World Cup qualification roundup: England and Spain through
A 2-0 win over Poland booked England’s place at the World Cup finals as the European qualifiers came to an end..
Late goals in either half from Wayne Rooney and skipper Steven Gerrard sent Roy Hodgson’s team to Brazil.
Holders Spain also topped their group, beating Georgia 2-0 with Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo and Chelsea number ten Juan Mata on target.
That result confirmed France had to settle for a playoff place despite a 3-0 home win over Finland.
Les Bleus will be joined in next month’s two-legged playoffs by Portugal.
Paulo Bento’s team trounced Luxembourg 3-0, but a draw for Russia, coached by Fabio Capello, in Azerbaijan saw them top their pool.
Bosnia held their nerve to qualify for their first major finals since the breakup of Yugoslavia thanks to an away victory in Lithuania.
Euro 2004 winners Greece missed out on top spot in that group on goal difference, meaning they were consigned to the November playoffs.
Ukraine, Romania and Iceland took the remaining three places in that additional round as Croatia and Sweden had already guaranteed their berths.
Denmark missed out on the playoffs, however, as despite finishing second they had the worst points tally of all runners-up.
Germany and the Netherlands picked up the most points in qualifying with 28 apiece (nine wins and a draw).
There are now 18 of the 32 spots taken for the World Cup finals.
Qualifying in the Americas concludes over this evening, although representatives from the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL regions that finish fourth and fifth respectively will face their own intercontinental playoffs with teams from Oceania and Asia.
Likely countries to face New Zealand and Jordan are Mexico and Uruguay.
African nations complete their playoff round next month too.
European Group Winners