[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING: Europe] Four teams, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has never played in the World Cup, all controlled their own fate and all got the job done, clinching the remaining European group titles on Tuesday. Eight second-place teams, including Iceland, which has also never played in the World Cup, moved into next month's playoffs to determine the four remaining qualifiers from Europe.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, England and Spain all advanced with wins, while Russia won its group with a tie.
won, 1-0, at Lithuania on a goal from former Saint Louis University star and Soccer America Freshman of the Year Vedad Ibisevic to edge Greece on goal
difference in Group G.
England needed to beat Poland to hold off Ukraine, which clobbered San Marino, 8-0, and clinched the Group H title with a 2-0 win on goals by Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard.
Defending champion Spain, which only needed a tie to finish ahead of France in
Group I, beat Georgia, 2-0, on goals by Alvaro Negredo and Juan Mata.
All Russia needed was a point at
Azerbaijan to win Group F, and Fabio Capello's team got the job done, taking the lead on Roman Shirokov's goal in the
15th minute and holding on for a 1-1 tie after Vagif Javadov's equalizer in the 90th minute.
The tie relegated second-place Portugal to the
European playoff series for the third straight tournament.
The Portuguese, who beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2009 and 2011, will join seven other second-place teams, including Iceland, which
has also never played in the World Cup, in next month's playoffs to determine the four remaining qualifiers from Europe.
The eight teams will be placed in two pots, depending on their
place in the FIFA rankings, and paired off at the playoff draw on Oct. 21.