Belarus 1 England 3 ( Minsk 15 October 2008 )
Wayne Rooney helped England win their 4th straight 2010 World Cup qualifier with 2 goals in Belarus. Rooney won the ball and left it for Steven Gerrard to strike home with an accurately struck low shot from 30 yards in the 11th minute, but after some good football in the 28th minute Stasevich picked the ball up in the box and crossed it to Sitko who flung himself to head in the equaliser. Five minutes into the second-half Heskey ran into the box and set Rooney up for a tap in. Gerrard and Rooney linked up in the 74th minute with Rooney skilfully executing a cool finish to give England a 2 goal lead which they should have extended 4 minutes from time, but Gerrard having rounded the keeper could only steer the ball against the post. England top their group with maximum points.
Rooney finds target in Minsk
In other European matches a single goal denied Wales a point in Germany, and 2 own-goals helped Russia win 3-0 in Finland. Greece suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Switzerland, while Turkey were held to a goalless draw in Estonia. Portugal fired blanks at home to 10-man Albania, while Spain came from behind to win 2-1 in Belgium. Serbia enjoyed a 3-1 win in Austria and a single goal gave the Dutch victory in Norway. Slovakia celebrated a 2-1 home win with 2 late goals against Poland, and Aquilani scored twice as Italy won by the same scoreline against Montenegro.
In Asia's final groups South Korea triumphed 4-1 over the UAE while North Korea lost 2-1 in Iran. Brett Emerton scored twice as Australia defeated Qatar 4-0, but Japan could only manage a 1-1 home draw against Uzbekistan.
In South America a late goal in Bolivia gave Uruguay a point after 2 goals from Marcelo Martins had given the hosts a 2 goal lead. A spirited home performance and a single goal gave Chile their first ever competitive win over Argentina while Brazil played out another goalless home draw as they failed against Colombia. Paraguay defeated Peru 1-0 and Venezuela enjoyed a 3-1 home victory over Ecuador coming from behind to score 3 goals in the 2nd half.
Among North American matches Guatemala lost 2-1 in Cuba, and the USA found Trinidad and Tobago too hot to handle as they were beaten by the same result. Mexico could only manage a 2-2 draw in Canada.