UEFA World Cup 2014 qualifying recap: Spain beat France to regain control of Group I, Portugal back on track

Scott Heavey

There were big wins for Spain, Portugal and Croatia, but France, Ireland, Denmark and Turkey all slipped up in the UEFA qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.

Montenegro 1-1 England

Montenegro stormed back in the second half to gain a well-deserved point against England. Full match report here.

France 0-1 Spain

Spain regained control of the group as Pedro's goal gave them a victory over France in Paris. Full match report here.

Belgium 1-0 Macedonia

Belgium struggled slightly against Macedonia, but Eden Hazard's goal nonetheless gave them the victory to allow them to keep up the pace at the top of the group.

Wales 1-2 Croatia

Wales got off to a fantastic start, and could have had more than their one goal from a Gareth Bale penalty against Croatia. In the end, that proved to be their downfall, as the visitors mounted a late comeback to stay in touch with Belgium in the group and end the hosts' slim qualification chances. Dejan Lovren and Eduardo were the goalscorers.

Malta 0-2 Italy

Italy made surprisingly hard work of the islanders, with Gianluigi Buffon saving a penalty in the first half and Michael Mifsud hitting the bar, but two Balotelli goals, the first from the penalty spot, saw Italy survive their scare. Full match report here.

Germany 4-1 Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan set out to park the bus, but it did them no favours as they were duly thumped by Germany. A brace from Marco Reus bookending goals from Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan sealed off a victory made in Dortmund, while Schmidtgal got the consolation for the visitors. Full match report here.

Republic of Ireland 2-2 Austria

Austria took the lead early on in Ireland as the hosts struggled, Martin Harnik putting them ahead. That seemed to spark Ireland into action, and two Jon Walters goals put them ahead before half-time, but David Alaba clinched a late equaliser on the stroke of injury time.

Northern Ireland 0-2 Israel

Northern Ireland held out for a while against Israel, but in the end the quality from the visitors told, Itay Schechter setting up two goals as Refaelov and Ben Besat scored late on to sink the hosts.

Poland 5-0 San Marino

San Marino suffered their traditional walloping at the hands of Poland. Robert Lewandowski got a brace, with Piszczek, Teodorczyk and Kosecki adding to their tally.

Serbia 2-0 Scotland

The Scots suffered the ignominy of being the first team to be confirmed as not qualifying for the World Cup as Serbia subjected them to a reasonably comfortable 2-0 defeat, Filip Djuricic bagging two goals midway through the second half.

Netherlands 4-0 Romania

The Dutch produced a fine performance to put Romania to the sword. Wesley Sneijder's replacement Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring before Robin van Persie got a brace, Jeremain Lens adding a late goal to give the scoreline some gloss. Full match report here.

Denmark 1-1 Bulgaria

Bulgaria got a good result with an away draw in Denmark that very much keeps both teams' qualification hopes alive. Stanislav Manolev got the goal to put the visitors ahead, before they were quickly pegged back by a Daniel Agger penalty, but the Bulgarians withstood a late Danish onslaught to hold out for a well-earned point. Full match report here.

Ukraine 2-1 Moldova

Ukraine could only manage a narrow victory over Eastern European minnows Moldova - Andriy Yarmolenko broke the deadlock midway through the second half before Evgeniy Hacherydy got a second, before Alexandru Suvorov got a late consolation as the hosts limped home.

Turkey 1-1 Hungary

Turkey are running out of time to make a challenge for qualification as they failed to get past Hungary at home. Burak Yilmaz continued his fine club form by opening the scoring, but Daniel Bode equalised shortly afterwards, and the hosts could not find another. The Turks are now looking very unlikely to qualify.

Estonia 2-0 Andorra

The minnows versus the even smaller minnows - Estonia managed a reasonably comfortable win over Andorra with goals from Anier and Joel Lindpere.

Azerbaijan 0-2 Portugal

The omens were there for a big shock for Portugal, but they managed to get a reasonably comfortable win to get their stuttering campaign back on track. They left it fairly late to do it, though, requiring a red card before Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida got the goals. Full match report here.

Armenia 0-3 Czech Republic

The Czechs got over their recent thrashing in Prague to do the same to Armenia, Watford loanee Matej Vydra getting a brace before Daniel Kolar rounded off the victory.

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More in Soccer:

November 23, 1980: The day USA vs. Mexico became a major rivalry

Full coverage of CONCACAF qualifying, including USA-Mexico

England, Spain face desperate times in UEFA

Uruguay battle Chile in CONMEBOL qualifying

Atleti vs. Real: The most important race for second place

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