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Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 22:19 UK

World Cup qualifying as it happened

Croatia 1-4 England MATCH REPORT
Iceland 1-2 Scotland MATCH REPORT
Montenegro 0-0 Republic of Ireland MATCH REPORT
Northern Ireland 0-0 Czech Republic MATCH REPORT
Russia 2-1 Wales MATCH REPORT


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

2213: It's one of those evenings when I don't want to go. But I must. England are top of their group, Super Scotland are third as are Wales, Northern Ireland are fifth while the Republic are second behind Italy. Tim Lovejoy fields the calls on BBC 5 Live's 606 right now. I'm off to give Don Fabio a big hug. Bye bye.

2209: "The friendlies have all been progress towards this. Tonight, with a bit of revenge in mind, it was a great performance. Theo is the quickest player I've seen, he was brilliant."
England striker Wayne Rooney

2206: Did that happen? Did it? You know, the other day, I dreamt there was a Brit in a Grand Slam final and that Lewis Hamilton won a Grand Prix only to be demoted to third and Manchester City spent over £30m on Robinho and Kevin Keegan resigned from Newcastle and...

2203: Just when you think life can't get any better, here's an over-excited Danny the Stat... "Maybe 'breaking the seven' won't catch on - not because it's not a brilliant catchphrase (it is), but because players like the phenomenal Theo Walcott will make "breaking the nine" rather more fashionable. The youngster's astounding display has earned him a monstrous, but well-deserved 9.17. And it only seems to be going up. Eat those numbers Josip Simunic (3.27) and Robert Kovac (3.81)."
England Player Rater

2159: "The next step will be to ensure there is no getting carried away - not much chance judging by Fabio Capello, who has remained stone-faced and professional to the end."
BBC Sports Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2158: "We showed everyone how strong we are as a unit. It was absolutely brilliant. The first two goals were quite similar - I tend to cross usually but I decided to be a bit more selfish. The third, it was just a brilliant ball by Wazza."
England hat-trick hero Theo Walcott

2155: "YESSSS WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO WINNING THE WORLD CUP!!! haha no, but it's a start at least!"
Mickey-MGMT on 606
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2153: "Come on - who predicted that? Slaven Bilic's side were taken to the cleaners here. It almost looked like a changing of the guard when Theo Walcott was embraced by David Beckham in the closing minutes. Credit to Fabio Capello for his bold selection and credit to Walcott and the entire England team for an outstanding performance."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2152: "It's the Hadron Collider - we actually have entered a parallel universe where England are good at football. Its the only possible explanation."
Mike T via text on 81111

2150: Football eh? Ridiculous. Croatia coach Slaven Bilic shakes the hand of every single England player as they leave the pitch. Top man.

2148: FULL-TIME Croatia 1-4 England

2146: The ref clearly wants to put Croatia out of their misery. Joe Cole had at least five minutes' treatment but we'll only have three minutes' added time. Cole, sporting an enormous cut on his head, is now back on the bench and smiling.

2145: "Is this real or has the world ended and it's all a dream?"
Doug, Hartlepool, via text on 81111

2143: Wayne Rooney incurs the wrath of the crowd as he indulges in a bit of fancy ball-juggling. Matt Upson replaces John Terry - the captain's armband goes to Rio Ferdinand.

2141: "Croatia either love a song or have a real sense of irony - the sound system is blaring out "Viva Croatia" after Mario Mandzukic pulls one back in a hopeless cause. England waste no time in re-affirming their superiority and there is dancing in the technical area as Walcott completes a brilliant hat-trick. Dreamland. Will Fabio crack a smile afterwards?"
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2140: FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Czech Republic

2139: Theo Walcott gets a standing ovation from the England fans and several hugs from his team-mates as he is brought off to be replaced by his understudy David Beckham.

2137: GOAL Croatia 1-4 England
Arise Sir Theo. Wayne Rooney slips the perfect ball through for Theo Walcott, who waits for the keeper to commit himself before sliding the ball home. Hat-trick for the Arsenal forward.

2136: "Re 2127: LHC. Luxembourg Helvetia Collider?"
Marc, Liverpool, via text on 81111

2133: GOAL Croatia 1-3 England
Darijo Srna has his foot very high as he wins the ball from John Terry in midfield but Srna is allowed to continue and set up Mario Mandzukic for the low finish. Terry is protesting - and he does have a point.

2130: Nooooooo. Another dazzling spell of passing and moving from England... Did I really write that?... ends with Frank Lampard leaving the defender on his behind and stroking the ball home. The goal is disallowed because Emile Heskey tripped the defender. Boo.

2129: Here's Danny the Stat again... "Decent marks all round for the Scottish players, but it's that man Kirk Broadfoot still out in front with 8.02. High sixes and low sevens elsewhere after the Tartan Army see their side get some vital World Cup qualifying points on the board."
Scotland Player Rater

2127: I cannot believe what I am seeing, England stroking the ball around in midfield as the fans give it the 'oles'. Fabio Capello isn't all that happy and is demanding his team go forward in search of more goals. Love that man... AND LUXEMBOURG HAVE BEATEN SWITZERLAND!

2126: "'Are you Scotland in disguise?' is the chant from the England fans here at the Maksimir… tonight, perhaps not."
BBC Radio 1's David Garrido in Zagreb

2126: Great left-wing ball from Chris Brunt finds the head of Martin Paterson inside the area, but the Northern Ireland player fails to either hit the target or find a team-mate.

2125: "The second goal for England, Cheese, was the best I've seen since Shearer and Sheringham against the Dutch at Wembley in the summer of '96."
Butch in Didcot, via text on 81111

2124: "The Maksimir is silent - except for England's ecstasy. Some of the home fans who created an atmosphere of fierce hostility before kick-off are now on the way home. England are in total control, Fabio Capello's decision to play Theo Walcott has worked like a dream and Wayne Rooney is on the scoresheet. This is almost too good to be true."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2122: Super Scotland hang on for a first win under George Burley, Kirk Broadfoot and Barry Robson with the goals.

2120: FULL-TIME Iceland 1-2 Scotland

2119: Into injury-time in Iceland - and what a let-off for Scotland. Iceland storm forward and the ball is fired goalwards only for Gary Caldwell to deflect the ball, more through luck than judgement, over the bar.

2118: GOAL Croatia 0-3 England
Ashley Cole wins the ball wide on the left and Jermaine Jenas picks it up before cutting back for Wayne Rooney to slot home. He only scores against Croatia. This is beyond comprehension. I'm remembering Munich.

2116: Croatia have never lost a competitive game in Zagreb you know? Fabio Capello watched that goal with his arms folded. Didn't move a muscle. Love it.

2114: GOAL Croatia 0-2 England
Best England goal I've seen in... well, ages. Frank Lampard plays it into Emile Heskey on the edge of the box, who sets up Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United man finds Theo Walcott out on the right and he buries the shot into the far corner - not unlike his first goal. Great build-up, deadly finish.

2112: Northern Ireland's Keith Gillespie cuts in from the left and fires a low 25-yard shot that forces Czech keeper Petr Cech into making a save.

2112: Less than five minutes remaining in Reykjavik. Scotland manager George Burley is looking rather uneasy on the touchline. But he is still on course for a first - and vital - win as boss.

2111: Croatia sacrifice forward Mladen Petric as they reshuffle following Robert Kovac's departure. Dario Knezevic is on.

2110: Joe Cole will not be able to continue. His England shirt is covered in blood as he is stretchered off. Jermaine Jenas is on.

2108: RED CARD Croatia
Joe Cole is in all sorts of trouble. The England midfielder gets an elbow in the head from Robert Kovac and the Croatia defender is sent off. Cole needs treatment, blood everywhere.

2104: Josip Simunic tries out that lovely shoulder barge again, this time flattening Wayne Rooney. Frank Lampard takes the free-kick and the keeper makes an awful mess of it but the Croatia defender gets there first to clear.

2103: GOAL Iceland 1-2 Scotland
Eidur Gudjohnsen hammers home the spot-kick and it'll be a nervous last 15 minutes for the Scots. It's Stephen McManus's birthday today.

2102: RED CARD Scotland
Stephen McManus is sent off for a clear handball as the cross comes over. Penalty to Iceland. McManus fuming - but he can't really have any complaints.

2100: And they're under way again in Zagreb.

2059: Danny the Stat time... "No doubting the star man in Zagreb. Theo Walcott has a whopping "eight-breaking" (it may catch on, I just don't know) 8.08. That's almost twice as much at Croatia's Josip Simunic, who is limping along with a 4.31. Could change mind, thanks to you, the Player Rater users."
England Player Rater

2058: "Gary Caldwell has been outstanding in the centre of Scotland's defence tonight."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

2057: Petr Cech comes to the Czech Republic's rescue. Warren Feeney is clean through but the Chelsea keeper saves with his foot. The rebound comes to Chris Brunt, who blazes over. Unlucky Northern Ireland - but what a save from Cech.

2053: So on Saturday, Austria beat France. Today, they are losing 2-0 to Lithuania. Football really has gone mad. France, by the way, are drawing 0-0 with Serbia at half-time.

2051: They're back under way at Fortress Windsor Park, as it is now officially known.

2049: "Slaven Bilic is not a happy man as he paces his technical area - while the sounds of irritation from the previously triumphalist home fans will be a happy sound for England coach Fabio Capello. Capello and his staff were rightly outraged after Theo Walcott was crudely flattened by the cynical Josip Simunic. Any sympathy? Not a chance as Walcott was jeered back on by the Croatia supporters after he regained his senses."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2045: HALF-TIME Croatia 0-1 England

2045: GOAL Iceland 0-2 Scotland
Scotland had been under the cosh - until that spot-kick, awarded when James McFadden is fouled by Kristjan Sigurdsson. McFadden steps up to take it and though his effort is saved, the Scots front men are quick to follow up and Barry Robson rams in the rebound - the Icelandic defenders just stood and watched, like big Reykjavik statues.

2045: Penalty to Scotland.

2041: Walcott is back on just in time to see his attacker Josip Simunic give away another foul, this time on poor old Emile Heskey.

2039: Walcott is carried off on what looks like a marquee on wheels. Never seen one of those before. He looks like he might be OK.

2038: Theo Walcott is destroying Croatia. Josip Simunic is forced into a shocking shoulder-barge to take out the flying winger. He's lucky he only gets a yellow - and Walcott is struggling. The ball breaks to Wayne Rooney, whose cross is cut out.

2036: Iceland have started brightly and Scotland are thankful for Gary Caldwell's timely defensive clearance - before Craig Gordon has to tip over Kristjan Sigurdsson's looping effort.

2036: HALF-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Czech Republic

2035: "Re 2025: Do you love Scotland too Caroline? Thought the 'B'BC was not just English biased."
Robert, Glasgow, annoyed, via text on 81111
Yes I do love Scotland. I am also biased towards Northern Ireland and Wales.

2033: Milan Baros heads over from two yards for the Czech Republic. A narrow escape for Northern Ireland.

2032: "Disbelieving silence here after Theo Walcott's goal - only pierced by the sound of delighted England fans. Capello's decision to play Walcott is vindicated in the best way possible. Nothing stupid now England - and yes, that means you David James. England's goalkeeper has not looked confident as he follows in the footsteps of Paul Robinson and Scott Carson against Croatia."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2032: Scotland get the game in Iceland back under way.

2030: Finland take the lead three times but Miroslav Klose's hat-trick means Germany grab a 3-3 draw in Helsinki.

2028: You can't take your eyes off this game. Moments after his goal, Theo Walcott sees an effort deflected wide before Mladen Petric has a fierce shot blocked for Croatia.

2025: GOAL Croatia 0-1 England
Forget what I said earlier. I love England! Danijel Pranjic's clearance comes off his team-mate straight into Theo Walcott's path. The Arsenal forward opts against setting up Joe Cole in the middle and arrows a shot through the defender's legs and into the far corner.

2022: Theo Walcott volleys over a clever cross to where Josip Simunic quite literally wrestles Emile Heskey to the ground. A penalty. Not given. Outrage.

2021: HALF-TIME Iceland 0-1 Scotland

2019: Danny the Stat speaks: "Scotland goal machine Kirk Broadfoot has raced to the top of the Player Rater rankings with 8.18. Only fellow "seven breaker" (it'll catch on) Craig Gordon is close to him with 7.73. Six-point-somethings all round elsewhere. Sense injustice? Get involved."
Scotland Player Rater

2018: "England have made a half-decent start - but Luka Modric is being afforded too much time and space early on. Croatia's best work always goes through the Spurs midfield man and the tempo is raised on and off the pitch every time he is in possession. Vedran Corluka is urging the crowd to turn up the volume, but they need no encouragement."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

2017: Away from the home nations, Finland still lead Germany 3-2 - although according to I_Smacked_Dida on 606, Mario Gomez has just missed from "half a yard". Italy lead Georgia 1-0 and in the 'Slov derby', Slovenia lead Slovakia 1-0. Switzerland have just equalised against Luxembourg.

2013: A mistake from Ashley Cole lets Ivica Olic in but the Croatia man is a bit selfish and opts to shoot - blocked. England no longer looking so encouraging. Too many defensive mistakes.

2012: Heart-stopping moment for David James as he drops a corner. Vedran Corluka has one effort blocked and then his second goes wide. Other than that, this has been a quite encouraging start from England.

2011: Scotland are on top and James McFadden is again denied by a defender as he attempts to turn Kris Commons' cross into the net. Keeper Kjartan Sturluson gathers from the resulting corner.

2009: In Belfast, a defensive header from Czech centre-back David Rozehnal requires his keeper Petr Cech to back-peddle and tip the ball over the bar for a corner.

2007: Kristjan Sigurdsson makes a vital interception to deny James McFadden, who is lurking at the far post, ready to tap in Shaun Maloney's incisive cross.

2005: Frank Lampard releases Theo Walcott down the right-hand channel with a fabulous pass but the winger makes a mess of the cross and the keeper collects.

2004: Free-kick for England... but Frank Lampard's low effort takes a deflection and dribbles wide.

2003: Theo Walcott gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Danijel Pranjic has the shot but it's straight at David James.

2000: "It's been a great game and there's a great pace to this first half. Iceland are still looking dangerous."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

2000: They're up and away in Zagreb. Cover your eyes, it might not be pretty.

1957: "Re 1948: Fabulous for Broadfoot! I'd take 10 more with his 'limited ability' ... but unlimited determination."
Dave K, Edina, via text on 81111

1956: Here are the teams in Zagreb. Some ladies dressed as American cheerleaders stand with the flags saluting as the anthems are played. A quite bizarre sight.

1954: Four points from two away games for the Republic of Ireland. A good start for Giovanni Trapattoni.

1952: FULL-TIME Montenegro 0-0 Rep of Ire

1951: Vyacheslav Hleb gives Belarus a 3-1 lead against Andorra. Daniel Sjolund puts Finland 3-2 up against Germany after 57 minutes. What. A. Game.

1950: "England's fans cut an isolated group surrounded by the patriotism, singing and colour of the Croatian fans - and Fabio Capello's players received a predictably hostile send-off as they returned to the dressing room."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

1948: GOAL Iceland 0-1 Scotland
Kirk Broadfoot - the subject of some very cruel comments over on 606 earlier - rises to head home Barry Robson's corner.

1947: And they're under way at Windsor Park.

1946: First good chance in Reykjavik goes to Iceland, as the ball is clipped over to Eidur Gudjohnsen - who blazes over.

1944: "I am upset that Bullard didn't even make the bench. What's point in calling up a player if he is not even going to feature on the bench. He puts in more effort than most of those so called players currently in the team. Not a happy bunny."
Barney_FFC on 606
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1943: Slightly scrappy start in Reykjavik, Iceland having the better of it so far.

1942: Heartbreak hotel. Vitaly Rodionov strikes with 11 minutes remaining to give Belarus a 2-1 lead over Andorra.

1939: Republic keeper Shay Given produces a miracle save to keep it 0-0 in Montenegro. Stevan Jovetic's shot takes a wicked deflection off his team-mate but Given somehow changes direction and palms it around his left-hand post.

1937: Robbie Keane does what Robbie Keane does best, his quick feet taking him away from the defender. He sets up Aidan McGeady on the overlap but his shot is a bit wasteful, wide of the near post.

1935: FULL TEAMS: Croatia v England
Croatia: Pletikosa, Simunic, Robert Kovac, Corluka, Pranjic, Rakitic, Petric, Nico Kovac, Srna, Modric, Olic. Subs: Runje, Krizanac, Mandzukic, Pokrivac, Knezevic, Leko, Klasnic.
England: James, Brown, Terry, Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Walcott, Lampard, Barry, Joe Cole, Rooney, Heskey. Subs: Robinson, Johnson, Beckham, Downing, Defoe, Upson, Jenas.

1933: FULL TEAMS Northern Ireland v Czech Rep
Northern Ireland: Taylor, McCartney, Evans, Hughes, Craigan, Gillespie, Clingan, Baird, Brunt, Healy, Feeney. Subs: Mannus, McAuley, Paterson, McGivern, O'Connor, Shiels, Thompson.
Czech Republic: Cech, Grygera, Jankulovski, Rozehnal, Ujfalusi, Kovac, Plasil, Polak, Sionko, Sirl, Baros. Subs: Drobny, Kadlec, Pospech, Jarolim, Rajnoch, Fenin, Slepicka.

1932: Yes, the Republic of Ireland are still playing against Montenegro. Still not a lot doing.

1931: Under way in Iceland.

1927: The teams are out in Reykjavik... where Scotland are looking for a first win under George Burley.

1926: What a game in Helsinki! Germany are level again thanks to Miroslav Klose's second and it's not even half-time. Well, actually, it probably is now.

1925: Hold on a minute, the shock's back on again. Finland take a 43rd-minute lead against Germany through Mika Vayrynen. AND ANDORRA HAVE SCORED! Marc Pujol's penalty makes it 1-1 against Belarus.

1923: "Re 1906: I'm really bothered I don't buy this England doesn't matter because all's OK if you follow the big four stuff - go off and join Carragher & Scholes in your selfish little corner - come on England."
Robin via text on 81111

1922: Look. It's true. There are no easy games in football anymore. Romania beat Faroe Islands 1-0 thanks to Razvan Vasilic's goal.

1918: Oh, scrap that shock. Germany equalise against Finland through Miroslav Klose.

1917: FULL TEAMS: Iceland v Scotland
Iceland: Sturluson, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Eiriksson, Kristjan Orn Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Steinsson, Hreidarsson, Gislason, Gudjohnsen, Helguson, Hallfredsson. Subs: Torgeirsson, Indridi Sigurdsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Palmason, Gunnarson, Thordarson, Thorvaldsson.
Scotland: Gordon, Broadfoot, Naysmith, McManus, Caldwell, Brown, Darren Fletcher, Maloney, McFadden, Robson, Commons. Subs: McGregor, Alexander, Miller, Boyd, Hartley, Steven Fletcher, Berra.

1915: Shock on the cards in Helsinki as former Charlton and Rangers man Jonathan Johansson gives Finland the lead against Germany after 33 minutes.

1912: Just in case you weren't with us earlier on (and yes I do mean you, IBrokeTheBigScreen on 606), here's the Scotland team to face Iceland: Gordon, Broadfoot, Caldwell, McManus, Naysmith, Robson, Fletcher, Brown, Commons, Maloney, McFadden.

1908: "Capello has gone for a very positive line-up, the charges of conservatism made against the Italian can be swept aside now. What a chance for Theo Walcott. Have we seen the last of David Beckham starting big games for England? The atmosphere inside the Maksimir Stadium is sensational. Not sure what the DJ is playing but the locals love it and this will not be a welcoming place when England come out to warm up."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

1906: I've got nothing to say about that England team. I just find it really hard to be bothered anymore. Know what I mean? Happy to hear your thoughts though.

1905: Short delay in Montenegro because the fourth official is a bit late onto the pitch. Odd. Off we go then.

Taylor; Hughes, Evans, Craigan, McCartney; Gillespie, Baird, Clingan, Brunt; Healy, Feeney.

1900: Just half an hour to go until Scotland kick off in Iceland. Here's George Burley speaking to BBC Radio Scotland: "We've got a young, vibrant team and hopefully we can do well tonight. Every game is hard and we're trying to get it right. We're very focused on getting the three points."

1859: "Solid line up for England. Barry has got to perform however, otherwise this team will fall apart."
U8578980 on 606
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James; Brown, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole; Walcott, Barry, Lampard, J Cole; Rooney, Heskey.

1856: "We was robbed! A cast iron penalty for Ireland waved away. The 'Trap Door' is open and we're looking good for the second half."
PaddyFromWaterford on 606
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Theo Walcott starts for England, David Beckham does not. Wes Brown comes in for Glen Johnson, while Emile Heskey replaces Jermain Defoe.

1847: HALF-TIME Montenegro 0-0 Republic of Ireland

1846: Republic of Ireland appeal for handball after Radoslav Batak appears to slap the ball away. Robbie Keane is incensed as the ref waves away the protests.

1845: Belarus break down the Andorra defence a bit quicker than England did, Dzmitry Verkhovtsov scoring the opener after 36 minutes. Serhiy Nazarenko looks to have wrapped up victory for Ukraine in Almaty with his second against Kazakhstan to make it 3-1.

1842: One word to sum up events in Podgorica: scrappy. Not really a chance of note so far although the Republic are starting to pass the ball a little better after giving the ball away regularly early on.

1840: And talking of outrageous comparisons, here's U7913237 on 606: "Kilbane is like a young Maldini."
Join the debate on 606

1835: Just seen Glenn Whelan in the Republic's midfield, which reminds me... Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni compared him to Italy's midfield enforcer Gennaro Gattuso the other day. And he can't even get into the Stoke team.

1832: Sergey Ostapenko's 70th-minute strike gives Kazakhstan hope against Ukraine. They now trail 2-1.

1829: What's that? You want to hear from BBC Sport's resident number-cruncher Danny the Stat? No? Well here he goes anyway: "Penalty hero Roman Pavlyuchenko is monstering things over on Player Rater. Spurs' new front man is well clear on 8.43. Wales' top man Craig Morgan has "broken the seven" (it'll catch on) with a 7.50, closely followed by Wayne Hennessey on 7.45. Surely, surely this will all change."
Russia v Wales Player Rater

1824: Not a lot going on in Podgorica - where the Republic of Ireland are up against Montenegro. Trapattoni's side have a free kick on the left but Aidan McGeady puts it straight into the keeper's arms.

1819: Andriy Shevchenko doubles Ukraine's lead over Kazakhstan in Almaty.

1815: Just to confirm that news from Neill in Newtownabbey. Rangers midfielder Steve Davis has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad, citing personal reasons.

1812: "Just heading to Windsor Park, but according to the Irish FA website Steven Davis isn't... We're in trouble."
Neill, distraught in Newtownabbey, via text on 81111

1810: "Croatia's colourful fans are starting to arrive inside the Maksimir Stadium - and to get them in the mood, Hell's Bells by rock legends AC/DC is played at deafening volume over the public address system. A taste of things to come."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Zagreb

1809: "I'm stuck in a rubbish office doing a terrible temp job... and I'm a Spurs fan. Can someone tell me how Pavlyuchenko looked please?"
Chris via text via text on 81111
Stuck in an office doing a terrible temp job and a Spurs fan. Poor Chris. I'm joking... Pavlyuchenko was OK, looked a bit rusty.

1805: The Republic of Ireland are up and away against Montenegro. Meanwhile, Ukraine take the lead in Kazakhstan through Serhiy Nazarenko on the stroke of half-time. Ukraine, who are in England's group, scraped past Belarus on Saturday thanks to an injury-time penalty from Andriy Shevchenko.

1800: "We can take heart from that performance, Russia will slip up somewhere down the line. Here's hoping for a 70,000 sell out when they come to Cardiff!"
CarmarthenJack22 on 606
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1757: "Bale for man of the match, Wales have been thoroughly impressive in this half, don't deserve to lose. Hiddink, though, pulling it off again; introducing Pogrebnyak to give them a physical presence up front. 2-1, three points, thank you and good night!"
forza4star on 606
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1754: FULL-TIME Russia 2-1 Wales

1753: And now Russia make a substitution in order to eat up the time.

1752: The Russian subs are sitting with rugs over their knees. Not cool. It's Wales on the attack, but Russia have got everyone back.

1751: Into added time, with Russia looking to shut up shop.

1746: Into the last five minutes in Moscow. Surely Wales can't conjure up another equaliser?

1745: TEAM NEWS Montenegro v Rep of Ire
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni sticks with the side that beat Georgia 2-1 on Saturday as midfielder Steven Reid has recovered from a knee injury to face Montenegro in Podgorica. The hosts make two changes, with Milan Jovanovic and Elsad Zverotic coming in for Brank Boskovic and Dragan Bogavac.

1745: Wayne Hennessey doesn't deserve to lose this game. The Wales keeper pulls off another magnificent effort from Roman Pavlyuchenko's low effort. Even better when you consider the sodden conditions.

1741: GOAL Russia 2-1 Wales
Heartbreak for Wales. Andrei Arshavin teases the Wales defence as he cuts in from the left before clipping in the cross for substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak, whose header is somehow clawed away by keeper Wayne Hennessey. A truly incredible save, but Pogrebnyak is there to bury the rebound.

1740: Gareth Bale swings over a long free-kick. It looks easy for the keeper but he fumbles it momentarily before finally claiming it.

1738: John Toshack gets a yellow card for dissent as he desperately tries to get his sub on. Sam Ricketts on, David Edwards off.

1736: "Come on Wales! Please let me see a major final in my lifetime."
Gareth via text on 81111

1734: Gareth Bale strides forward and unleashes a shot from just outside the box but it's always rising. Russia make another change with Pavel Pogrebnyak on for Sergei Semak.

1733: David Edwards picks up a yellow card for hauling down Sergei Semak.

1732: "Brilliant football by Bale. If only he and Giggs could play in the same team! Footballing mastery from the Spurs left-back/Zidane impersonator."
Zippy, George and Bungle on 606
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1727: GOAL Russia 1-1 Wales
Gareth Bale makes up for that penalty miss in spectacular style, clipping the ball in between two defenders and cutting it back perfectly for Joe Ledley to slot home. What a shock this would be. Still more than 20 minutes to go in Moscow.

1725: Wales fall asleep momentarily, giving Aleksandr Anyukov all the time in the world to weigh up his cross from the right. Chris Gunter's slip lets in Andriy Arshavin but he heads wide.

1722: Time for Wales to shake things up. Manchester City striker Ched Evans replaces 18-year-old Sam Vokes.

1722: "Wales are playing well considering how injury hit we are. If only the penalty had gone in."
stevemarkwilliams on 606
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1720: Russia make their first change as Ivan Saenko replaces Dmitry Torbinskiy.

1719: Chance for Wales. David Edwards heads wide from an inswinging cross from the right. Russia definitely not looking as dangerous as they were in the first half.

1718: Good start to this half from Wales, and that prompts Russia coach Guus Hiddink to send his subs to warm up.

1715: "1-0 England, Terry header. Then Walcott gets lost in a black hole before Rooney finds Higgs Boson and invites it for tea."
Dan, at work, via text on 81111

1709: Russia striker Roman Pavlyuchenko turns and shoots in a flash, his effort deflected narrowly wide by Craig Morgan's head. A beautifully-judged defensive header, or just plain lucky? You decide...

1708: I have some choice gossip from Zagreb, live and direct from BBC Radio 1's David Garrido. The whispers say Fabio Capello is toying with a 4-3-2-1 formation with Theo Walcott and Joe Cole playing in behind Wayne Rooney. Hmmm.

1706: The rain continues to fall in Moscow as the second half kicks off.

1705: "Re 1659: I'm an England fan, I am scarederer, ashamed, sad, annoyed, despondent, frustrated, negative, desperate and nervous."
Reál_Giant_Terrier on 606
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1701: Azerbaijan v Liechtenstein, in Wales' group, has just kicked off, as has Kazakhstan v Ukraine, in England's group. So there.

1659: "I am a Scotland fan... I am scared..."
Pikebubbles on 606
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1654: "I would rather see the world end than Wales miss another penalty, has Gareth Southgate joined Wales as penalty coach?"
iwz678 on 606
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1653: "Well that's the end to a pretty good first half. Russia have really dominated at times but this inexperienced Welsh team are actually putting up a fight. Should be a good second half."
eirebilly on 606
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1651: "Am I the only person in England who thinks we can actually win tonight? Am I optimistic or just stupid to think we can cause a major upset?"
Lee, Stockport, via text on 81111
Optimism of the highest order I would say.

1649: HALF-TIME Russia 1-0 Wales

1648: A minute of added time remaining in the first half.

1646: What a chance. Joe Ledley is at the far post for the right-wing cross but he screws his effort across goal. Oh, the ref spots a bit of pushing by Sam Vokes so it wouldn't have counted. As you were.

1645: "Gareth Bale has lost his bounce since his penalty miss, he looks a bit sluggish and this is now a test of character for the young lad."
BBC pundit and former Wales captain Kevin Ratcliffe

1643: It's gone off the boil a bit in Moscow. I do love this crowd though. They are relentless.

1641: "Don't worry Caroline, those doomsayers are claiming it will take at least four years for the LHC to attain the energies necessary to create a mini black hole that will swallow up the Earth. Many more England defeats at the hands of Croatia to witness before then."
Adrien via text on 81111

1637: The rain is coming down pretty hard in Moscow, making Russia's slick passing game even harder to deal with. Wales force a corner, though, which is cleared at the first attempt.

1634: Pantomime boos from this super-enthusiastic crowd as Joe Ledley 'accidentally' collides with the Russia keeper as he runs back. The ref keeps his card in his pocket.

1632: "Russia to win 4-3 on penalties."
Anon via text on 81111

1625: GOAL Russia 1-0 Wales
Carl Robinson rushes to close down Konstantin Zyrianov in the box and only succeeds in tripping him. Another penalty and Roman Pavlyuchenko shows Spurs team-mate Gareth Bale how it's done, placing his effort into the top of the net.


1621: That is a nightmare for Wales, missing a penalty for the second straight game. They've been on the back foot for all of the opening 19 minutes and that was pretty much their first attack of the game.

Oh my word. Gareth Bale darts into the box and is clattered by Sergei Semak - easy decision for the ref. Bale steps up to take in but Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev throws himself to his right to push the effort around the post.


1616: A huge scare for Wales as the ball comes to Roman Pavlyuchenko on the penalty spot but Wayne Hennessey pulls off a magnificent stop from the Spurs striker's volley.

1614: Andriy Ashavin slips the ball inside for Roman Pavlyuchenko but his shot takes a big deflection off Ashley Williams and spins wide.

1610: Wales right-back Chris Gunter is going to have his work cut out tonight. Most of Russia's attacking has come down that side so far.

1608: A deafening roar from the home fans as Yuri Zhirkov gets the ball in a promising position on the left but his cross is comfortably collected by Wayne Hennessey.

1607: According to BBC Scotland's Chick Young, George Burley will go for a 4-3-3 against Iceland, with Kris Commons, James McFadden and Shaun Maloney in attack.

1605: "After our fantastic run in the Euro qualifying gave us Scots our pride back, I can see dark times ahead. George Burley is not good enough to manage a national team, and his inclusion of players like Kris Commons is a joke!"
Chris from Glasgow, via text on 81111

1603: Off we go then. Wales, in their yellow and green away strip, are up against nine of the 11 players who started Russia's Euro 2008 semi-final against Spain.

1558: "Arshavin is a lovely player and is the man that makes things happen for Russia so I think one of the defensive midfielders will be asked to do a job on him."
BBC pundit and former Wales captain Kevin Ratcliffe

1556: Here come the teams at the Lokomotiv Stadium, Wales led out by skipper Simon Davies.

Gordon, Broadfoot, Caldwell, McManus, Naysmith, Robson, Fletcher, Brown, Commons, Maloney, McFadden

1547: "It's the best John Toshack could have hoped for, given the injury situation, and the Wales boss has picked a very defensive midfield."
BBC pundit and former Wales captain Kevin Ratcliffe

1546: Blimey, there are some clever people on 606 today. How would they deal with Wales' injury crisis I wonder? John Toshack has made two changes with Sam Vokes - who scored the winner against Azerbaijan - replacing Rob Earnshaw and Carl Robinson coming in for the injured Jason Koumas.

1545: "The people in Switzerland have built a 15km circular tube. They are going to fire some protons (tiny things which are parts of atoms) in both directions so that they hit each other at a speed just under the speed of light (really fast). When the protons collide they will break up into even tinier pieces and the science bods will look to see if they can find something called the "Higgs Boson", which is believed to be really important in the start of the Universe, but no-one has ever proved that it actually exists. And yes, complex as it was, that's as simple as I can get it! Hope it helps. By the way, all 4 home nations to lose is my prediction! Sorry."
deejay on 606
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1541: "Re 1531: Tiny things make big smashy."
Jon via text on 81111

1540: TEAMS Russia v Wales
Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Kolodin, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zyryanov, Torbinsky, Semshov, Semak, Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko. Subs: Malafeev, Vasili Berezutsky, Alexei Berezutsky, Saenko, Yanbaev, Pogrebniak, Bystrov.
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Morgan, Ashley Williams, Bale, Davies, Fletcher, Robinson, Edwards, Ledley, Vokes. Subs: Myhill, Steve Evans, Ched Evans, Stock, Ricketts, Cotterill, Earnshaw.

1538: "That's good news... only just realised that there is football on for the day and night. It's just turned boring Wednesday on its head."
el nino on 606
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1534: "Please please please can I be first on your blog! England to draw, Wales and NI to lose, Scots draw. Put money on it."
Frazer via text on 81111
As long as you stop calling it a blog, yes.

1531: And when I say what's all this about the world ending, I do actually want an answer. If anyone can explain the goings-on in Switzerland in very, very simple terms, preferably using words of one syllable, I'd be super grateful. And while you're at it, why not give me your thoughts about today's games via text on 81111 or on 606. Nice.
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Hennessey, Gunter, Bale, Fletcher, Morgan, Williams, Davies, Robinson, Vokes, Edwards, Ledley. Subs: Myhill, S Evans, C Evans, Stock, Ricketts, Cotterill, Earnshaw

1520: What's all this about the world ending? Not before injury-hit Wales take on the might of Euro 2008 semi-finalists Russia in Moscow, surely?

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