Thu, Sep 12, 2013 - Page 20 News List

2014 World Cup: Italy, Netherlands seal World Cup spots

FIRST THROUGH THE GATE:The two became the first European nations to qualify, with a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic and a 2-0 win over Andorra respectively

AFP, PARIS

France moved back level on points with Spain at the top of Group I, albeit having played a game more, after coming from behind twice to win 4-2 in Belarus.

Les Bleus ended a goal drought of over 500 minutes and overcame two howlers by ’keeper Hugo Lloris to win thanks to a brace by Franck Ribery and further efforts from Samir Nasri and Paul Pogba. That means they are now guaranteed to at least finish second in the section.

Elsewhere, Fabio Capello’s Russia are back on top of Group F, a point ahead of Portugal, after downing Israel 3-1 in St Petersburg, while Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece are still locked level on points atop Group G.

Bosnia came from behind to win 2-1 in Slovakia while a solitary Dimitrios Salpingidis effort allowed Greece to see off Latvia.

Other European results:

Group A

‧ Scotland 2, Macedonia 1

‧ Serbia 3, Wales 0

Group B

‧ Denmark 1, Armenia 0

‧ Bulgaria 2, Malta 1

Group D

‧ Turkey 2, Romania 0

‧ Hungary 5, Estonia 1

Group E

‧ Slovenia 2, Cyprus 0

‧ Iceland 2, Albania 1

Group F

‧ Luxembourg 3, N Ireland 2

Group G

‧ Lithuania 2, Liechtenstein 0

Group I

‧ Finland 1, Georgia 0

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