England cruise to victory in Kazakhstan; Wales win in Azerbaijan; Ireland pick up a point in Bulgaria; Brazil hit Uruguay for four

Kazakhstan 0 – England 4 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) England looked lazy and sluggish for the opening half hour in Kazakhstan and could well have fallen behind. Slowly the Three Lions picked up their tempo and without really deserving it Gareth Barry headed England ahead after 40 minutes after good work from Gerrard down the left. On the stroke of halftime England doubled their lead, Gerrard spotted home keeper Mokin off his line from 40-yards out, the goalie managed to palm out Stevie G’s effort only for the ball to drop to Emile Heskey who had the simple job of slotting home number two. England were in cruise control for most of the second half before they put the game out of sight, Johnson broke down the right and picked out Wayne Rooney in the box, Rooney’s initial shot was saved but the United forward brilliantly fired home an acrobatic third. Frank Lampard put the icing on the cake with a fourth from the spot after Heskey won a soft penalty. The end of the match saw a dumb Kazakh fan run onto the pitch, only to head in to the goal where the soldiers on the scene grabbed the intruder.

Azerbaijan 0 – Wales 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) David Edwards fired the winner in the 42nd minute for Wales after the Azerbaijan keeper failed to control a low cross from the right, allowing the Wolves midfielder to slam the ball into an empty net from close range.

Bulgaria 1 – Ireland 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Midway through the first half in Sofia the Republic struck, Richard Dunne powering home a superb header from a dead-ball. But the Irish conceded within minutes of scoring, a long ball caught out the Irish defence and Dimitar Telkiyski ran clean through to score for Bulgaria.

Croatia 2 – Ukraine 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Hamburg striker Mladen Petric was perfectly placed to sweep in a rebound after Dario Srna’s fierce free-kick was only parried by the Ukrainian keeper. The Croatians were soon pegged back when a delicious left-wing cross was powered home by a classic Andrei Shevchenko header. (First half highlights here.) Ukraine turned the match in their favour just before the hour mark when Aleksei Gai converted the visitors second excellent header of the match from an inswinging free-kick from the right hand side. Refusing to lie down the match seesawed once more, Spurs’ Luka Modric seeing a shot deflect into the goal after Croatia attacked from a quick free-kick.

Sweden 0 – Denmark 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Sweden should have taken the lead early doors in Scandinavian derby when they were awarded an early penalty, only to see Thomas Sorensen brilliantly save Kim Kallstrom’s effort from 12-yards. The Danes then made the hosts pay as Thomas Kahlenberg slammed home a loose ball in the box after a poor clearance from Mikael Nilsson.

Lithuania 0 – Romania 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) A low Ciprian Marica drive from the edge of the box towards the end of the first half proved the difference between the teams.

Iceland 1 – Holland 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Holland asserted their authority early on in Iceland, Nigel de Jong steering a well-placed header into the far post from an excellent Van der Vaart cross after eight minutes. Sixteen minutes in and it was two, Mark van Bommel scoring with a 20-yard daisycutter into the bottom corner. A later Kristjan Sigurdsson header proved mere consolation for the hosts.

Serbia 1 – Austria 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Appalling Austrian defending result in Serbia winning a seven minute penalty that Nenad Milijas had no trouble converting. (First half highlights here.)

Albania 1 – Portugal 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Portugal moved in front in Albania when Hugo Almieda headed home a Boswinga cross after 27 minutes. But the Portuguese qualification has so far been nothing short of disastrous, and so it proved 60 seconds later when Erjon Bogdani brought the hosts back level with a well-placed header from a left-wing cross. Just when it seemed that Portugal would record yet another dire result, Bruno Alves popped up with a 90th minute winner to save Carlos Queiroz’s bacon.

Finland 2 – Liechtenstein 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Liechtenstein opened the scoring in the 13th minute against the run of play, notching their first goal of the qualification when Beni Fischer slid a pass into the box to Mario Frick, who shot past Jaaskelainen. Mikael Forssell levlled with a 33rd minute tap-in from an Aleksei Eremenko cross, before Jonatan Johansson ran into the box in the 71st minute to take a Roman Eremenko pass and drove a shot into the far corner.

Slovakia 7 – San Marino 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Marek Cech’s brace came either side of Peter Pekarik’s goal and Miroslav Stoch and Jan Kozak made it 5-nil before halftime, with Martin Jakubko and Lubos Hanzel adding further goals after the break.

Uruguay 0 – Brazil 4 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Brazil took the lead in Uruguay with a goal that was 100% preventable, Dani Alves’ speculative 25-yard shot bounced just in front of the home keeper who inexplicably forgot how to catch, with the ball trickling unceremoniously into the net. Brazil’s second arrived after the hosts failed to clear their lines from a corner, Elano swung a fine cross into the near post where Juan stooped to score. (First half highlights here.) Luis Fabiano put the match out of sight went he walloped a third into the roof of the net after 52 minutes. Luis Fabiano then got himself sent off minutes later, but even down to 10-men Brazil chalked up a fourth as Kaka scored from the spot 15 minutes from time.

Argentina 1 – Colombia 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Diego Maradona’s side bounced back from their trouncing in Bolivia with a slim win thanks to Daniel Diaz who volleyed home at the back post early in the second-half.

Paraguay 0 – Chile 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Chile caused a big upset over leaders Paraguay leaving both countries on course for qualification. Matias Fernandez and Humberto Suazo scored for Chile.

Bolivia 0 – Venezuela 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) An alternative Venezuela squad that had been training for three weeks at high-altitude gained their first points ever in La Paz. Marcelo Martins missed a penalty for the home side and Ronald Rivero scored an og for the only goal of the game.

United States 2 – Honduras 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Carlos Costly fired Honduras into the lead but a Landon Donovan penalty and diving header from Carlos Bocanegra gave the US the victory.

El Salvador 2 – Mexico 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Mexico’s hopes of World Cup qualification hang by a thread following another away defeat. Julio Martinez opened the scoring for El Salvador, Cuauhtemoc Blanco equalised from the penalty spot only for Eliseo Quintanilla to win the game, also from a penalty.

Trinidad & Tobago 2 – Costa Rica 3 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Costa Rica remain top of the six-team CONCACAF group despite going behind to a Carlos Edwards goal. Alvaro Saborio equalised and Celso Borges made it 2-1 to the away side. Collin Samuel made it 2-2 but Borges scored again to seal the victory.

UAE 0 – South Korea 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Monaco striker Park Chu-Young fired South Korea ahead in the UAE with a tidy finish in the box after 10 minutes. The Koreans doubled their lead after a terrible hash in the UAE defence ending with a horror fumble from the home keeper allowed Ki Sung Yueng to tuck in the second. (First half highlights here.)

Uzbekistan 0 – Japan 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) After having netted three goals in his last two matches for Japan, striker Shinji Okazaki fired the visitors into a ninth minute lead in Uzbekistan when he collected a pass over the top and, after his initial shot was saved, managed to bundle the ball into the net.

Qatar 0 - Australia 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) The Socceroos secured World Cup qualification with a dull 0-0 draw in Qatar.

North Korea 0 – Iran 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The goalless draw was a blow to both nations’ hopes of reaching the World Cup. North Korea missed their chance of earning an early playoff place, while the draw was a major blow to Iran whose World Cup dreams now hang by a thread.

Zambia 1 – Rwanda 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) After Collins Mbesuma missed a first half penalty for the Zambians, Braga forward Rainford Kalaba met a 79th minute cross at the back post to hand the hosts’ victory.

Tunisia 2 – Mozambique 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, June 6, 2009) Wissem Ben Yahia fired Tunisia in front against Mozambique with a first half penalty. Tunisia wrapped up the victory in injury time at the end of the match, Oussama Darragi let rip with a low shot that flew into the net.