Crouch creates comfortable conclusion
England 3 Belarus 0 (Wembley 14 October 2009)
A 3rd minute own goal in Poland gave Slovakia the win they needed to qualify while Slovenia secured a play-off spot with an easy 3-0 win in San Marino, and Northern Ireland earned a 0-0 draw away to the Czech Republic. Portugal put 4 past Malta for a place in the play-offs ahead of Sweden, while Denmark who had already qualified from that group lost 1-0 at home to Hungary. A goalless draw against ten-man Israel in Basel gave Switzerland a place in South Africa, while Greece made the play-offs with a narrow 2-1 home win against ten-man Luxembourg . Germany who had already qualified needed a 90th minute Lukas Podolski goal to cancel out Jonatan Johansson's early strike and avoid defeat at home to Finland, while Russia who were already in the play-offs could only draw 1-1 in Azerbaijan. Alberto Gilardino scored a late hat-trick as Italy came from 2 goals down to win 3-2 in Cyprus and Demitar Berbatov also netted 3 in Bulgaria's 6-2 demolition of Georgia. Belgium suffered a 2-0 defeat in Estonia and World Cup team Serbia lost 2-1 in Lithuania.
The South American group reached its conclusion with Argentina scoring a late goal in Uruguay to claim a place in the finals and send their hosts into the play-offs against Costa Rica who were leading 2-0 in America but conceded an equaliser 5 minutes into stoppage time to be denied an automatic place in the finals as 3rd team which went to Honduras who were victorious by a single goal in El Salvador.
Shinji Okazaki scored a hat-trick as Japan destroyed Togo 5-0 among a handful of friendly matches played in other parts of the world.