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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Slovenia's road to the finals
Slovenia's Mladen Rudonja holds his ankle
Rudonja scored a crucial play-off goal
BBC Sport Online looks at how football minnows Slovenia won a play-off, to book their place at the World Cup finals.

Slovenia's progress to the finals of the World Cup came via a dramatic play-off victory over European stalwarts Romania.

That after they had pushed Russia all the way in the group stages and proved they deserved a place in the higher echelons of world football.

Qualifying campaign
W 2-1 Luxembourg (a)
D 2-2 Switzerland (h)
D 1-1 Russia (a)
D 1-1 Yugoslavia (h)
2W 2-0 Luxembourg (h)
W 1-0 Switzerland (a)
W 2-1 Russia (h)
D 1-1 Yugoslavia (a)
W 3-0 Faroe Islands (h)
Play-off
W 2-1 Romania (h)
D 1-1 Romania (a)

They actually went unbeaten during their entire campaign, although a number of draws during the early stages ultimately hurt their chances of direct qualification.

Being held at home by Switzerland and Yugoslavia meant that Slovenia were always playing catch-up with Russia.

Even after beating the group winners at home, they drew at Yugoslavia, which ultimately meant that Russia would qualify automatically.

With Yugoslavia the only other team with a chance of grabbing the play-off spot, Slovenia could not afford to drop any points at home to the Faroe Islands.

The visitors had performed surprisingly well during the group stage, but were swept aside 3-0.

Ales Ceh, Slovenia
It was Ceh who scored a crucial brace against the Faroe Islands
Then came the tricky play-off against Romania, who famously knocked England out of Euro 2000 with a 3-2 victory.

A 2-1 home win seemed not enough for Slovenia, but a goal from Mladen Rudonja in the 55th minute gave them a 3-1 aggregate lead.

Romania equalised but could not find the goal which would have taken the tie to extra-time.

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GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0

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