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Viva Espana!
March 26th, 2013 9:22PM

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TAGS:  england, france, germany, netherlands, spain, world cup 2014

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[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING: Europe] Defending champion Spain revived its hopes of returning to the World Cup finals with a 1-0 win over France at the Stade de France on Tuesday.

Pedro scored the only goal in the 58th minute after a scramble in front of goal, and Spain furious held off a furious charge by the French late in the game even after rising star Paul Pogba was sent off 12 minutes from time.

"When they went down to 10 men," said Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, "in theory it should have been easier for us, but this is when we perhaps had the most problems. The team played like men today."

Doubts about chances rose following back-to-back ties at home to France and Finland, but the win puts Spain back on top in Group I. Del Bosque won his gamble of sitting out injured Xavi and Xabi Alonso against Finland to save them for the France game.

Spain is now off until September. It will play in the Confederations Cup in June.

"We still have three matches to go when both France and ourselves could slip up," added Del Bosque, "but we are definitely in an advantageous position."

Germany and the Netherlands hold the biggest leads at eight and seven points, respectively.

The Germans completed a sweep of their two-game series with Kazakhstan with a 4-1 win on Tuesday. The Dutch's 3-0 win over Romania extended their winning streak in qualifying to 14 games.

The surprise leader is Montenegro, which maintained its two-point lead over England thanks to their 1-1 tie in Podgorica. Dejan Damjanovic's goal in the 77th minute earned the home team the draw.

Group A
Wales 1 Croatia 2
Scorers: Wales: Gareth Bale 21 pen.; Croatia: Dejan Lovren 77, Eduardo 87
Serbia 2 Scotland 0
Scorer: Filip Djuricic 60, 65
Belgium 1 Macedonia 0
Scorer: Eden Hazard 62
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Belgium 6 5 1 0 11 1 16
Croatia 6 5 1 0 10 3 16
Serbia 6 2 1 3 8 7 7
Wales 6 2 0 4 6 14 6
Macedonia 6 1 1 4 3 7 4
Scotland 6 0 2 4 3 9 2

Group B
Armenia 0 Czech Republic 3
Scorers: Matej Vydra 47, 81, Daniel Kolar 90+4
Denmark 1 Bulgaria 1
Scorers: Denmark: Daniel Agger 63 pen.; Bulgaria: Stanislav Manolev 51
Malta 0 Italy 2
Scorer: Mario Balotelli 8pen, 45
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Italy 5 4 1 0 12 4 13
Bulgaria 6 2 4 0 11 4 10
Czech Rep. 5 2 2 1 6 4 8
Denmark 5 1 3 1 6 5 6
Armenia 4 1 0 3 2 7 3
Malta 5 0 0 5 1 14 0

Group C
Ireland 2 Austria 2
Scorers: Ireland: Jon Walters 25 pen., 45+1; Austria: Martin Harnik 11, David Alaba 90+2
Germany 4 Kazakhstan 1
Scorers: Germany: Marco Reus 23, 90, Mario Goetze 27, Ilkay Guendogan 31; Kazakhstan: Heinrich Schmidtgal 46.
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Germany 6 5 1 0 22 7 16
Austria 5 2 2 1 13 4 8
Sweden 4 2 2 0 8 5 8
Ireland 5 2 2 1 9 10 8
Kazakhstan 6 0 1 5 2 15 1
Faroe Islands 4 0 0 4 2 15 0

Group D
Estonia 2 Andorra 0
Scorers: Henri Anier 45+1, Joel Lindpere 61
Turkey 1 Hungary 1
Scorers: Turkey: Burak Yilmaz 62; Hungary: Daniel Bode 71
Netherlands 4 Romania 0
Scorers: Rafael van der Vaart 11, Robin van Persie 55, 64 pen., Jeremain Lens 89
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Netherlands 6 6 0 0 20 2 18
Hungary 6 3 2 1 13 8 11
Romania 6 3 1 2 10 10 10
Turkey 6 2 1 3 7 7 7
Estonia 6 2 0 4 3 9 6
Andorra 6 0 0 6 0 17 0

Group F
Northern Ireland 0 Israel 2
Scorers: Lior Refaelov 78, Eden Ben Basat 84
Azerbaijan 0 Portugal 2
Scorers: Bruno Alves 63, Hugo Almeida 79
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Russia 4 4 0 0 8 0 12
Israel 6 3 2 1 15 8 11
Portugal 6 3 2 1 11 6 11
Northern Ireland 5 0 3 2 3 7 3
Azerbaijan 6 0 3 3 2 8 3
Luxembourg 5 0 2 3 2 12 2

Group H
Poland 5 San Marino 0
Scorers: Robert Lewandowski 21 pen., 50 penalty, Lukasz Piszczek 28, Lukasz Teodorczyk 61, Jakub Kosecki 90+2
Montenegro 1 England 1
Scorers: Montenegro: Dejan Damjanovic 75; England: Wayne Rooney 6
Ukraine 2 Moldova 1
Scorers: Ukraine: Andriy Yarmolenko 61, Evhen Khacheridi 71; Moldova: Alexandr Suvorov 80
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Montenegro 6 4 2 0 14 3 14
England 6 3 3 0 21 3 12
Poland 5 2 2 1 11 6 8
Ukraine 5 2 2 1 6 4 8
Moldova 6 1 1 4 3 10 4
San Marino 6 0 0 6 0 29 0

Group I
France 0 Spain 1
Scorer: Pedro 58.
Standings P W D T GF GA PTS
Spain 5 3 2 0 8 2 11
France 5 3 1 1 8 4 10
Georgia 5 1 1 3 3 7 4
Belarus 4 1 0 3 3 8 3
Finland 3 0 2 1 2 3 2



1 comment
  1. Molly Wilsbacher
    commented on: March 27, 2013 at 1:19 p.m.
    Why does Group I only have 5 teams when the other groups all have 6 teams? Also, how many from each group advance to the next round? Thank you!


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