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Euro 2008 Wednesday Roundup

More than 20 Euro 2008 qualifiers were played last night, none more important than Italy-Scotland, a must-win home match for the world champions against the Group B leader. Italy coach Roberto Donadoni breathed a sigh of relief after the Azzurri won, 2-0, thanks to a pair of goals from Fiorentina striker Luca Toni. Donadoni received a barrage of criticism in the Italian press after the Azzurri's 0-1-1 start to European Championship qualifying, but the Italians have now won their last three, sitting fourth in Group B with a game in hand over leader Ukraine.

Wednesday was also a big day for Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece, which all won crucial games to help solidify their claim for qualification. Spain, Greece and the Czechs all needed wins to put them back in serious contention. Andres Iniesta scored a late winner against Iceland to move Spain up to third place in Group F, four points behind surprise leader Northern Ireland. In Group D, the second-place Czechs bounced back from a loss to the Germans on Saturday to beat Cyprus 1-0, while the Greeks moved five points clear in second-place in Group C with a 1-0 away win to tiny Malta.

As expected, England broke a five-match winless streak when it beat tiny Andorra 3-0 in Group E, although Israel's 4-0 away win in Estonia helped it leapfrog both England and dormant Russia in the standings. Croatia still leads the group with 13 points, 2 more than Israel, over which it has a game in hand.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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