Russia 2 England 1 ( Moscow European qualifier )
Russia took a huge step on their artificial pitch towards qualification with 2 goals in the space of 4 minutes to turn an England victory into defeat. Michael Owen headed the ball on for Rooney to chest and volley past Gabulov a minute before the half-hour mark, and 4 minutes into the second half Steven Gerrard missed a glorious chance to extend the lead, but found the wrong side of the post. Rooney pulled down Zurianov and was adjudged to have committed the offence inside the area, which gave Roman Pavluchenko the chance to step up and score with a crisply taken penalty. Pavluchenko was quickest to react to a Paul Robinson parry 4 minutes later, scoring his second of the night to put Russia in the driving seat. Wins against Israel and Andorra will guarantee qualification for Russia.
Pavluchenko quick double sinks England
Among other matches the Czech Republic recorded a historic 3-0 victory in Germany to qualify at the expense of Ireland who avoided a disastrous defeat in Dublin with a last minute Steve Finnan shot after Stelios Okkarides had become the first player to score against Ireland at Corke Park 10 minutes earlier. An indifferent performance by Scotland resulted in 2-0 loss away to Georgia, while Thierry Henry became the all time highest scorer for France as his 79th minutes shot deflected off Ribery was followed 2 minutes later by another goal which condemned visitors Lithuania to a 2-0 defeat. Belgium scored 3 in the 2nd half without reply at home to Armenia, and 3 goals in the last 8 minutes saw Portugal win 2-1 in Kazakhstan, while Serbia enjoyed an easy ride in Azerbaijan winning 6-1 with Nikola Zigic scoring twice. A solitary late goal by Yoannis Amanatidis in Turkey gave reining champions Greece the chance to defend their crown next year, while Norway took a step closer with 2 goals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kyle Lafferty curled the ball into the top corner to give Northern Ireland a point in Sweden after Olof Mellberg had given the hosts and group leaders a first-half lead. Liechtenstein enjoyed a rare win putting 3 past visitors Iceland. In the South American qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup Milito and Messi scored in the first half to give Argentina a win in Venezuela, and an early goal by Valdez gave hosts Paraguay victory over Uruguay. Colombia failed to score again as they drew in Bolivia who had Lionel Reyes red carded in the 68th minute, while Chile scored through Humberto Suazo and Matias Fernandez to defeat Peru 2-0. Brazil had to be content with an early Vagner Love tap-in until Ronaldinho deflected a shot in the 73rd minute. Kaka unleashed an unstoppable shot 3 minutes later. Brazil extended their lead in the 82nd minute when Robinho crossed the ball after some trickery, for Elano to volley home, and 2 minutes later a howler from the Ecuadorian keeper allowed a tame shot from Kaka to trickle into the net for the fifth.