World Cup 2014 qualifiers clockwatch – as it happened

Belgium beat Croatia to qualify for the World Cup, before Germany and Switzerland sealed their places

Right, I'm going to wrap this up now. To check all the scores and standings click here and here. Thanks for reading and emailing. Good night.

Germany have beaten Ireland 3-0 and are going to the World Cup. They don't get an ! for that.

Full-time: Sweden 2-1 Austria. Sweden have clinched their play-off place.

Full-time: Wales 1-0 Macedonia.

Full-time: Iceland 2-0 Cyprus. They stay second. They play Norway away on Tuesday and Slovenia go to group winners Switzerland.

Full-time: Slovenia 3-0 Norway. But they are set to stay third behind Iceland by a point.

Has anyone else noticed how much Andy Townsend likes Andros Townsend? He thinks it's him.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Zlatan. It's 2-1 to Sweden. Austria had led.

I couldn't make out who scored Iceland's second goal but PA have given it to Gylfi Sigurdsson.

It's finished Holland 8 (eight)-1 (one) Hungary. Arjen Robben got the last goal.


"I know it isn't your top priority, but maybe you'd like an update on Turkey-Estonia?" says Robin Hazlehurst. "Estonia have had more of the game and have been camped in the Turkish half of late and had the odd woodwork shaver. They have however lost their central defensive rock and chief vowel collector Raio Piiroja to injury on his return from suspension, and his oh-so-polite replacements have taken an after-you-sir-no-really approach to their defending which has seen them two down by now. Oh well. Maybe next time around..."

Iceland score again! It's 2-0!

Miguel Ricardo Costa makes it Portugal 1-0 Israel and Rafael van der Vaart has made it Holland 7-1 Hungary.


A goal for all of Wales! Simon Church makes it Wales 1-0 Macedonia.

Alexander Kerzakhov makes it Luxembourg 0-4 Russia and Andre Schurrle makes it Germany 2-0 Ireland.

It's finished Denmark 2-2 Italy after Alberto Aquilani scored a 90th minute equaliser. All that work for nothing, eh Nicklas?


A huge goal in Iceland! Kolbeinn Sigthorsson fastens on to a loose ball and taps in from close range to make it Iceland 1-0 Cyprus.

GOAL! England 1-0 Montenegro (Rooney, 49 min)

No, it was Martin Olsson.

Now Marcus is happy. But I think it's Jonas Olsson who scored.


Ukraine 1-0 Poland is a result. Ukraine are top as it stands.


OH MY DAYS! NICKLAS BENDTNER SCORES TWICE TO MAKE IT DENMARK 2-1 ITALY! "Christian Eriksen and Michael Krohn-Dehli combines brilliantly through the Italian defence," says Søren Sorgenfri Frederiksen. "Krohn-Dehli crosses to the far post and guess who... Nicklas Bendtner once again towers and scorers with another fine header."


A Robin van Persie hat-trick makes it Holland 5-1 Hungary. He is now Holland's top scorer. A tremendous achievement.


It's half-time at Wembley: England 0-0 Montenegro. It would be a travesty if the world is denied the chance to watch these heroes next summer.

Søren Sorgenfri Frederiksen is having fun watching Denmark: "What a save from Buffon! Andreas Bjelland hits the bar with great power, Nicklas Bendter on the rebound a few yards from the goal-line but Buffon reacts with an amazing save and somehow saves it. 40.000 spectators in Parken was already celebrating what looked like a deserved lead. Still 1-1."

Some goals: Albania 0-1 Switzerland (Xhaka, 48) and Andorra 0-2 Romania (Stancu, 54).

"Rather than subject myself to Clive 'n' Andy I'm watching ITV's coverage to the accompaniment of the latest Football Weekly Podcast, featuring your good self of course," says Max Williams. "Lovely. Does beg the question: can't FW put on a live alternative commentary for England games, streaming from the Guardian website? Bit of wit and insight, actually knowing the opposition's names, some nice drollery from AC Jimbo every-time Gerrard smites over - you'd be doing a public service. Pitch the idea to Malcolm Tucker, or whoever runs the Guardian these days. You'd have a least one listener."

I'm not sure you'd want that. I've just turned to a colleague and announced that England are [INSERT BAD WORD HERE].

It's Germany 1-0 Ireland at half-time.

A Martin Skrtel own-goal makes it Greece 1-0 Slovakia.


England are bad at football.

If you'd like to see how the various groups currently look, I recommend clicking here.

Here's a report on those brilliant Belgians.

A result for you: Malta 1-4 Czech Republic.

This isn't good news for England: Ukraine have taken the lead against Poland, Yarmolenko with the opening goal after 64 minutes. As it stands, Ukraine are top of the group. Meanwhile Liechtenstein have pulled one back against Bosnia -it's 4-1 - and Russia are 3-0 up inm Luxembourg.

"Congratulations to Belgium," says Ianto. "An excellent performance commading a group that's arguably the most difficult in European qualifying. Bendtner's goal has made me unfeasably happy as well. Arsene would rule if he ever went on pointless. I'm even enjoying Wales' performance, but, in a rather unnecessary qualification, I'm quite drunk."

Holland are filling their boots against Hungary. Robin van Persie scores again just before half-time to make it 4-0.

My Swedish colleague, Marcus Christenson, is in bits in the office - Martin Harnik has made it Sweden 0-1 Austria after 29 minutes.

And now it's Luxembourg 0-2 Russia, Viktor Faitzulin with the finish.


Jeremain Lens shows a keen eye for goal by making it Holland 3-0 Hungary.

Claudiu Keseru gives Romania the lead against Andorra after 43 minutes.

"Nicklas Bendtner towers above Balzaretti heading Denmark level 1-1 with a crushing header," says Søren Sorgenfri Frederiksen. "He might sometimes behave like from a galaxy far, far away and looking like a Jedi Knight, but man does he score goals for the red and whites! 23 goals in 56 internationals."

There's Eidur Gudjohnsen pulling the strings again for Iceland. But Gylfi Sigurdsson sends a low effort wide.

Iceland have just missed a great chance to take the lead against Cyprus. Who made it? Eidur Gudjohnsen.



The prodigal son is back in Denmark colours and, on the stroke of half-time, he has made it Denmark 1-1 Italy. What a man.


Ireland's resistance hasn't lasted long in Germany, Sami Khedira giving the hosts the lead after 12 minutes. And Kevin Strootman has made it Holland 2-0 Hungary.


Elsewhere in Holland's group, it's Estonia 0-1 Turkey, Umut Bulut with the goal.

In the other game in England's group it's Ukraine 0-0 Poland at half-time, by the way.

Robin van Persie has made it Holland 1-0 Hungary. "Wonderful first touch from Pablo Osvaldo as he cruises past Daniel Agger and Andreas Bjelland in the Danish central defence. Icecool finish in the far right corner of the Danish goal," says Søren Sorgenfri Frederiksen. "Pirlo and Balotelli not playing tonight but Italy showing they have lots of depth and quality in their squad.

GOALS! Denmark 0-1 Italy (Osvaldo) and Luxembourg 0-1 Russia (Samedov). That's how you do it, Northern Ireland.

And the Czech Republic lead 3-1 in Malta.

Bosnia are running riot, Vedad Ibisevic and Dzeko making it 3-0 and then - 4-0!

Zvjezdan Misimovic makes it Bosnia 2-0 Liechtenstein.

Bosnia are one up against Lichtenstein. Edin Dzeko scored.


Michu is starting for Spain against Belarus.

Germany: Neuer, Jansen, Mertesacker, Boateng, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Ozil, Schurrle, Muller. Subs: Adler, Zieler, Howedes, Hummels, Draxler, Sam, Westermann.

Rep of Ireland: Forde, Coleman, Clark, Delaney, Kelly, Gibson, Wilson, Whelan, McCarthy, Doyle, Stokes. Subs: Elliot, Henderson, St. Ledger, McGeady, Green, Hoolahan, O'Brien.

Referee: Serge Gumienny (BELGIUM!!!!!!!!!)

Here are Denmark and Italy's teams.

Denmark: Andersen, Zimling, Bjelland, Agger, Boilesen, Jacobsen, Kvist Jorgensen, Eriksen, Krohn-Delhi, Braithwaite, Bendtner. Subs: Schmeichel, Hansen, Andreasen, Kjaer, Peter Ankersen, Delaney, Sloth.

Italy: Buffon, Diamanti, Ranocchia, Candreva, Marchisio, Balzaretti, Chiellini, De Silvestri, Osvaldo, Montolivo, Thiago Motta. Subs: Marchetti, Sirigu, Giaccherini, Bonucci, Florenzi, Poli.


Guess who's back.


Time to get some food.

Full-time: Croatia 1-2 Belgium!

Belgium qualify for the World Cup! Two goals from Romelu Lukaku in the first half are enough in the end! The Belgians go crazy.


They're in the third of four minutes of stoppage time in Croatia. "Technically I think it's still a World Cup qualifier even if the teams can no longer progress, when the match was planned there was still potential for it to be meaningful and it still remains part of the process," says Aran. "It's a bit like quantum mechanics - before you look in box the cat is both alive and dead just because you found a dead cat in a box doesn't mean it wasn't alive before. Or something."

And from the free-kick, Mahir Shukurov bends the ball into the top corner to make it Azerbaijan 2-0 Northern Ireland. Dear oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dear oh dearie dearie me. That's the final kick of the game. Northern Ireland lose to Azerbaijan.

Key event

It goes from bad to worse for Northern Ireland: Jonny Evans is sent off in stoppage time. He appeared to kick out at the Azerbaijan forward.

Courtois is off his line quickly to deny Mandzukic an equaliser for Croatia.

Croatia, it's fair to say, fancy this now. A shame they didn't fancy it in the first half.

GOAL! Croatia 1-2 Belgium

Niko Krancjar leathes a brilliant volley past Courtois and Belgium can't celebrate just yet. Croatia need to score twice in the next five minutes or so, however.

An almighty scramble in the Azerbaijan area! Paterson clunks his effort against the post and the rebound is smuggled behind for a corner.

An own-goal from Rowen Muscat has made it Malta 0-1 Czech Republic. Meanwhile Pletikosa has stopped Fellaini from putting Belgium 3-0 up with a great save.

This is the other big game in England's group.

Ukraine: Pyatov, Khacheridi, Shevchuk, Fedetskiy, Rakitskiy, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka, Rotan, Edmar, Zozulya. Subs: Koval, Dedechko, Tymoschuk, Kovpak, Gusev, Seleznyov, Bezus, Mandzyuk, Morozyuk, Gai, Devic, Khudzamov.

Poland: Boruc, Wojtkowiak, Jedrzejczyk, Szukala, Glik, Sobota, Mariusz Lewandowski, Krychowiak, Blaszczykowski, Klich, Robert Lewandowski. Subs: Szczesny, Polanski, Zielinski, Wszolek, Wawrzyniak, Rzezniczak, Mierzejewski, Celeban, Sobiech, Wasilewski, Peszko, Fabianski.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

No hat-trick for Lukaku tonight - he's off and Nacer Chadli is on.

Northern Ireland aren't having fun.

The Belgian fans are making quite the racket. They're pleased.

Belgium are in total control with half an hour to play.

Oh Northern Ireland! First Luxembourg, now Azerbaijan. A fine move ends with Rufat Dadasov sweeping a shot past Roy Carroll. Who knew he was still about? It's Azerbaijan 1-0 Northern Ireland.


Moldova took an impressive 55 minutes to score against San Marino but Viorel Frunza has and they lead 1-0.

Croatia and Belgium have begun their second half.

I also hear it was Defour rather than Hazard who set up Lukaku's first goal. Forgive me, I am watching on the tiniest screen possible with Belgian/Croatian commentary.

Key event

Adnan Januzaj isn't in either the Faroe Islands or Kazakhstan team tonight. The mystery is hotting up.


It has finished Armenia 2-1 Bulgaria. That means that Bulgaria are second in Group B on 13 points, Armenia have 12 and so do Denmark, who play Italy later.

"In that photo of Darrren Bendter he displays a freakish resemblance to Miley Cyrus," says Peter James Hudson. "I just hope he doesn't twerk if he scores a goal."


A big goal in Armenia - Yura Movsisyan has made it Armenia 2-1 Bulgaria in trhe 87th minute. Bulgaria are down to nine men. D'oh.

It's also Azerbaijan 0-0 Northern Ireland at half-time. You'll forgive me for not keeping even a quarter of an eye on that one.

Also Bart Deweer points out Thibaut Courtois is in goal for Belgium, not Simon Mignolet.

It's half-time in Croatia and it is Croatia 0-2 Belgium and Romelu Lukaku. Whistles greet Howard Webb's whistles but the simple truth is that Belgium, even without Vincent Kompany, are too strong with Lukaku in this form. He's already scored twice and will fancy a hat-trick.

Croatia look stunned. Although, as I write that, they almost get one goal back. But they don't. Courtois saves acrobatically.


*Brrring brriiing, brrrring brrrring*

"Hello Adnan, it's Greg Dyke."


"I was wondering whether you'd like to play for England instead of Belgium?"


Maybe Belgium could loan Lukaku to England?

GOAL! Croatia 0-2 Belgium

Romelu Lukaku has done it again! He is too quick, too strong and too good for this Croatia defence. From a Belgium break, he bulldozes through the middle, leaves one defender in his wake and then manages to bundle his shot past the keeper. Belgium are surely - surely - on the way to Brazil.


Mike Dean does night fever.

Mario Mandzukic is having an animated discussion with Mike Dean, fourth official, on the touchline. Maybe they're nattering on about Mark Halsey's book.

Belgium want this done and dusted. A cross from the left finds Fellaini and he is desperately unlucky not to score with his header.

It's all kicking off in Armenia! No sooner have they equalised do Bulgaria get a second man sent off, Svetoslav Dyakov going for two bookings. They're down to nine men. Incredible stuff. There are around 25 minutes left.

Belgium are all over Croatia now and go close to scoring a second, Marouane Fellaini causing bother from a set-piece.

And another! In Armenia, though. And it's for 10-man Bulgaria, Ivelin Popov making it 1-1 after 61 minutes.

Jose Mourinho will regret loaning Lukaku to Belgium.

GOAL! Croatia 0-1 Belgium

Belgium only need a point but they want more than that. Eden Hazard sends Romelu Lukaku hurtling through the middle, Croatia's defenders helpfully stepping aside to allow him to do as he pleases, and the striker steps around the goalkeeper and taps into an empty net. Are you watching, Adnan?


"I'm here to provide a report on the match in Croatia," says JR in Illinois. "Marc Wilmots, somewhere around the fifth minute, performed some kind of funky dance in his technical area. Also, Howard Webb has not ruined the game yet."

I'm watching it. Nothing has happened yet. Croatia have attacked a bit. Romelu Lukaku had a run up the left.

If you'd like to spend your Friday night on our lives scores page, keeping one eye on Moldova v San Marino and the other on your swiftly evaporating dignity, click here.

Some ambling, some passing, some kicking: the evening is just warming up.

Croatia v Belgium is now a football match. Jan Vertonghen tackles a Croatian attacker but resists the temptation to pull down his shorts.

Oh, Bulgaria are down to 10 men in Armenia too.

They are singing anthems in Zagreb, where everyone has come to see Howard Webb.

I trust you are familiar with the Azerbaijan team.

Azerbaijan: Kamran Agayev, Shukurov, Ramaldanov, Sadygov, Allahverdiev, Qarayev, Amirquliev, Araz Abdullayev, Aliyev, Nadirov, Dadasov. Subs: Nazirov, Guseynov, Sadyqov, Javadov, Ozkara, Gokdemir, Huseynov, Medvedev, Budak, Levin, Ismailov, Salahat Agayev.

Northern Ireland: Carroll, Cathcart, Jonny Evans, McAuley, Hodson, Norwood, Davis, Brunt, Ferguson, Paterson, Ward. Subs: Mannus, Lafferty, Baird, McGinn, Corry Evans, Grigg, Bruce, McArdle, McKay, Clingan, Little, McGovern.

Referee: Andrea De Marco (Italy)

An existential thinker for you: is it still a World Cup qualifier if neither team can qualify?

Good news if you're Danish. And, indeed, Armenian. It's Armenia 1-0 Bulgaria at half-time, Aras Ozbiliz scoring the goal after 45 minutes. "I don't know what on earth the channel is that I'm i̶l̶l̶e̶g̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ watching this Armenia-Bulgaria match on, but what an exciting last couple of minutes to the first-half that was for those who are treading water until tonight's main event (Croatia v Belgium, obvs)," says Luke Healey.


Here are your teams from Zagreb. Well, not yours. Belgium are good.

Croatia: Pletikosa, Strinic, Corluka, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Vida, Perisic, Rakitic, Modric, Kovacic, Mandzukic. Subs: Kresic, Bubnjic, Vukojevic, Jelavic, Schildenfeld, Kalinic, Halilovic, Pivaric, Olic, Kranjcar, Eduardo, Vargic.

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Lombaerts, Vertonghen, Witsel, De Bruyne, Fellaini, Hazard, Defour, Lukaku. Subs: Mignolet, Mirallas, Ciman, Mertens, Pocognoli, Vermaelen, Simons, Dembele, Bakkali, Chadli, Gillet, Casteels.

Referee: Howard Webb (INGERLUND)

It's Lithuania 1-0 Latvia! Gol gol gol gol gol gol gol gol gol gol gol! Fedor Cernych with the strike.

After nine minutes, it's Latvia 0-0 Lithuania. We've got another five hours of this, people.

It really is Armenia 0-0 Bulgaria, by the way.


After 32 minutes, it's Armenia 0-0 Bulga... Wait, let's start that again. Andros Townsend starts for England against Montenegro tonight and Jack Wilshere will be on the bench, smoking a fag.A good plan by Mr Roy to play Gerrard and Lampard together - you never know, it might just work. Dominic Fifield has more.

Here's the probable England line-up: Hart; Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines; Gerrard, Lampard; Townsend, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge.


Evening. Who wants to go to Brazil (next year, on the assumption you are a football team)? Everyone, that's who. But not everyone gets to go to Brazil. Unlucky, in no particular order, Serbia, Scotland, Macedonia, Wales, Malta, Ireland, Ireland's fans, Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands, Estonia, ANDORRA!, Cyprus, Miley Cyrus, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, Moldova, San Marino, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Finland, Georgia, Belarus and the world, because England might get there. They're not going to Brazil. Poor them. Yet while Italy and Holland can put their feet up and Belgium, Germany and Switzerland mull over the one more point they need to start buying sun cream in bulk, it's squeaky bum time for a host of other European nations with two games left to play.

In fact, it's kind of temps de bum qui grince for Belgium in Group A, too. They're almost there. They need one point and they can get it tonight away to Croatia, but it won't be easy in Zagreb. They're also without Vincent Kompany and Christian Benteke. Eek! Marc Wilmots says he'll go for broke though; that one begins at 5pm. Meanwhile in Group B, Denmark are clinging on to hope, believing they can nab second place off Bulgaria, whose game against Armenia begins/began at 4pm. Denmark, revitalised by the heroic return of the 21st century Hamlet, Nicklas Bendtner, are at home to Italy. Then there's Bosnia in Group G, chasing their first World Cup appearance - they remain ahead of Greece on goal difference and play Lichtenstein at home at 7pm. Greece are at home to Slovakia.

As for Russia, they've been dodgy of late, giving fresh hope to Portugal, but Fabio Capello's side should beat Luxembourg tonight. Who knew he could manage? Portugal, second in Group F, can end Israel's hopes of nabbing second spot. A point Russia, they will be eager to pounce on any slip-ups. In Group H, Spain will win in Belarus to cement their hold on top spot. In Group D, it's a three-way battle between Turkey, Hungary and Romania. How fun for them. Turkey are in Estonia, Romania are in Andorra and Hungary play the Dutsch. In Group E, Switzerland can win the group by drawing with Albania and Iceland can tighten their grip on second place by beating Cyprus. As for the home nations, Ireland get to witness Germany seal their place in Brazil, BalesWales play Macedonia and Northern Ireland play Azerbaijan.

The football begins soon and the football ends later. We're going to have hours of Guardian sanctioned F.U.N.


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