seats on the running track that sweeps around the pitch, just yards away from the action. Best seats in the house, providing a stray pass does not do any damage. We've even got an Almaty Wave making its way around the stadium - never a good thing."

Get involved on 606
From GraymeadYNWA on 606: "On a side note Stevo, in October I suggested Rob Green as an England keeper and you responded by saying "Not good enough. Never has been, never will be." Do you stand by that?"
Join the debate on 606
Absolutely. He's only playing because the marginally less not-very-good David James is injured. The state of English goalkeeping is most worrying.

1549: It's all kicked off in Kazakhstan this week, courtesy of their coach, the German Bernd Storck. He has accused clubs of not sticking to the fitness programmes that he has devised for his players. "Three leading Kazakh teams are forbidding the players to follow my advice," he bemoaned. "It's just amazing how these guys treat one of their own." Crikey.

1546: Hear me now: I know we're not pressing 'F5' or whatever your manual refresh is, cos frankly it's not cool anymore. But if you're feeling nostalgic, maybe just press it once, and, magically, at the top of your screen you will be able to watch Azerbaijan v Wales. Wooooooooo...

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "England never travel without backing - and there are 1,300 supporters who have been prepared to make the 7,500-mile round trip to Kazakhstan for the next stop on what Fabio Capello hopes will be the road to South Africa in 2010. It does not get much more devoted than that when it comes to supporting your national team. Icelandic referee Kristinn Jakobsson is out there stretching his legs. He will need to after his flight was delayed and he did not arrive in Almaty until 1am this morning."

1540: Kazakhstan are ranked 132nd in the Fifa list, with England recently moving up a place to sixth. Should be a foregone conclusion then, no? What do you mean there are no easy games in international football? Poppycock.

Text in your views on 81111
From Chris, Cardiff, via text on 81111: "Today, Wales are playing our youngest ever side, with an average age of 21. Is there a younger senior national side in the world? It'll be interesting to see how the boys cope in such unfamiliar conditions."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "England are out for the warm-up - and the Almaty crowd affords them a warm reception despite their partisan backing for the Kazakhstan side. This World Cup qualifier will be played out with a spectacular mountain backdrop and the temperature here in Almaty is warm, but comfortable."

1530: Stevo's Predos:
Azerbaijan 1-1 Wales
Kakazhstan 0-2 England

1528: Young midfielder Simon Church makes his full Wales debut, David Edwards replaces the injured Jack Collison and full-back Neil Eardley comes into defence. Chris Gunter switches from right to left-back to compensate for the loss of the injured Gareth Bale. We'll be streaming live video of the Wales game for UK users, by the way.

Get involved on 606
From MUFCDanny08 on 606: "A bit of a surprise that Barry, Lampard and Gerrard are all starting. I think Gerrard and Rooney might just tear apart the Kazakhstan defence apart, with Walcott also causing problems."
Join the debate on 606

1523: Seasons don't end for Danny the Stat. They just merge into one big, er, stat: "I bring big news from Asia. Shinji Okazaki has scored an 11th-minute goal for Japan to put them 1-0 up against Uzbekistan in Tashkent. As it stands, Japan will become the first team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup - at around about 1700 BST."

1521: Don't worry Wales, this won't be solely an England fest - we're all over your boys' trip to Baku, too. But I'm sure you understand that a little more of the focus will be on the English - I mean, Wales' World Cup hopes are all-but finished, aren't they?

1518: Robert Green wins the race to replace the injured David James between the sticks for England, while Ashley Cole has recovered from a knock to feature. Matthew Upson plays in Rio Ferdinand's absence, while Theo Walcott returns on the right wing.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Almaty: "England coach Fabio Capello wanted a closer crop on the Central Stadium surface, which is a few notches below perfect, plus another dousing of water before tonight's World Cup qualifier - and both requests have been complied with. Khazakhstan's football followers are revelling in England's presence in Almaty and are already providing noisy backing. And just in case their excitement gets the better of them, there is a large military and police presence around the pitch."

1511: Our chief football writer, Phil McNulty, is in Almaty as I type these very words. He'll be keeping us up to date throughout the afternoon and he's written a couple of cracking blogs this week from Kazakhstan which I'm suggesting you might want to check out. Further east than Baghdad? Further away from London than New York? Get outta here...
Read Phil McNulty's blog from Almaty

1508: I'd implore you to get involved today, but you always do. You just seem to be there when I need you most. Fill my little world right up, right up with chat, via text on 81111 and in the community we like to call 606. Bless your hearts in advance.
Join the debate on 606

1505: Lots going on today - and it's all about the holy grail of South Africa 2010. England can take another massive step towards qualification if they see off the Kazakhs, while Wales can just about cling on to the remarkably distant possibility of a play-off place if they see off the men from the Land of Fire.

1501: Very early England team news: Green, Johnson, Terry, Upson, A Cole, Walcott, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Heskey.

1500: Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in. No, the football season isn't over, not just yet anyway. 'Selem' to you if Kazakhstan v England is on your menu, and 'Salaam alaikum' if Azerbaijan v Wales has brought you to these parts. Either way, you could not be any more welcome.

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see also
Kazakhstan 0-4 England
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Azerbaijan 0-1 Wales
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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