Ireland 2 – Italy 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, October 10, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Republic made a dream start against the Azzurri as Glenn Whelan side-footed a beauty from the edge of the box into Buffon’s top corner after just eight minutes. Whelan turned hero to zero in the 26th minute as he drifted from his near-post duties from a corner allowing Mauro Camoranesi to head home the equaliser. Ireland looked to have pulled off the win when Sean St. Ledger sent Croke Park wild with a diving header in the 87th minute. But the Italians played until the final whistle where Alberto Gilardino snatched a late equaliser to poop on the Republic’s parade.
Ukraine 1 – England 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, October 10, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) England had a disastrous start in the Ukraine as keeper Rob Green was sent off for clattering into Milevskiy in the box after 13 minutes but, after James replaced the unlucky Lennon, Andriy Shevchenko managed to screw his penalty wide. (Watch the whole incident here.) In all the commotion, flares were thrown on the pitch to briefly hold up the play. A man down, the Three Lions conceded just after the half hour as Milevskiy ran across the England box, the ball broke for Sergey Nazarenko 20-yars out and the midfielder cracked a superb shot (deflection off Cole) into James’ near post.
France 5 – Faroe Islands 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, October 10, 2009) A first half double from Andre-Pierre Gignac, the second a wonderfully composed finish after breaking in to the box, put Les Bleus 2-up at the break. Arsenal centre half William Gallas headed home France’s third at the star t of the second half. France added some gloss to the scoreline with later strikes from Karim Benzema and Nickolas Anelka in the final few minutes.
Armenia 1 – Spain 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, October 10, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A brilliant lobbed finish from Cesc Fabregas from Xavi’s wonderful chipped pass gave Spain the lead in Armenia. The hosts scored a surprise leveller just before the hour when Robert Arzumanyan headed home a free-kick past Casillas. But the European Champions were soon back in front as Juan Mata dispatched a penalty into the bottom corner.
Luxembourg 0 – Switzerland 3 (2010 World Cup qualifier, October 10, 2009) Following in Thomas Vermaelen’s footsteps, Arsenal centre half Philippe Senderos was in magical goalscoring form against Luxembourg heading in the opener after six minutes before scoring a second header just sixty seconds later. (Both Senderos goals here.) Midway through the half Benjamin Huggel made it a hat-trick of headers for the Swiss.
Cyprus 4 – Bulgaria 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, October 10, 2009) Cyprus scored twice inside the opening 20 minutes, Konstantinos Charalampidis tapping home from 2-yards after the visitors failed to deal with a low cross and more awful defending allowed Charalampidis to race clear for number two. On the stroke of halftime Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov pulled back a goal with a sweet first time shot from the edge of the box.