Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard both scored twice as England booked their place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Croatia in their Group Six clash at Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea midfielder Lampard converted a penalty in the eighth minute after Aaron Lennon was brought down inside the box following a clumsy challenge from Josip Simunic. Gerrard added a second for Fabio Capello’s side in the 18th minute when he headed home an excellent cross from the impressive Lennon. Lampard then rounded off a neat move with a close-range header in the 62nd minute, Liverpool midfielder Gerrard nodded the ball past Croatia goalkeeper Vedran Runje to make it four. Arsenal striker Eduardo scored a consolation goal for Croatia in the 71st minute with a simple tap-in after Robert Green had twice parried the ball before Rooney added a fifth, to seal the rout, in the 77th minute. Elsewhere, Ukraine could only close the gap on Croatia after they were held to a goalless draw by a resolute Belarus side in Minsk. Would the World Cup miss Argentina In the group’s other fixture Andorra remain without a point after they lost 3-1 at home to Kazakhstan as Sergey Khizhnichenko struck twice for the visitors.
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Would the World Cup miss Argentina
Portugal gave their hopes of qualifying from Group One a vital boost with a 1-0 win over Hungary in Budapest. Brazilian-born defender Pepe scored the only goal of the game in the 10th minute to ease the pressure on coach Carlos Queiroz. Meanwhile, Daniel Majstorovic found the net nine minutes from time to help Sweden secure a vital 1-0 away win in Malta. Milan Baros scored four times as the Czech Republic thrashed San Marino 7-0 to keep alive their hopes of qualifying from Group Three. Galatasary striker Baros completed his hat-trick with a well-taken penalty before the half-time interval and then struck his fourth midway through the second half. Vaclav Sverkos grabbed a brace and fellow forward Tomas Necid also got his name on the score sheet while San Marino defender Simone Bacciocchi was sent off late in the game after he was shown a second yellow card. In Group Five a late goal from Daniel van Buyten was unable to prevent Belgium from slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Armenia as Hovhannes Goharyan and Sargis Hovsepyan both struck to give their side their first win of the campaign. In Group Seven Suni Olsen and Arnbiorn Hansen were both on target for the Faroe Islands to give Brian Kerr’s side their first qualifying win since 2001 with a 2-1 victory over Lithuania who had equalized through Tomas Danilevicius. Romania were unable to make home advantage count against Austria after they drew 1-1 with Austria in Bucharest as Franz Schiemer equalized for the visitors with eight minutes remaining after Gheorghe Bucur had put Romania ahead. In Group Four Michele Polverino’s goal for Liechtenstein cancelled out a penalty from veteran Finland striker Jari Litmanen to help his side secure their second point of the qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw at the Rheinpark Stadion.