Germany remain perfect in their qualifying campaign (8 for 8) with a very comfortable win over Austria, 6-2, at Gelsenkirchen. Mesut Ozil scored a hat trick, with Lukas Podolski, Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze doing the rest. The Germans were up 3-0 in less than 28 minutes, but a goal from Marko Arnautovic cooled them off for a short while. Martin Harnik scored the second for Austria.
Turkey beat Kazakhstan 2-1 with a deep deep injury time goal by Arda Turan. Belgium were held to a costly 1-1 draw at Baku against Azerbaijan.
Gemrnay, with 24 points after 8 matches, are clear and set in the 2012 Euros. Turkey are second with 13 points after seven games played, Belgium are third with 12 points and eight games played. Both still have to face the Germans.
Still very tight in the group – Ireland were held at home to a 0-0 draw against Slovakia, Armenia beat Andorra 3-0 in Andorra while Russia squeezed out a 1-0 win over Macedonia in Moscow with a goal from Igor Semshov, the 33 year old from Dynamo Moscow.
All nations have played 7 matches – Russia lead the group with 16 points, Ireland and Slovakia with 14 and Armenia still in the mix with 11 points. Ireland play in Moscow on Tuesday while Armenia visit Slovakia.
Italy nearly secure their place in the tournament with a 1-0 win in the Faroe Islands with an early Antonio Cassano goal. Estonia stunned Slovenia in Ljubljana with goals from Konstantin Vassilijev and Ats Purje. Serbia earned a crucial 1-0 win over Northern Ireland through Marko Pantelic.
Italy lead the group with 19 points, but it’s all tight from there – Slovenia (8 matches) have 11 points, Serbia have 11 but a game less, Estonia (8) have 10 points and Northern Ireland (7) have 9 points.
France remain in control of the group with a 2-1 win in Tirana against Albania with goals from Karim Benzema (his 13th goal for France and 3rd in these qualifiers) and Yann M’Vila. Bosnia won 2-0 in Belarus with goals from Sejad Salihovic and Haris Medunjanin. Romaina grabbed a 2-0 victory against Luxemborg with two goals from Gabriel Torje (Udinese).
France lead the group with 13 points in six matches. Bosnia have 13 in 7, Belarus have 12 in 8 and Romania have 11 in 7.
The Netherlands didn’t hold back against amateurish (at best) San Marino winning 11-0, remaining perfect on their easy road towards Poland and the Ukraine. Robin van Persie forgot his Arsenal woes, scoring four goals, making it six for him in these qualifiers. Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored two each. Hungary got a huge win over Sweden through a 90th minute goal from Gergely Rudolf, getting the 2-1 win. Finalnd beat Moldova 4-1.
The Dutch have 21 points in 7 matches. Sweden have 15 from 7 while Hungary have 15 from 8. Sweden still have to play the Dutch again (in Sweden), but they do win the tie breaker with Hungary thanks to their 2-0 win at home.
Greece got a big win in Israel, 1-0 through Sotiris Ninis, leaving Israel hardly a chance to qualify from the group. Croatia got a 3-1 win in Malta and Latvia beat Georgia 1-0. Greece have 17 points after 7 matches, Croatia are with 16 at second. The Greeks host Croatia next month.
England remained perfect away from Wembley, beating Bulgaria 3-0 with goals from Gary Cahill and Wayne Rooney (2), reaching 28 for the national team. Wales did England a huge favor with their first win of the qualifiers, beating Montenegro 2-1 in Cardiff through Steve Morison and Aaron Ramsey.
England lead the group with 14 points after six matches, Montenegro are second with 11.
Things are still rather complicated in this one, with three nations in the picture. Group leaders Portugal won 4-0 in Cyprus, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice, taking him to 29 international goals and four in these qualifiers. Norway got a late penalty to give them a 1-0 win over Iceland, scored by Mohammed Abdellaoue.
Portugal have 13 points at first, same as Norway. Both teams beat each other 1-0 in their home matches. Denmark are third with 10 points and 5 matches. They host Norway on Tuesday and host Portugal next month.
Only one match played today – Lithuania drew Lichtenstein without any goals. Spain lead the group with 15 points (100%), the Czech Republic, playing in Scotland tomorrow, are second with 9 points. Scotland have only 4 points at fourth after four matches, and can’t afford not to win at Hampden Park tomorrow if they want to have a chance of finishing second.