Israel 2 Russia 1 ( Tel Aviv European qualifier )
Having beaten Austria with a 44th minute Peter Crouch header in a friendly in Vienna a day earlier, England nervously watched Israel take on Russia. Elyaniv Barda toe-poked the ball past the on-rushing Russian keeper in the 10th minute, but the visitors finally got back on level terms in the 61st minute when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov thumped the ball past Dudu Aouate. Needing to win the match, Russia pushed forward and came agonisingly close in the dying minutes when Sychev saw his effort come off the outside of the post, but were caught out on the break when Omer Golan raced through in stoppage time to slide the ball past Gabulov and give Israel a 2-1 win which keeps England's hopes very much alive ahead of their crucial qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday.
Golden Golam goal sparks Israeli celebrations
In other matches Scotland found the world champions too hot to handle at Hampden Park as the Italians got off to the perfect start when Luca Toni stabbed the ball past Gordon in the first minute and Christian Panucci rose to head in a second in the last minute after Scotland had fought back to level the score through Barry Ferguson in the 61st minute. The result marks the end of the road for Scotland in this campaign as Italy and France progress. Norway missed a golden opportunity in a freezing Oslo as Turkey came from behind to win 2-1 and take a step closer to joining Greece in the finals. Ebii Smolarek scored twice against Belgium to see Poland through to the finals where they will be joined by Portugal or Finland who meet in Lisbon on Wednesday with the hosts - who could only manage a 1-0 home win over Armenia - needing a point against their Scandinavian opponents - who fought back to beat Azerbaijan 2-1 in Helsinki. Spain secured qualification with an impressive 3-0 victory over Sweden who can join them by avoiding defeat at home to Latvia on Wednesday. Northern Ireland kept their slim chances alive when David Healy scored a brilliant winner with 10 minutes remaining at Windsor Park against Denmark after Warren Feeney had equalised Nicklas Bendtner's 51st minute goal for the Danes. The Dutch qualified with an unimpressive 1-0 home win against neighbours Luxembourg with Dani Koevermans goal just before the break. Among less important matches Jason Koumas scored twice as Wales salvaged a point at home to the Irish Republic, while Vitali Kutuzov also scored a brace in a 4-2 win for Belarus in Albania. Croatia who had already qualified thanks to Israel's win against Russia, lost 2-0 in Macedonia. The Czech Republic and Germany - who had already qualified from group D - enjoyed 3-1 and 4-0 home wins against Slovakia and Cyprus respectively, and a hat-trick from Theofanis Gekas helped Greece to a 5-0 win over Malta.
The World Cup qualifiers continued in South America with Juan Roman Riquelme scoring 2 more spectacular goals as Argentina gained another 3 points with a 3-0 win against Bolivia. A late goal from Ruben Bustos was the difference between Colombia and Venezuela in Bogota, while Paraguay brushed Ecuador aside with a comprehensive 5-1 win in Asunción. On Sunday Marcelo Salas scored both goals for Chile as they drew in Uruguay, while Peru held Brazil to a 1-1 draw in Lima with Kaka putting the visitors ahead with another wonder strike and Vargas equalising for the Peruvians who saw a Brazilian header come off the bar in the last action of the game.