[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING] Nicholas Anelka
, part of the golden generation of French players but never part of the French
team for the last three World Cups, was the hero with the lone goal in the Bleus' 1-0 win at Ireland Saturday in the first leg of their European playoff series. The loss was the first for the Irish
in qualifying. They had been unbeaten in the group stage
Portugal and Russia both won at home, though the one-goal margin of victory won't allow them to rest easy for Wednesday's
Portugal defeated Bosnia, 1-0, on defender Bruno Alves
' header. The Bosnians had no luck, hitting the woodwork three times, twice in
the same sequence late in the game.
Russia got two goals from striker Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
in its 2-1 win over Slovenia, which got a vital away
goal three minutes from time on substitute Nejc Pecnik
Greece and Ukraine played to a 0-0 tie in Athens.
Uruguay won, 1-0, at