VIDEO: France claim a narrow win in Ireland; Russia & Portugal get their noses in front; Egyptian late show takes Algeria to a playoff; Nigeria & New Zealand make the World Cup; Brazil sink England

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Ireland 0 – France 1 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Irish looked comfortable for large chunks of their match with France, but in the 72nd minute Les Bleus struck as the ball fell to Nicolas Anelka on the edge of the box and the Chelsea striker’s shot deflected off St Ledger and into the net.

Russia 2 – Slovenia 1 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A fabulous shot on the turn from Everton’s Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in the 40th minute blasted the Russians ahead of Slovenia in playoffs. (First half highlights here.) Guus Hiddink’s men then scored a decisive second minutes into the second half with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov bagging his second of the match with a snap-shot in the Slovenian box. But at the death Slovenia netted a crucial away goal, Andrej Pecnik turning home a rebound after Akinfeev made a fine stop in the Russia goal.

Portugal 1 – Bosnia 0 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) Portugal took the lead over Bosnia on the half hour as Porto defender Bruno Alves met a right wing cross from Nani to head home at the back post.

Greece 0 – Ukraine 0 (2010 World Cup playoffs first-leg, November 14, 2009) Ukraine arguably had the better of the chances in the first half (highlights here) but neither side could score, and a dour match failed to improve in the second half.

Costa Rica 0 – Uruguay 1 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) A goal midway through the first half from Diego Lugano gave Uruguay a sizable advantage going into the second leg in Montivideo on Wednesday.

Egypt 2 – Algeria 0 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) Egypt, playing their arch-rival Algeria, sent the Cairo stadium mental after just 120 seconds as Amr Zaki cracked in the opener after the Pharaohs had battered down the visitors backline. (First half highlights here.) Six minutes of injury time were order at the end of the match, and with just two minutes remaining Emad Moetab headed home a cross from the left to ensure the enemies face off in a playoff after finishing the group equal on points and on goal difference.

Morocco 0 – Cameroon 2 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) A tidy left-footed shot from Achille Webo, which cannoned into the net off the post, put Cameroon into the lead in Morocco. Samuel Eto’o grabbed a second, tapping in a corner at the backpost early in the second half.

Kenya 2 – Nigeria 3 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) Kenya opened the scoring when Dennis Oliech burst into the box in the 16th to beat Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama with a low shot. But Obafemi Martins leveled for the Super Eagles in the 62nd, netting from close range with an assist from Peter Odemwingie. Ayegbeni Yakubu then hit the post in the 65th but converted the rebound to make it 2-1 for Nigeria. But Nigeria’s World Cup dreams were nearly shattered when Allan Wetende equalized with a header in the 79th before Martins’83rd minute winner.

Mozambique 1 – Tunisia 0 (2010 World Cup, November 14, 2009) Dario’s 83rd minute winner for Mozambique hammer a final nail in Tunisia’s World Cup dreams.

New Zealand 1 – Bahrain 0 (Agg. 1-0) (2010 World Cup playoffs, November 14, 2009) Rory Fallon headed home the only goal of the game on the stroke of halftime (first half highlights here), while goalkeeper Mark Paston also saved a penalty to see the All Whites through to South Africa. (Second half highlights here.) At full time the All Whites celebrated wildly as they booked their place in South Africa.

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Brazil 1 – England 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Brazil and England played out a pretty average first half (highlights here) in Doha, with the Samba Boys having the better of the chances forcing Foster into a couple of straightforward saves. Two minutes into the second half Brazil took the lead, a fantastic diagonal ball from Elano into the box picked out Nilmar between Upson and Brown and the forward headed brilliant past the keeper. England were then let off the hook after Foster had brought down Luis Fabiano in the box, with the Sevilla forward missing his spot-kick.

Spain 2 – Argentina 1 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) Spain struck first in their friendly with Argentina as Xabi Alonso followed up a David Silva shot to score in the six yard box. A Lionel Messi penalty on the hour mark brought Diego Maradona’s side level, but the match was settled by a Spanish spot-kick four minutes from time as Xabi Alonso netted a rare international double.

Italy 0 – Holland 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) The first piece of excitement in the Italy-Holland match saw a fan invade the pitch wearing a self-explanatory “Cassano in nazionale” t-shirt in protest of the Sampdoria striker’s Azzurri absence. The big talking point was the injury to Arsenal striker Robin van Persie who was stretchered off after colliding with Chiellini.

Croatia 5 – Liechtenstein 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The hosts went 1-0 up through Mate Bilic after less than a minute of play after he was put through on goal by Drage Gabrica. Ten minutes later Darijo Srna had doubled the Croats’ advantage with a free-kick, and then Arsenal’s Eduardo made it three with a header midway through the first half. There were more goals, Eduardo and Bilic each adding to their tally within two minutes of each other at the start of the second period.

Belgium 3 – Hungary 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) It was a good night for Premier League duo Marouane Fellaini and Thomas Vermaelen, the Evertonian cracking home a beauty in the top corner in the 38th minute and the Arsenal centre-half scoring a second in the 56th from a free-kick. Kevin Mirallas wrapped up the win with a penalty.

Northern Ireland 0 – Serbia 1 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) A classy goal from PSV Eindhoven striker Danko Lazovic was enough to give Serbia victory in Saturday’s friendly at Windsor Park.

Poland 0 – Romania 1 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) Auxerre striker Daniel Niculae bagged the only goal of the goal just before the hour mark with a shot into the top corner.

Slovakia 1 – United States 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) Slovakia was awarded a 26th minute penalty after US defender Jonathan Bornstein pushed down Vladimir Weiss in the penalty area. Marek Hamsik sent a low shot to the right corner, with goalkeeper Brad Guzan diving in the opposite direction.

Macedonia 3 – Canada 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) Macedonia secured a convincing 3-0 win over Canada as Goce Sedloski struck first before star striker Goran Pandev scored twice from the spot.

South Africa 0 – Japan 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was denied a victory on his return to the side as the World Cup hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by Japan.  After a 10-month absence, Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy was recalled but lacked inspiration as Japan enjoyed the better of a drab game.

Honduras 2 – Latvia 1 (Friendly, November 14, 2009)

Iran 1 – Jordan 0 (Friendly, November 14, 2009) Javad Nekounam’s 73rd minute header earned the Iranians victory.

Bayern Munich 2 – Holland U21 0 (Friendly, November 13, 2009) Hamit Altintop and out-of-favour striker Luca Toni scored for Van Gaal’s men.

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England 1 – Portugal 0 (European U21 Championship Qualifiers, November 14, 2009) Tottenham’s young midfielder Danny Rose fired the Young Lions into a 40th minute lead over Portugal, collecting a Andy Carroll knock down and slotting in the opener.

Moldova 0 – Russia 3 (European U21 Championship Qualifiers, November 14, 2009)

Montenegro 1 – Israel 0 (European U21 Championship Qualifiers, November 14, 2009)

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Singapore 1 – Thailand 3 (Asian Cup Qualifiers, November 14, 2009) Sutee Suksomkit fired the visitors from the spot, and after the break Thailand increased their lead when 36-year-old Therdsak Chaiman finished brilliantly. Sutee netted his brace and Thailand’s third goal late in the game. A consolation goal for Singapore by Mustafic Fahrudin, through a penalty, was too little too late.

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Banfield 3 – Velez Sarsfield 0 (Argentinean Apertura, November 14, 2009)

Colon 2 – Argentinos Juniors 0 (Argentinean Apertura, November 14, 2009)

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Cruzeiro 1 – Gremio 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, November 14, 2009) Cruzeiro looked set to get into the top four when they led Gremio with a Gilberto penalty and visiting players Tulio and Fabio Santos were sent off in the final five minutes. But two minutes into stoppage time, Gremio’s Argentine strikers combined for the equaliser in a 1-1 draw, German Herrera scoring from Maxi Lopez’s pass.

Sao Paulo 2 – Vitoria 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, November 14, 2009) Jorge Wagner put Sao Paulo ahead in the 25th minute when he netted the rebound after Vitoria’s Colombian keeper Julian Viafara parried a shot from Washington. Hugo headed the second four minutes after the interval from a cross by Hernanes from the left.

Coritiba 2 – Atletico Mineiro 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, November 14, 2009)