Scotland 2 – Macedonia 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) After a nervy opening 45 in which the Tartan Army were second best, Celtic midfielder Scott Brown headed Scotland into an early second half lead and James McFadden scored a fine solo second, bursting through the Macedonian defence and putting the game to bed. (George Burley and Scott Brown’s post match interviews can be seen here and here.)
Cyprus 1 – Ireland 2 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) Kevin Doyle gave the visitors the lead with a low strike after five minutes, but Cyprus hit back with Marios Elia collecting the ball after a fortunate ricochet to fire across Shay Given into the corner. Robbie Keane headed in Damien Duff’s cross seven minutes from time as Ireland held on to second place in the group behind Italy.
Poland 1 – Northern Ireland 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) Striker Kyle Lafferty collected a ball from David Healy to fire the ball through Poland keeper Artur Boruc’s legs as Northern Ireland stormed into a first half lead. Poland eventually levelled ten minutes from time as Mariusz Lewandowski scored from close-range after being teed-up by Pawel Brozek.
Spain 5 – Belgium 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) David Villa surprisingly missed a first half penalty before David Silva put the European champions ahead. David Villa got on the scoresheet early in the second half, Gerard Pique added the third, David Silva scored again before Villa also claimed his brace inÂ a comfortable victory.
France 1 – Romania 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) After a goalless first half in Paris, Thierry Henry found himself in the right place at the right time to prod Les Bleus into the lead. The lead didn’t last long as Julien Escude netted an own goal to bring Romania level.
Denmark 1 – Portugal 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) Portugal went into the break pig-sick at Denmark after dominating a must-win game but failing to net an opener, Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner did superbly well to chest a cross in the box and crashed a shot into the roof of the net moments before the halftime whistle. Portugal salvaged a point, and potentially their World Cup hopes, four minutes from time as their new Brazilian (naturalised) ringer Liedson equalised on debut.
Russia 3 – Liechtenstein 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) After dominating the early stages against Liechtenstein, it was little surprise when Vasili Berezutski fired Russia in front after 17 minutes. After toying with their opponents for the remainder of the half Roman Pavyuchenko was able to double the lead from the spot five minutes from the break before the Spurs hitman slotted home his second spot-kick with virtually the last kick of the half. In the second half Pavlyuchenko took it upon himself to lead a dumb pitch invader off the turf.
Bulgaria 4 – Montenegro 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009) Remember the name. Fiorentina’s 19-year-old Montenegrin wunderkid Stevan Jovetic rifled home a 25-yard thunderbolt to hand the visitors the lead in Sofia. On the stroke of halftime Radostin Kishishev fired home a low drive to equalise, and after the interval Dimitar Berbatov teed up Dimitar Telkiyski to put Bulgaria in the driver’s seat. Berbatov added a late penalty and Valeri Domovchiyski wrapped up the points at the death.