World Cup qualifying as it happened

Live text commentary as Northern Ireland hold Portugal after defeats for Wales and Scotland, while England's match in Poland is postponed.

16 October 2012 Last updated at 23:00

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As it happened

  1. 2300: 

    That is your lot for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow for England's hastily rearranged game in Poland, when hopefully the roof will be on in Warsaw. Remember, that game is supposed to kick off at 16:00 BST. I'll see thee.

  2. 2258: 

    Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill in Porto: "Credit goes to the players. The team was excellently prepared and the players were magnificent with their workrate and desire. It was harsh on us to lose a goal at the end. At times we did have to weather extreme pressure, but we come away disappointed with the draw!

    "This is as difficult a place as there is to come. To go ahead in the game and to stifle Portugal the way we did, well, I'm just disappointed for the players because I think they deserved a wee bit more. But they have to take confidence from what they did tonight."

  3. 2258:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Simon Brotherton in Portugal: "That is an excellent result for Northern Ireland. They didn't quite manage to hold on for the win, but on the night of Ronaldo's 100th cap he has been upstaged by Michael O'Neill's team, who came within 10 minutes of causing a major upset.

    "From Northern Ireland's point of view, this result is about as good as they possibly could have hoped for when the flew out here to Porto for this match."

  4. 2258: 

    For reasons not entirely connected to football it has been a rollercoaster night. We've had England U21s securing their place at Euro 2013 with a 0-0 draw in Serbia but this was overshadowed by ugly scenes as players clashed and Danny Rose - who was sent off - seemed to indicate he had been racially abused. The England senior side had their game in Poland rained off after hours of deliberation/madness. On the pitch, Wales and Scotland lost but Northern Ireland pulled off a superb 1-1 draw in Portugal. Elsewhere, Germany threw away a 4-0 lead (yes, 4-0 lead) to draw 4-4 with Sweden.

  5. 2254: 
    BBC Sport's Richard Petrie reports:

    "No Northern Ireland fan will have any fingernails left after an extraordinary second-half defensive rearguard action. Undoubtedly one of the best away results in the country's history. Every player was a hero on the night."


    Northern Ireland international Chris Brunt, unavailable tonight, tweets: "Great performance from the lads! Deserved to win but still a brilliant result."

  7. 2251: 

    Just to remind you, Northern Ireland came into the game with a poor record of just one win in their last 18 matches and two victories in their last 29. Portugal had only lost one of their last 27 home World Cup qualifiers, winning 21 and drawing five.


    SJC61 on Twitter: "Massive effort from NI. Definition of 'backs to the wall'. A point each is deserved."

    Mashidur Miah on Twitter: "Well done to Northern Ireland, at least someone has got the guts to give pride to the nation!"

    Russell Wilson on Twitter: "Ronaldo's 100th cap didn't go to plan!"

  9. 2243: 

    The Northern Ireland fans erupt in jubilation. This is as good as a win for them now. Cristiano Ronaldo trudges off after a very disappointing 100th cap. The visiting players are going nowhere, though. They have a superb draw against the world's third best side to celebrate.

  10. 2242: 
    FULL-TIME- Portugal 1-1 Northern Ireland
  11. 2241: 

    We are into the final minute of added time. Northern Ireland are holding on. Is this going to be a famous draw for Michael O'Neill's side.

  12. 2239: 

    Oh how have Northern Ireland survived that?! Silvestre Varela's cross from the right looks perfect for Eder to finish but Jonny Evans' touch takes the ball away from him and just a few inches past the far post courtesy of a superb save from Roy Carroll.

  13. 2238: 

    Five minutes of added time?! I'm surprised at that. Northern Ireland can expect an absolutely battering.

  14. 2236: 

    Another close call for Portugal as Nani unleashes an effort from the edge of the box that has Roy Carroll diving but flies over the crossbar. We are into the final minute of normal time.

  15. 2236: 

    Oh, that was close. A Portugal corner is only half-cleared and falls to Silvestre Varela but his shot flies just wide of the post. Replays show Roy Carroll made a superb fingertip save, but a goalkick is the verdict.

  16. 2235: 

    Portugal have their main dangerman on the ball as Cristiano Ronaldo drives into the box. However, his pull back to the edge of the area evades his team-mates and the danger is gone. Just over two minutes to go for Northern Ireland to hold on.


    Sanj on Twitter: "Well there goes that dream... Portugal will probably knick the win now, won't they?"

    Ryan Kerr on Twitter: "Northern Ireland still have a chance with Portugal looking shaky down the flanks. Come on boys. Green and White Army!"

  18. 2230: 

    Suddenly there is some noise again from the home crowd in Porto. They sense the chance for their side to snatch a late winner. Northern Ireland will need to be really disciplined for the next six minutes.

  19. 2226: 
    GOAL- Portugal 1-1 Northern Ireland - Helder Postiga (79 mins)

    Portugal have been knocking on the door from the moment they fell behind and finally they break through. Eder rises to head a cross back across goal and Nani helps the ball on to Helder Postiga, who has his back to goal but turns and scrambles the ball in past Roy Carroll. Can Northern Ireland hold out for a point now with just under 10 minutes to go?


    Robby B on Twitter: "There are some real lion of men in Michael O'Neill's side. #spoilingtheparty"

  21. 2225: 

    Oh, Niall McGinn has a chance to fully seal his hero status for Northern Ireland as a long ball to the left finds him with Rui Patricio committed to charging out. He is on a very tight angle to the goal and it proves too much for him to steer a shot on target.

  22. 2223: 

    Portugal keep plugging away but they cannot find a way through. Helder Postiga turns and fires from range but it is straight into the arms of Roy Carroll.

  23. 2221: 

    Portugal throwing everything they have at Northern Ireland. Eder comes on for Joao Pereira to try and provide more of a punch in attack.

  24. 2219: 

    Superb stuff from Aaron Hughes to deny Cristiano Ronaldo a clear shooting chance. The Portugal forward runs through, but has Hughes for company and the latter's tackle diverts the ball wide. A couple of corners later and Portugal are no nearer to an equaliser.

  25. 2218: 

    20 minutes to go. It remains 1-0 to Northern Ireland in Portugal. And the visitors are proving very stubborn opponents. Nani's cross from deep floats too closr to Roy Carroll and he claims. There are some very wet, very nervous, very hopeful Northern Ireland fans in the crowd in Porto.

  26. 2213: 

    It is like the Battle of the Alamo in Porto as Northern Ireland's goal is totally under seige. Helder Postiga turns neatly in the area but blazes his shot way, way, way over the bar.

  27. 2211: 

    We've got a delay as the referee comes over to the touchline to discuss a laser being shone into the face of Roy Carroll. Looks like Dr Evil is in the crowd.

  28. 2210: 

    Northern Ireland escape again as Nani cuts in from the right to the byline and drives a cross right across goal. Soon after, Pepe's cross is sliced up and just over his own goal by Steven Davis as he attempted to clear. Everything is going the visiting teams way.

  29. 2206: 

    Another big chance for Portugal goes begging. No flag this time. Nani's cross from the right is met first time by Cristiano Ronaldo but his goal-bound shot is saved by Roy Carroll. 30 minutes to go and Northern Ireland are hanging on to their 1-0 lead.

  30. 2204:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Simon Brotherton in Portugal: "Portugal are enjoying the lion's share of the possession here in the first part of the second half but they haven't really tested Roy Carroll in the Northern Ireland goal so far."

  31. 2204: 

    Massive chance for Portugal as Helder Postiga gets in round the back of the Northern Ireland defence to get his head on a cross but Roy Carroll is well placed to save low down. But it wouldn't have counted anyway as the flag was up for offside.

  32. 2201: 

    First Germany, now Spain. OK, Vicente Del Bosque's side have not let a 4-0 lead slip tonight but they have been on the wrong end of a dramatic finish, conceding an equaliser in injury time as Arsenal's Olivier Giroud grabbed a 94th-minute leveller for France, deftly heading home a Franck Ribery cross after good work by Moussa Sissoko.

    The full-time whistle has gone in Madrid and, like Germany, Spain's 100% winning start to their qualifying campaign is over.

  33. 2201: 

    I tell you what, that would have put the cat well and truly among the pigeons in Porto. Corry Evans drives into the box and almost gets a boot on a cross from the left before a last-ditch challenge from a Portugal defender denies him.

  34. 2200: 

    Dare I say it, but Northern Ireland are doing pretty well at the moment to hold Portugal at bay. The home deliveries from wide have simply not been good enough. Long way to go though, it's only the 53rd minute.

  35. 2158:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "I wonder if Kenny Dalglish could be moved into the Scotland job on a temporary basis? Or maybe Walter Smith is a better long-term replacement..."

  36. 2158: 

    A Fifa spokesman tells BBC Sport that tomorrow's game between Poland and England will take place with spectators. Work starts within the next hour to try to close the roof and then work on pitch.

  37. 2156:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "We've recently discovered that the reason there aren't ground staff here in Warsaw is because there's a roof. Once it was raining the roof should have closed and then there wouldn't have been a threat to the game. The fact that the roof remained open was farcical."

  38. 2156: 

    Northern Ireland are unsurprisingly under the cosh. Ruben Micael lines up a shot from range but fires it just over the bar. It remains 1-0 to the visitors.

  39. 2154: 

    Scotland captain Darren Fletcher: "The lads are bitterly disappointed with the result and having worked so hard, the lack of concentration has cost us. Belgium are a counter-attacking side, international football is about tactics and if we went to attack, we would have lost five or six nil. We tried to win the game by hitting them on the counter. The damage was done before we got out here. It was always going to be difficult, they are a world class side. The player work and believe in Craig Levein and I hope he continues. Qualification looks difficult now but we can still progress as a team."


    Opta Joe tweets: "Germany failed to win an international after going four goals ahead for the first time in their history tonight."

  41. 2154: 

    We are back under way in Porto and Portugal are immediately on the attack. A couple of crosses from the left are dealt with by Northern Ireland before the home side waste a corner by kicking it straight out of play.


    John McGregor on Twitter: "Well there goes another disappointing display from Scotland. When are the SFA going to realise that Levein is no good."

    Christopher Cole on Twitter: "Blame Levein all you want but the cold facts are we are simply not good enough."

    Jack O'Neill on Twitter: "Unbelievable comeback by Sweden! I'm not sure if this is good or bad for Ireland!"

  43. 2151: 

    Some full-time scores for you now. Italy's 10 men saw off Denmark 3-1 to extend their lead at the top of Group B while, in Group D, the Netherlands recorded an impressive 4-1 win over Romania in Bucharest to make it four wins out of four. There are still five minutes to go in Madrid, where Spain still lead France 1-0 in Group I but the home team were glad to see Moussa Sissoko miss a decent chance from Karim Benzema's cross. Franck Ribery also had a shot deflected wide earlier, and the World and European champions are defending deep in the final few minutes.

  44. 2149:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Simon Brotherton in Portugal: "What a story we have got, though there is a long way to go. Northern Ireland have frustrated the hosts no end here. The home team have had more of the play but they have misfired and haven't really done much with the possession they have had. Ronaldo overall looks not very happy. This isn't how he though his 100th appearance would go."

  45. 2149:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    England manager Roy Hodgson: "It was pretty obvious to me early on that this game ws not going to be played. But I understand the referee wanted to examine every possibility. It's a disaster for the Polish FA who had a big crowd in tonight. We've got a problem now of having to re-prepare. Our players have to do things all over again. No-one's a winner in this situation. The weather is beyond everyone's control.

    "We have compromised on 5pm (GMT) as a kick-off time tomorrow, which is the earliest we could get the Polish FA to agree to. We did want to games played tomorrow because we're here and we'd like the match out of our calendar. There are no free dates in our calendar. We have certain international dates and every one of our dates is filled up, as are the Poles'."

  46. 2146:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport Scottish football commentator Roddy Forsyth: "Handshakes between the players at full-time. I wonder whether the handshake that is really going to matter is a Golden Handshake for Craig Levein?"

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer

    "Spokesperson for National Sports Centre, who operate the stadium: "There is a functioning drainage system but with this amount of rain falling continuously no system could get rid of this amount of water."

    "Roof closure takes 15 mins "but cannot happen in temperatures under zero centigrade, very strong winds or when rainfall is deposited on it."

    "Staff apparently now on "red alert" to get the pitch ready for tomorrow. General air of embarrassment and bemusement."

  48. 2144: 
    BBC Sport's Richard Petrie reports:

    "Northern Ireland enjoy a shock, but deserved, 1-0 half-time lead thanks to Niall McGinn's goal on the half hour and some heroic defending.

    "Oliver Norwood almost added a second with a cheeky attempted lob, but Portugal then piled on the pressure. Craig Cathcart hit his own crossbar while Joao Pereira shot just wide. A nerve-racking second half in store for Northern Ireland fans!"

  49. 2143: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium

    "Scotland's slim hopes of reaching the next World Cup have been well and truly extinguished by a Belgium side that plays will real verve and imagination. Scottish resistance was no doubt brave but questions will have to be asked about manager Craig Levein's tenure, with the team picking up just two points from a possible 12 in Group A."

  50. 2141: 

    Amazing! Sweden have done it, in the third minute of stoppage time! They were 4-0 down to Germany after 56 minutes in Berlin but Rasmus Elm has just made it 4-4 to complete the most extraordinary of comebacks, aided by some uncharacteristically bad German defending.

    Elm struck after Per Mertesacker failed to deal with a high ball into the box, pouncing to blast the ball home. The final whistle has just gone, probably to the relief of the home fans.

  51. 2139: 

    Prepare yourself for some unbelievable Sweden/Germany news...

  52. 2138: 

    Northern Ireland are halfway towards pulling off a major shock. They lead 1-0 against Portugal in Porto at the break.

  53. 2137: 
    FULL-TIME- Belgium 2-0 Scotland
  54. 2136: 

    Time almost up in Belgium. Scotland are heading for another defeat that will make Craig Levein's life that little bit harder. To be fair, he was under pressure before this. But have the Scottish FA reached breaking point?


    BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter Ian Dennis tweets: "The FA did ask if the roof would be closed at the pre match meeting."

    "The FA have now formally requested for the roof to be closed for the rearranged game according to Adrian Bevington."


    BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter Ian Dennis tweets: "Roy Hodgson says he intends to pick the same XI tomorrow."

  57. 2134: 

    Northern Ireland, as you would expect, are camped on the edge of their own box as the first half in Portugal draws to a close. Cristiano Ronaldo is the obvious target for the home side as they look to get back level, but so far the forward's delivery from the right has been poor.


    BBC Sport reporter Richard Conway tweets from Watsaw: "Been talking to some very unhappy England fans who have to go home tonight having spent £300 to £400."

  59. 2132: 

    With five minutes to go in Belgium it is 2-0 to the home side against Scotland, who are set to go bottom of Group A. This is partly because Macedonia have beaten Serbia 1-0. It doesn't rain it pours. Literally and metaphorically tonight.

  60. 2129: 

    What a comeback this would be! Sweden were 4-0 down against Germany after 56 minutes but Johan Elmander has just hauled them back to 4-3, turning in Alex Kacanaklic's cross from close range. There are about 10 minutes left in Berlin for Erik Hamren's side to find a fourth goal. Germany defender Holger Badstuber has had a nightmare so far, so maybe they should just give the ball to him?


    Kieran in Edinburgh on 81111 on text: "Time to start discussing Craig Levein's successor I feel. Gordon Strachan anyone?"

    Jon from Bristol on 81111 on text: "So sad for the faithful who have made the trip on their hard earned money."

    Rizz in Glasgow on 81111 on text: "Craig Levein, Craig Levein, his team cannae kick a coffee bean. Scotland cannae keep the ball, think we need tae give Walter a call!"

  62. 2128: 

    Northern Ireland get lucky as a Portugal ball from the right is met by the boot of Craig Cathcart and hammers against the underside of the bar beforing deflecting clear of danger. There are just under 10 minutes to go until the break and the visitors will view it as a huge psychological victory to reach that 1-0 up.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "The roof cannot be closed yet because it is still expected to rain heavily in Warsaw for another couple of hours.

    "Asked whether it is going to rain at 5pm tomorrow Polish FA representative says: 'I'm not a fortune teller'."

  64. 2122: 

    There have been a flurry of goals in Berlin and, amazingly, Germany have not scored all of them. Mesut Ozil converted a Thomas Muller cross to put Joachim Low's side 4-0 up inside the hour mark but Sweden have just replied twice in quick succession.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic's header and Mikael Lustig's shot from a tight angle have given the Swede's hope against the Group C leaders, and they have just gone close again with Lustig only just unable to turn home an Ibrahimovic flick from a corner. About 15 minutes left in that game.

    In Group B, Italy had Pablo Osvaldo sent off at the start of the second half but their lead over Denmark still appears secure after Mario Balotelli put them 3-1 up against the Danes.

  65. 2122:  
    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "The fans here were the last to know. Only in the last 15 minutes have they been officially told, and now they're making their way home."

  66. 2122:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Simon Brotherton in Portugal: "It was a brilliantly taken breakaway goal. Northern Ireland celebrate and the home crowd boo."

  67. 2120: 
    GOAL- Portugal 0-1 Northern Ireland - Niall McGinn (30 mins)

    Unbelievable scenes in Porto. The travelling Northern Ireland fans go absolutely wild as Niall McGinn runs through to put their side ahead. Kyle Lafferty picks the ball up 25 yards from goal and finds McGinn with a superb through pass and the number 14 makes no mistake by chipping the ball over advancing goalkeeper Rui Patricio. Shock on.

  68. 2119: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium

    "It looks like game over now. The crowd had just started to go a little quiet before that quickfire double from Benteke and Kompany. But now you must be able to hear the celebrations in neighbouring Holland."

  69. 2119: 

    15 minutes to go in Belgium and it looks like it is all over for Scotland with the home side leading 2-0. Meanwhile, in Porto, Northern Ireland are holding Portugal 0-0 with almost 30 minutes gone.

  70. 2117: 

    England boss Roy Hodgson on whether he is happy to play the game against Poland on Wednesday: "There were no other possibilities. You just can't find international dates, they are all taken up. What you have to do is to organise to get the game played as quickly as possible. We have prepared well but now we have to do it all again. Hopefully we will be as well prepares tomorrow are we were tonight."

  71. 2115: 
    GOAL- Belgium 2-0 Scotland - Vincent Kompany (71 mins)

    Quick as a flash, Belgium are out of sight. You can't begrudge them this either, especially with a goal of such quality. Vincent Kompany picks up the ball in the box but is faced with a wall of blue. However, he turns firstly one way, then the other before firing a shot into the roof of the net from 15 yards. Class.

  72. 2112: 
    GOAL- Belgium 1-0 Scotland - Christian Benteke (69 mins)

    Scotland's resistance is broken as Eden Hazard jinks into the box from a short corner before finding Kevin De Bruyne and his cross is headed home by Christian Benteke at the back post. Allan McGregor had no chance. With 20 minutes to go, Scotland need to do something they have not done all game - come out and attack.

  73. 2112: 

    Montenegro survived a late scare in Ukraine when Ruslan Rotan headed over but held on for a 1-0 win that leaves them level on points with England at the top of Group H.

    Meanwhile, in the same group, there has been a breakthrough in the basement battle between San Marino and Moldova. San Marino held out for 35 minutes against England at Wembley on Friday, and they kept Moldova at bay for 72 minutes tonight, before Serghei Dadu came off the bench to put Moldova 1-0 up from the penalty spot. Alexandru Epureanu has just made it 2-0.

    Elsewhere, Greece have scored a big goal at the top of Group G, where they and tonight's opponent's Slovakia were in a three-way tie with Bosnia. Dimitrios Salpingidis has put the Greeks ahead with less than 20 minutes left. Bosnia beat Lithuania 3-0 earlier.

  74. 2112: 

    Allan McGregor remains Scotland's most involved player. Kevin De Bruyne fires from range and the visiting number one gets down to block. It wasn't the most graceful of saves but it was certainly effective.

  75. 2109: 

    England manager Roy Hodgson when asked if he has ever experienced a game rained off before: "Funnily enough yes it has. In 1987 when my Malmo team were all set to play Ajax, when a snow storm came in and covered the pitch in snow and caused the gamer to be postponed for a couple of days."

    When asked why the roof wasn't used: "That's something which I can't answer. You will have to speak to the Polish authorities. I am rather hoping they will get it closed now and start to get some work on the pitch the water is lying on the surface and will need a lot of attention if we are going to play."

  76. 2106:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "Have they yet made the announcement about the postponement inside the stadium? I don't think there had been an announcement for the fans, which is scandalous."

  77. 2106: 

    This probably tells you all you need to know about who is on top in Belgium. Scotland keeper Allan McGregor has just been booked for time wasting. On a positive note for the visitors, the Belgian players are clearly frustrated.

  78. 2104: 

    So, what are we left with as regards the home nations... Well, it is 0-0 between Belgium and Scotland and, er, 0-0 between Portugal and Nothern Ireland. Brilliant.

  79. 2102: 

    My mum will be very happy. The Emmerdale live episode can go ahead. I wonder if they'll mention the score. I imagine Carl/Declan/Alan/Cameron/whoever will probably reference it with their dying breath.

  80. 2100:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "The fact that the England squad are leaving this stadium not knowing if there is a game tomorrow is unbelievable. What are Fifa doing? The fans here have been treated with contempt."

  81. 2059: 

    The rumour is that we are going to have a game kicking off at 16:00 BST tomorrow in Poland.

  82. 2058:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport reporter Alastair Yeomans outside the stadium in Warsaw:"Two hours after we first mooted this game could be off they have postponed this game tonight. The England players are going back to their hotel. We do not know when this game would be replayed. I understand England are keen to play it tomorrow, whereas Poland are not so keen. This game is off."

  83. 2056: 

    We have confirmation. England's match in Poland has been postponed due to rain. No word yet on where we go from here. But probably back to the hotel if you're an England player.

  84. 2056: 

    Five minutes in to the game in Porto and Northern Ireland are doing just fine. They have forced the games first corner and look to have settled quickest in the wet conditions.

  85. 2053: 

    Belgium pick up where they left off from the first half as Christian Benteke rises to meet a cross from the right and directs a header that clips the top of the bar before going over.


    BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter Ian Dennis tweets: "Referee back to his dressing room... Still no news. Talks continue..."

  87. 2053: 

    A couple of missed penalties to tell you about, firstly in England's group where Montenegro have just wasted a golden chance to extend their lead over Ukraine. Miodrag Dzudovic was fouled in the box but Vukasin Poleksic saw his spot-kick brilliantly kept out by Ukraine keeper Andriy Pyatov. Montenegro still lead 1-0, however, and they are into the last 10 minutes in Kiev.

    In Madrid, Spain's Cesc Fabregas has also just been denied from the spot. France's Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris saved his penalty, awarded after Laurent Koscielny fouled Pedro. Spain still lead 1-0 and it is almost half-time.

    Meanwhile, the Netherlands have found the net to put their win over Romania in Group D beyond doubt. Luciano Narsingh raids down the right and his cross finds Robin van Persie to sweep home and put the Dutch 4-1 up, with only a few minutes left.

  88. 2053: 
    FULL-TIME- Croatia 2-0 Wales
  89. 2052: 

    The second half is under way in Belgium. It is 0-0 there between the home side and Scotland.

    Meanwhile, in Porto, the game between Portugal and Northern Ireland has started. Before kick-off there a huge banner was laid out on the pitch in testimony to Cristiano Ronaldo - apparently "the greatest player in the world" - who gains his 100th cap tonight.

  90. 2052: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium:

    Hazard warning for Scotland. Eden Hazard is on for Belgium, with Moussa Dembele making way. Jamie Mackie replaces Kris Commons on the right for Scotland.

    FULL-TIME- Faroe Islands 1-4 Republic of Ireland

    Job done for the Republic. The pressure was on Giovanni Trapattoni after the 6-1 hammering by Germany but the Irish now have six points from three games.

  92. 2051: 

    Apparently the England game will not take place tonight - what is being sorted out at the moment is when it will be played. England are willing to play tomorrow, Poland far from keen. We are at something of an impasse right now.

  93. 2050: 

    We are into injury time in Croatia as Gareth Bale draws another save out of Stipe Pletikosa. He spills slightly but is able to gather before any visiting player can follow up.

  94. 2049: 

    Some relevant smallprint for you:

    The Regulations Article 19.7 says that if game cannot be played, the game can be arranged for the next day. If that is still not possible, the game could even be played the day after if both associations agree.

    If the match can't be played on third day, expenses incurred by the visiting association [in this case England] shall be split between the two associations.

    The Fifa Organising Committee would then take any other necessary decisions regarding a replay.

  95. 2048: 

    What a run from Gareth Bale. The Wales winger charges into the Croatia half and into the box, outsprinting three home players before firing a shot that sneaks under Stipe Pletikosa and deflects to Sam Vokes at the back post. It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous as Vokes' shot is wild and well, well over the bar.

  96. 2047:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "This insults your intelligence, when the Italian referee throws a ball onto a pitch that he threw a ball onto half an hour ago, when it couldn't roll then. And it's rained since."

  97. 2046:  
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio 5 live

    "This in Monty Python. Both sets of supporters are being treated disgracefully. If I was a fan I'd be booing."

  98. 2046: 
    GOAL- Faroe Islands 1-4 Republic of Ireland - Darren O'Dea

    Darren O'Dea heads in his first international goal after a deep corner close to the final whistle.

  99. 2046: 

    Here we go again. The officials are out chucking the ball around the pitch in Poland. Guess what? Yep, it rolls even less than it did last time.

  100. 2043: 

    Five minutes to go in Croatia. No sign of Wales salvaging anything from the game. They trail 2-0 and look every inch a beaten side.


    Rob Woodger on Twitter: "How many millions do FIFA extort out of the international federations, and they can't even get a roof shut or a man with a fork?"

    Shane McMenemy on Twitter: "A stadium roof that can't be closed due to bad weather sounds about as useful as a solar-powered torch."

    Jake Deem on Twitter: "The only way to settle this is to see who can do the biggest Belly slide. Furthest wins."

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Pitch invader escapes a steward who - rather predictably - goes flying in the water. Invader then does a Tom Daley. It's that sort of night."

  103. 2042: 

    Spain have made the breakthrough against France in Group I, with Sergio Ramos hitting the bar from Xavi's corner before turning in the rebound himself. Elsewhere, William Kvist has pulled a goal back for Denmark on the stroke of half-time against Italy, who now lead 2-1 in Milan. In Berlin, Per Mertesacker has extended Germany's lead against Sweden, finding the net from close range after good work by Thomas Muller. Joachim Low's side are 3-0 up at the break and heading for their fourth-straight win in Group C.

  104. 2042: 

    A representative of the Polish Referees' Committee says: "The pitch is simply not suitable for playing. This is a big problem. The interests of both parties are different. It will be a decision for Fifa, because five Polish players have games on Friday. They are not happy, but it is Fifa's decision."

  105. 2041: 

    The situation in Poland takes a further twist into madness. Apparently, Poland aren't keen to play tomorrow as five Polish players are scheduled to play club games on Friday. In contrast, England are reportedly OK with playing the game on Wednesday.

  106. 2038: 

    Never underestimate the ability of football fans to make the most of a bad situation. Short of any entertainment in Poland some supporters have taken to the water-logged pitch to endulge in some very damp sliding.

  107. 2035: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium:

    "Scotland have survived a first-half onslaught thanks to the expert goalkeeping of Allan McGregor and a series of last-ditch tackles in and around a very busy penalty area. Craig Levein's men have been over-run but have shown a threat from free-kicks, with Thibaut Courtois saving well from Shaun Maloney and Kris Commons."

  108. 2035:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport reporter Alastair Yeomans inside the stadium in Warsaw: "The officials for this match have all just gone into the referee's room. We believe a decision on this match is imminent..."

  109. 2034: 

    It is half-time in Belgium, where Scotland are holding the home side 0-0.

    Meanwhile, in Croatia we've had the maddest of goalmouth scrambles as Eduardo's header is pushed on to the bar by Lewis Price before Mario Mandzukic's attempted follow-ups are blocked by a serious of desperate Wales challenges. Eventually, Price drops on the ball. There are 15 minutes to go in that game and it is 2-0 to the home side.

  110. 2031: 
    GOAL- Faroe Islands 1-3 Republic of Ireland - Pol Johannes Justinussen own goal (73 mins)

    An own goal restores the Republic of Ireland's two-goal advantage as Faroe Islands defender Pol Johannus Justinussen directs the ball into his own net

  111. 2031: 

    My mum will be in a blind panic right now. If the England game gets played tomorrow and ITV show it then what is going to happen to the live Emmerdale episode?

    I'm thinking they just film them all down the Woolpack watching the game.


    Michael Gonsalves on Twitter: "The situation in Poland is ridiculous, but spare a thought for Wales, that pitch is worse than my old school field!"

    Liam Edwards on Twitter: "Bale's performance against Scotland just covered up the cracks in this broken Welsh team. Another tournament written off."

    Steve Cooke on Twitter: "Poland v England to be settled by a sing-off."

  113. 2028: 

    Two goals in four first-half minutes by Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele De Rossi have given Group B leaders Italy the lead against Denmark. It is goalless in Madrid where Spain are playing France in the clash of the titans in Group I, but Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will be concerned by the news that Spanish midfielder David Silva went off after 13 minutes with a knee injury.

  114. 2027: 
    Faroe Islands 1-2 Republic of Ireland (Arnbjorn Hansen)

    The Faroe Islands score through an Arnbjorn Hansen header in the 68th-minute. The Republic of Ireland far from home and dry in Torshavn.

  115. 2027: 

    How have Wales not scored? A cross from the left is met by the head of Andrew King just eight yards out and the whole stadium waits for the net to bulge. However, Stipe Pletikosa is perfectly placed to drop and gather the ball. A yard either side of him and Wales are back in this game.

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "It keeps raining and the puddles have just got bigger. The roof has not moved one iota."

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer

    "And now Bob Marley sings: 'We'll Be Together With A Roof Right Over Our Heads.' Not in Warsaw tonight we won't!"

  118. 2022: 

    At times it is amateur defending from Wales. Luka Modric drives towards the edge of the box and the visiting defenders fail to clear before pretty much presenting the ball to Eduardo, who draws a solid save out of Lewis Price. Gareth Bale was Wales' only bright spark in the first half but he can't get on the ball now.


    Matt from Bristol on 81111 on text: "So the pitch could be dried in 30 minutes if the roof was closed. That would be the roof that can't be closed due to the bad weather yes?"

    Andy in St Albans on 81111 on text: "The England football team are currently learning how it felt to be a club cricketer for large parts of the summer..."

    John on 81111 on text: "Am I right in thinking we had our own great storm 25 years ago today?"

  120. 2020: 

    Allan McGregor appears to be the only barrier between Belgium and a goal. The Scotland keeper does superbly to dive down low and save Moussa Dembele's fiercely struck low drive.

  121. 2019:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Alistair Bruce-Ball in Serbia: "As soon as the players were in the tunnel this evening apparently there were issues. The Serbian conditioning coach was apparently jostling and getting his face in England players' faces. Jack Butland, the England goalkeeper, was peppered throughout the game with various objects thrown from the stands. Stuart Pearce had a seat thrown at him. There was a lot going on this evening, then at the end Danny Rose was racially abused."

  122. 2019: 

    Adrian Bevington, Managing Director of Club England, says: "I've not seen to many pitches like this. We're waiting for the next inspection. The referee has looked at the pitch in its current condition and it certainly isn't playable. But we have to be guided by the officials. Ultimately the players' safety must come first. We are ready to play, and we have a hotel we can use again tomorrow if required."

  123. 2019: 

    Miroslav Klose was on target in Germany's 6-1 rout of the Republic of Ireland on Friday night and he took precisely 15 minutes to add two more against Sweden in the meeting between the top two teams in Group C. Germany lead 2-0 in Berlin and that brings Klose up to 67 goals for his country, moving him, er, closer to Gerd Muller's national record of 68 goals for Germany.

    In Group H, Dejan Damjanovic's goal gave Montenegro a 1-0 lead over Ukraine at half-time. The second half is under way in Kiev but, if the scoreline stays the same, Montenegro would go level on points with England at the top of the group, at least until Roy Hodgson's men manage to play their game in Poland.

    Portugal v Northern Ireland (2045 BST)

    Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has made four changes from the team which drew with Luxembourg last month for the World Cup qualifier against Portugal in Porto. Craig Cathcart, Niall McGinn, Corry Evans and Oliver Norwood come into the team. Three of the changes are enforced with Gareth McAuley suspended and Shane Ferguson and Chris Brunt injured. Dean Shiels is surprisingly dropped to the bench. Kyle Lafferty will operate as a lone striker. Cristiano Ronaldo wins his 100th cap for Portugal.

  125. 2016: 
    GOAL- Croatia 2-0 Wales - Eduardo

    He may have missed a few but that doesn't matter now as Eduardo gives Croatia a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead against Wales. A corner from the left is headed goalwards and parried by Lewis Price, but only as far as the former Arsenal striker, who has the simplest task to score from close range.


    BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter Ian Dennis tweets: "Another pitch inspection at 2145 local time. Farcical."

  127. 2015: 

    Eduardo has had plenty of chances for Croatia tonight. It is fair to say he has not made the most of them. The ball is played square for him in the box but his shot from 15 yards is blocked by the head of Ashley Williams.

  128. 2013: 

    Belgium come within a yard or so of taking the lead against Scotland. Nacer Chadli exchanges passes with Christian Benteke before curling a shot just past Allan McGregor's left-hand post.

  129. 2012: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium

    "Just as Shaun Maloney's excellent free-kick was tipped away by the giant Thibaut Courtois, I was hit by a pigeon dropping. That's good luck, right? Scotland have certainly enjoyed their fair share of fortune to remain level."

  130. 2010:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce: "The football is paramount for me. We've won two legs, home and away. Credit to Serbia - they pushed us a long way. It was very disappointing at the end of it, but I'm very proud of the way my players and my staff conducted themselves under a great deal of provocation at the end of the game. It was quite shambolic.

    "We've reported incidents to Uefa in regard to racism that went on from the crowd. One or two of the technical staff from the opposition, and I don't include their manager in that, didn't cover themselves in glory on the pitch at the end. Punches, headbutts were thrown, and God knows what else. We will let the authorities deal with this at Uefa.

    "I think it will galvanise us as a group. It just brings us closer together, and on the pitch and off the pitch we are here to look after each other."

  131. 2010: 
    GOAL- Faroe Islands 0-2 Republic of Ireland - Jonathan Walters (53 mins)

    Jon Walters strikes with a header to double his team's lead. Robbie Keane's claiming he got the final touch - but it looks like the Stoke player's goal.

  132. 2009: 

    Scotland come so close to the opening goal in Belgium. Shaun Maloney curls a free-kick from 22 yards over the wall and towards the top corner before Thibaut Courtois steams across and claws the ball away.

  133. 2009: 

    Belgium continue to put Scotland under pressure. A cross from the right is missed by Allan McGregor and pulled back by Dries Mertens but Christian Benteke fails to make contact with the goal at his mercy.

  134. 2007: 

    Wales have a chance from a free-kick after Gareth Bale is fouled. He delivers from the right and it is met by Ashley Williams but the ball loops harmlessly wide.

  135. 2006:  
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio 5 live

    "You can see by Roy's posturing, the way he's walking, the little shakes of the head. He does not want this game to go ahead."

  136. 2005: 

    So, the Republic of Ireland game is back under way. And as of a few seconds ago so is Wales' game in Croatia. Belgium v Scotland is just short of 20 minutes old. And we wait with bated breath for a decision on the game in Poland.

  137. 2003: 
    GOAL- Faroe Islands 0-1 Republic of Ireland - Marc Wilson (46 mins)

    Marc Wilson scores with a 25-yard right-foot shot to put the Republic of Ireland ahead against the Faroe Islands in the first minute of the second half. A slight deflection, but it is just what Giovanni Trapattoni's men needed.

  138. 2002: 

    Here is the official line. Fifa tell BBC Sport that in "the next 45-60 mins all efforts will be made to get the game on tonight. But if not possible, the plan would be to play tomorrow."

  139. 2002:  
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio 5 live

    "I've kept my eye on Roy Hodgson. He's not the tallest of men, but he's actually sinking!"

  140. 2002: 

    So let me get this right, the roof will be closed, the heating system will dry up the water. We could be looking at the world's biggest Turkish Bath here.

    Out on the pitch, the officials are chucking a ball around to see if it rolls better than it did 15 minutes ago, you know, before it rained a load more. Roy Hodgson can only smirk at the lunacy of it all.

  141. 2001: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium

    Belgium are tearing Scotland apart at will down the left flank with the speedy Dreis Mertens feeding off the clever passing of Axel Witsel. Allan McGregor has made a string of fabulous saves in the first 15 minutes as waves of red shirts pour relentlessly forward.

  142. 1959: 

    Agnieszka Olejkowska, Polish FA media officer, has been explaining the latest: "We knew there would be heavy rain but we could not 100% predict the downpour. We will have a pitch inspection to decide whether we postpone the game by an hour, to tomorrow or to whenever. At the moment it is not possible to close the roof because of the heavy rain and the wind. It might be possible.

    "There is no need for people to be our working on the pitch. We have a heating system which, if we close the roof, can dry the pitch in 30 minutes. I know this situation is not very nice, but please wait until the inspection."

  143. 1957: 

    Scotland's Allan McGregor is by far the most active keeper in Belgium. He is again called upon to charge out and block at the feet of Nacer Chadli in the box.

  144. 1955: 

    It's half-time at the National Arena at Bucharest, where the Netherlands lead Romania 3-1 in what has been a thrilling contest so far. The home side pulled a goal back thanks to a superb solo stike by Ciprian Marica - who took on the Dutch defence single-handedly before slotting home - but on the stroke of half-time Louis van Gaal's side restored their two-goal lead when Luciano Narsingh was fouled bt Gabriel Tamas inside the area and Rafael van der Vaart scored from the spot.

  145. 1953: 

    More Belgium pressure against Scotland as Toby Alderweireld crosses from the right but the ball is cut out by a Scotland boot and deflects off Dries Mertens for a goal-kick.


    BBC Sport reporter Richard Conway tweets from Warsaw: "Roy Hodgson back pitchside. Forecast is for rain through until late tonight. This isn't looking good."

  147. 1951: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium

    "The home crowd have their tails up after that almighty scramble in the Scotland penalty box. What an incredible save from Allan McGregor! He was off his line in a flash and had to use every inch of his frame to get his hands behind the shot."


    BBC Sport commentator Darren Fletcher tweets: "Roof left open, pitch waterlogged, the supporters who paid to go over are the ones who suffer - shambles."

  149. 1951: 

    Word on the street is that the Poland v England game could well be played tomorrow. Of course, nobody seems to know any more than anyone else so this could all be crazy talk. All we know for certain is that it is still raining. A lot.


    Rob Jones on Twitter: "What an absolute joke..."

    Greg Skinner on Twitter: "Did the Polish FA have Michael Fish advising them on the weather forecast for tonight?"

    Jordan Colborne on Twitter: "Looks like the big man upstairs wants to watch the Great British Bake Off final, like my mother."

  151. 1949: 

    Belgium with an early chance against Scotland as Dries Mertens gets clear down the left but Allan McGregor bails the Scots out with a double-save to deny the home player.

  152. 1948: 

    Half-time in the Faroe Islands v Republic of Ireland game and it is a largely uneventful 0-0.

    A few chances for the Irish - the best a close-range header which Keith Andrews managed to direct wide.

    It is also half-time in Croatia, where Wales are trailing 1-0.

  153. 1947: 

    We are under way in Belgium, with Scotland the visitors. No weather woes there.

  154. 1946: 

    Another update from Croatia, another home chance to bring you as Luka Modric finds Eduardo in the box but he curls his shot way over the far post.


    BBC Sport commentator Darren Fletcher tweets: "No sign of a brolly for Hodgson - thank goodness! If only Schteve had been this brave!"

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Really not sure what difference 20 minutes here or there will make to the condition of the pitch in Warsaw."

  157. 1941: 

    Wales living on the edge in Croatia. Darijo Srna's cross is into the six-yard box but pushed away by Lewis Price, who manages to get up sharpish to block a follow-up shot from Eduardo with his right hand. There is a worrying inevitability of a second home goal. For Wales' sake, I hope I'm wrong.


    Daniel Robinson on Twitter: "Absolutely farcical. Why have a stadium with a roof, to not use it when rain was forecast? Ridiculous."

    HT on Twitter: "In Toronto, Canada, the roof at the baseball stadium closes in a minute or so. Why does it take 20 for a more modern stadium?"

    Oliver Render on Twitter: "Ukraine and Poland really must be scared of playing France and England, so much so that they can summon the gods when they want!"

  159. 1937:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "We spoke about the roof 15 minutes ago. The roof hasn't moved, and it takes 20 minutes from when someone presses a button."

    So much for all that 24 hour chat. Roy Hodsgon is still out getting soaked pitchside. He must feel like King Lear right now. Madness.

  160. 1937: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium:

    "The King Baudouin Stadium is rocking to the sound of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', with the Belgian fans fairly belting it out, in perfect English, of course..."

  161. 1936:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport reporter Alastair Yeomans outside the stadium in Warsaw: "I've just spoken to an official from the Polish FA. The roof on this stadium will be closed. They will attempt to do it in the next 20 minutes. That's if everything goes correctly, and it should take about 20 minutes. They had to get agreement from both teams to play under a closed roof.

    "When I asked why the roof wasn't closed a couple of hours ago, the response was that they would have had to have got permission then."

  162. 1936: 

    OK, so the latest on the Poland v England game is that a decision will be made on whether it will go ahead at 2000 BST. The players have yet to do any warming up and, unbelievably, there isn't a groundsman or pitch fork in sight.

  163. 1934: 

    In case you're not watching ITV right now, I can tell you that it is wetter than the Titanic's teatowels in Poland and the rain keeps coming.

  164. 1932: 

    The Netherlands are on top against Romania in the battle of the teams at the top of Group D, with Jeremain Lens heading the Dutch into a ninth-minute lead in Bucharest and Bruno Martens making it 2-0 by tapping in a Rafael van der Vaart free-kick just before the half-hour mark. Romania's best moments have seen them hit the bar through Gabriel Torje's free-kick early on, while Gheorghe Grozav has also seen a volley saved by Maarten Stekelenburg.

  165. 1931:  
    John Murray, at Croatia v Wales

    "Croatia are up on Wales but the great shame for Wales is that it came from an error at the back. I think this wet, bumpy surface played a part. But on the balance of play so far this is what Croatia deserve."

  166. 1930:  
    Alan Green, BBC Radio 5 live in Warsaw

    "At the moment this is simply unplayable. I don't know where the groundstaff are, they are nowhere to be seen. Particularly in the two penalty areas and around the centre circle this is unplayable."


    BBC Sport senior football reporter Ian Dennis tweets: "Referee now inspecting pitch with Roy Hodgson. I can't see this going ahead in such conditions."

  168. 1928: 
    GOAL- Croatia 1-0 Wales - Mario Mandzukic

    Wales have done realy well to hold Croatia out until now, but they chuck it all away with a few seconds worth of comedy defending. Ashley Williams short back-pass gives Mario Mandzukic a sniff, which develops into an open net when he is able to charge down Lewis Price's kick. A simple finish later and Wales are behind.

  169. 1927: 

    Croatia's Milan Badelj has just drawn a fine save from Lewis Price with a long-range shot. Almost immediately down the other end, Gareth Bale scampers away and draws a foul out of a Croatia defender, who stamps his feet like a foiled Wile E Coyote when he is penalised. It is a potentially dangerous free-kick wide right, which Bale delivers but Stipe Pletikosa punches clear.


    BBC Sport journalist Richard Conway in Warsaw: "Some surface water on the pitch in Warsaw. Understand the roof at stadium will not be closed as requires 24 hours notice."

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Roy Hodgson out on the pitch in Warsaw and looks genuinely concerned about the conditions. Lots of standing water on the surface.

    "Roy Hodgson has called England's keepers off from their pre-match warm-up.

    "England staff now in deep discussions. Clearly very unhappy about the conditions. Puddles everywhere."

  172. 1925: 

    England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce after the final whistle in Serbia: "I think there were one or two racist incidents from the crowd and we have reported them to Uefa. They will have to deal with that. I am proud of my players and the staff.

    "It was very sad, but we're united as a team and as a staff. A lot if happening in our country regarding stamping out racism. It's just a shame this was soured in the last few minutes of the second leg of the tie. We'll let the authorities deal with this.

    "We have given a good account of ourselves over the two matches, and I'm very proud of our team. No matter what provocation comes your way we are in a profession where you have to hold your dignity. That is vitally important as a professional footballer. It was a tough evening tonight for them."

  173. 1925:  
    John Murray, at Croatia v Wales

    "Croatia are all over Wales. They have dominated possession. The conditions here are also difficult because of off-and-on torrential rain throughout the day. The pitch has cut up badly."

  174. 1924: 

    Roy Hodgson has been out on the pitch in Poland to check the conditions, which it is fair to say are not great as a result of a lot of rain. Apparently, there is chat that the roof at the stadium may be closed. However, there are counter suggestions that this actually requires 24 hours notice. Same time tomorrow? As soon as I hear any updates I'll bring them to you.

  175. 1921: 

    Wales have just done something impressive in attack. It won't surprise you to learn it was produced by Gareth Bale, who cuts in from the left and fires a dipping shot wide of the far post.

  176. 1919: 

    Yes, I know it has started, but here are the full line-ups for the match in Croatia.

    Croatia: Pletikosa, Strinic, Simunic, Lovren, Srna, Badelj, Perisic, Rakitic, Modric, Mandzukic, Eduardo. Subs: Subasic, Kresic, Vida, Schildenfeld, Radosevic, Pamic, Jelavic, Kalinic, Vukojevic, Sammir, Corluka.

    Wales: Price, Williams, Ben Davies, Gunter, Blake, King, Vaughan, Bale, Allen, Ledley, Morison. Subs: Edwards, Richards, Craig Davies, Robson-Kanu, Wilson, Brown, Fon Williams, Ricketts, Vokes, Church.

    Referee: Alexandru Dan Tudor (Romania)

  177. 1919:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Alistair Bruce-Ball in Serbia: "After England scored their second goal their players went off to celebrate. They have no supporters in the ground so clearly they were going to be celebrating in front of some Serbia fans. Those fans took exception.

    "Danny Rose got separated from the group and then he clearly got involved in a slanging match with some spectators. He felt he was being racially abused and there was stuff being thrown at him. Then some of the Serbian players and staff piled in - they didn't like Rose having a go at their fans. Then it turned into a mass brawl.

    "England very sensibly tried to get off the pitch as quickly as they could. Danny Rose was actually sent off and as he left the pitch he was mimicking a monkey by sticking his arms underneath his armpits. He was very clearly making the point that it was very clever, this racial abuse.

    "We are going to see quite how hard, or not, Uefa come down on this. I have never seen anything quite like that."

  178. 1919: 

    To be fair to Wales, they are not seeing much of the ball but they are showing plenty of discipline to keep the home side to long shots. Ivan Rakitic drives one from range but Lewis Price is firmly behind it to save.

  179. 1916: 

    The Republic of Ireland's match against the Faroe Islands kicked off at 1900. They should be ahead but Keith Andrews headed wide from just three yards out. Bad miss.

    Faroe Islands: Nielsen, Naes, Justinussen, Faeroe, Baldvinsson, Hansson, Benjaminsen, Samuelsen, Udsen, Holst, Edmundsson. Subs: Elttor, Rene Joensen, Jacobsen, Holm, Mikkelsen, Hansen, Ellinsgaard, Karl Lokin, Bartalsstovu, Sorensen, Klaemint Olsen, Kristian Joensen.

    Rep of Ireland: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Wilson, Brady, Andrews, McCarthy, McGeady, Keane, Walters. Subs: Forde, Ward, Clark, McShane, Kelly, Fahey, Meyler, Clifford, Long, Cox, Randolph.

    Referee: Lorenc Jemini (Albania)

  180. 1915: 

    Big penalty shouts in Croatia as Luka Modric tumbles under a challenge from Darcy Blake. The referee isn't interested though. To be fair to the Real Madrid midfielder he was up sharpish and making no complaints.

  181. 1914: 

    Wales make their first real venture into the Croatia half as Gareth Bale launches a long throw, but it lands straight into the arms of Stipe Pletikosa.


    Stoke City striker Michael Owen on Twitter: "England to win. I will go for 3-1. I see goals everywhere I look in our team.

    "Fancy Scotland to show some resolve against the best Belgian side for a long time. Belgium to sneak it by one goal.

    "Rep Ireland 1-4 to beat Faroe Islands. I hope they do but that doesn't look value to me. Ireland lacking confidence, Faroes not that bad."

  183. 1913: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium:

    "Belgium make one change from the side that started Friday's 3-0 win in Serbia, with Chelsea wizard Eden Hazard demoted to the bench in favour of flying PSV Eindhoven winger Dries Mertens."

  184. 1912: 

    The Croatia onslaught continues as Darijo Srna fires in a free-kick that Lewis Price has to dive low to push behind. Wales do well to head off danger from the resulting corner. One thing that does need saying is that the pitch looks as craggy as a 15-year-old's forehead.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Deluge in Warsaw and pitch in the National Stadium looks patchy. Conditions could be difficult for both sides."

  186. 1909: 
    BBC Scotland's Colin Moffat at the King Baudouin Stadium:

    "Is this Craig Levein's last stand? The under-fire Scotland manager admits that a win is essential to keep alive any slims hopes of qualifying for Brazil 2014. But Belgium are a team packed full of stars and brimming with confidence after Friday's 3-0 win in Serbia.

    "There are maybe 4,000 Scotland supporters in Brussels for this sell-out game. Many of the kilted revellers have been on the road a long time, having set off for Friday's loss in Cardiff: some without much more than a sporran full of euros and a passport, while most will have surpassed the recommended weekly alcohol units by the time they reached Carlisle.

    "And what about the locals? I think beer drinking is compulsory in Belgium. While some of the Tartan Army look distinctly jaded, those clad in red are well up for the party. The fan zones outside the stadium were busy hours before kick-off, with the atmosphere boisterous and convivial."

  187. 1908: 

    More Croatia pressure ends with Ivan Rakitic firing a shot from the edge of the box. Luckily for Wales, a defender gets in front of the shot to block. Soon after, Eduardo turns sharply but can't get any power on his shot and it dribbles into the arms of Lewis Price.

  188. 1906: 

    Croatia have Wales penned in during the opening few minutes and the away side are not helping themselves by slinging the ball straight back to their hosts whenever they have chance to clear. Chris Coleman's side need to get a foothold or this could be a longer night than when Daphne and Celeste played my university student union.

  189. 1904:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Sport commentator Alistair Bruce-Ball in Serbia: "We are going to hear a lot more about this. As England celebrated the goal some things were thrown onto the pitch and Danny Rose got involved in a slanging match with some spectators. Rose was then shown a red card. Then there was pushing and shoving in the mouth of the tunnel and England players and staff were in there. It has turned into a really ugly and violent mess at the end of what should have been a celebratory night for England."

  190. 1903: 

    Cheers Chris. Just as my fingers touch keys for the first time the game between Croatia and Wales kicks off. Meanwhile, in Serbia, things are just starting to calm down after those post-final whistle fireworks. I think we'll be hearing more about that in the next couple of days.

  191. 1859: 

    A remarkable end to an unremarkable match in Serbia - I'm sure we will hear and see a lot more about the incidents at the final whistle. That's all from me - Phil Dawkes will take you through tonight's World Cup qualifiers.

  192. 1857: 

    Unsavoury scenes at the final whistle, with more fights breaking out, involving Stuart Pearce's assistant Steve Wigley. It's difficult to know what went on without seeing it again but punches were thrown.

  193. 1855: 
    RED CARD- England U21's Danny Rose

    Danny Rose is shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball into the Serbia fans as England celebrated their goal. I think he was provoked, though.

  194. 1855: 

    It's all kicking off following that late England goal. Fans are on the pitch and there are fights breaking out.

  195. 1854: 
    GOAL- Serbia U21 0-1 England U21 (agg 0-2) Connor Wickham (94 mins)

    As I said, the Serbian goalkeeper was in the England area... which meant there was no-one in the Serbia goal. England break forward, and Thomas Ince tees up Connor Wickham to walk the ball into the unguarded net. Stuart Pearce's men are going to the finals of Euro 2013.

  196. 1853: 

    One last chance for Serbia. They have a free-kick, 30 yards out. Their keeper is going up...

    Poland v England (20:00 BST)

    England make six changes from the 5-0 win over San Marino. Right-back Glen Johnson, centre-back Joleon Lescott and left-back Ashley Cole return to the defence.

    Captain Steven Gerrard, back from suspension, and James Milner start in midfield, while striker Jermain Defoe is restored to the attack. Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck make way.


    Travis on Twitter on Twitter: "Glad Cleverley has a chance but I'm surprised the Ox didn't start. Would have chosen Cahill over Jagielka. Glad for Defoe."

    James Ash on Twitter: "Hodgson copying Ferguson, after Man United's win at Cluj, and playing no wingers. A trending tactic now."

    Joshua Hans on Twitter: "Hodgson better not have Gerrard on the wing..."

  199. 1852: 

    The ball is at the right end of the pitch from England U21s point of view. They are playing keep-ball near the Serbian corner flag.


    Sanj in Hertfordshire on 81111 on text: "Cant help but feel optimistic for England. Considering that Poland's first choice keeper is out, we should take advantage."

    Ian from Cornwall on 81111 on text: "This is exactly why we will never compete at the top level. That midfield will cover lots of ground, but let's be realistic, they all lack the subtlety and creativity needed to open up a half decent defence. Journeymen at best!"

    Kieran in Edinburgh on 81111 on text: "Usually I have some hope of a Scotland result - really cannot see it this time. Belgium win, Levein out. Time to start planning for France 2016."

  201. 1850: 

    There will be four minutes of stoppage time in Krusevac... and we have played nearly two of them. England U21 are very close now...

  202. 1847: 
    SUBSTITUTION- England U21's Connor Wickham for Nathan Delfouneso

    We've not seen much of Raheem Sterling since he came on, mainly because England have not had much of the ball. He pops up in space here, though, and cuts into the area before seeing his shot deflected over the bar.

    England look to use up some time before taking the resulting corner, making another S-L-O-W substitution and irritating Serbia's player enough for Slobodan Medojevic to get a yellow card for dissent. That's not his second yellow, by the way, I got the wrong Serbia player before...


    Opta Joe tweets: "Danny Welbeck has scored four goals from just four shots on target in his England career."

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Flag news from Warsaw: Leyton Orient, Notts Co, Wolves, Bristol City, Barnsley, Carlisle, Rotherham, Sheff Utd, Leeds, Watford, West Ham..."

  205. 1845: 
    Poland v England (20:00 BST)

    BREAKING: Jermain Defoe partners Wayne Rooney up front for England after being preferred to Danny Welbeck. Skipper Steven Gerrard returns from suspension and Ashley Cole is recalled at left-back.

  206. 1844: 
    YELLOW CARD- England U21's Nathan Delfouneso

    Hmmmm. There have been some strange refereeing decisions tonight, not least this one. Nathan Delfouneso goes up for a high ball, wins it... and is shown a yellow card.

  207. 1843: 

    For all Serbia's possession, they have not tested Jack Butland much. He is still on his toes, though, coming off his line confidently to collect a deep cross under pressure.

  208. 1840: 

    Right then, just nine minutes to go for England Under-21s to hold out. They've defended very well all night, so it shouldn't be a problem. They've not been much of an attacking threat, but I guess that doesn't matter as long as the scoreline stays the same.

    Croatia v Wales (19:00 BST)

    Fresh from his brace against Scotland on Friday, Gareth Bale lines up for Wales, but Chris Coleman's side are without midfielder Aaron Ramsey who misses out through suspension. Andy King comes in. Croatia have a few familiar names in their line-up with Bale's former Spurs team-mate Luka Modric starting in the middle of the park.

    Former Arsenal man Eduardo, now at Shakhtar Donetsk, plays up front but there is no space in the eleven for Everton's Nikica Jelavic who has to be content with a place on the bench.


    Opta Joe "Faroe Islands have only won one of their last 18 games in all competitions, drawing two and losing 15."

  211. 1837: 
    YELLOW CARD- Serbia's Nemanja Gudelj

    Nemanja Gudelj gives a nice warm hello to Raheem Sterling, barging him over within seconds of his arrival on the pitch. Welcome to Krusevac, Raheem.

  212. 1836: 
    SUBSTITUTION- England U21's Raheem Sterling for Wilfried Zaha

    Another change for England. Raheem Sterling, the star of the first leg, is let off the leash for the last fifteen minutes to give the Serbia defence something to think about.


    Manchester United's Portuguese winger Nani on Twitter ahead of his side's game against Northern Ireland: "Leaving for the stadium with victory in our minds. Its Cristiano's 100th cap."


    Roddy Cons on Twitter: "Attacking again from Levein. He should've picked this team for the first two home games, not away to the best team in the group."

    Craig Rothnie on Twitter: "Five years ago McFadden's genius made Scotland beat France away from home. Belgium should be a walk in the park tonight!"

    Christopher Greig on Twitter: "Us Scots will be happy with a win or a defeat. Win means three points and pride, and a defeat means bye bye Craig. So really it's a win-win situation."


    Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand tweets: "What score are you thinking tonight people? I'm going for England to win 0-2 in Poland!"

  216. 1831: 
    YELLOW CARD- England U21's Wilfried Zaha

    A rare England attack... ends in a booking for Wilfried Zaha. Oh dear.

    Thomas Ince bursts forward and sprays a searching ball into the Serbia box, where Zaha collects but then stumbles over after trying to ride a couple of tackles. I don't think he wanted a penalty there, but Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek thinks he was trying it on, and books him for diving. Harsh.

  217. 1831: 

    Wales boss Chris Coleman knows it will be a big ask for his side to get a positive result in Croatia tonight but says they are full of confidence after beating Scotland.

    "Croatia are a good team littered with good players," Coleman said. "It is good for us to go there off the back of a win and a good performance.

    "Nevertheless, I think we must learn from the last double-header; Belgium was a good performance even though we lost, and then we were poor against Serbia.

    "We can't repeat that. It is a tough, tough game for us, but one we think we can get something out of."

    Belgium v Scotland (19:45 BST)

    Scotland boss Craig Levein makes one change to the side that lost 2-1 to Wales on Friday. Wigan midfielder James McArthur replaces Celtic captain Scott Brown, who has a hip injury. The two Fletchers, midfielder Darren and striker Steven, retain their places, as does winger Kris Commons.

    "We're desperate for the performance and the win for the manager," says captain Darren Fletcher. "I think all the players genuinely enjoy being here."

  219. 1828: 

    A goal for England would leave Serbia needing three to go through but, let's face it, since Marvin Sordell hit the post in the first couple of minutes they have not looked much like scoring.

    It's the England defence, marshalled by the superb Craig Dawson, that has been far busier and, at the moment, they are keeping Serbia at arm's length. Just 20 minutes of the 90 left for them to hold out.

  220. 1824: 

    We've had a substitution and a yellow card... now it is time for a let-off for England. Nikola Ninkovic was onside as he skipped on to a delightful clipped pass but the linesman's flag went up because Ognjen Mudrinski took a needless touch to help it into his path.

    Ninkovic flashed his shot over in any case so, all in all, a big waste for Serbia.

  221. 1822: 
    YELLOW CARD- England U21's Jason Lowe

    Another booking for England, although I'm not sure this is a challenge worthy of a booking. Jason Lowe slides in on Luka Milivojevic, who makes a bit of a meal of the tackle.

  222. 1822: 
    SUBSTITUTION- England U21's Tom Lees for Marvin Sordell

    A defensive change here for England, and Marvin Sordell is not in much of a hurry to get off the pitch either. I think he shook hands with every one of his team-mates...

  223. 1818: 

    We are approaching the hour mark in Krusevac where it remains 0-0, and in the balance.

    England U21 still lead 1-0 on aggregate but they have not seen much of the ball since half-time and Serbia are enjoying more and more possession on the edge of the England area.

  224. 1816: 
    Croatia v Wales (19:00 BST)

    BREAKING: Wales make one change to the team that beat Scotland on Friday with Leicester's Andy King coming in for the suspended Aaron Ramsey.

    Full team: Price, Gunter, Davies, Williams, Vaughan, Blake, Allen, Ledley, King, Bale, Morison.


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Scotland have not beaten Belgium in 25 years, since a 2-0 win in a Euro 1988 qualifier in 1987."

  226. 1813: 

    Today's World Cup qualifying action is already well under way with one whole game of football already done and dusted. In Northern Ireland's group, Fabio Capello's Russia left it late against Azerbaijan with Roman Shirokov's 84-minute penalty giving the home side a 1-0 win and a third victory in three games.

    There are two matches currently at half time with Belarus leading Georgia 2-0 and Israel beating Luxembourg by the same scoreline. Beyond the home nations, the pick of tonight's other ties sees World Cup and European Championship holders Spain take on France at the Vicente Calderon, Italy host Denmark and Sweden travel to Germany.

  227. 1810: 
    YELLOW CARD- England U21's Adam Smith

    Serbia are in the ascendancy here, testing Jack Butland with a looping cross and then, when an England attack breaks down, streaming forward.

    Nemanja Kojic is stopped in his tracks by Adam Smith, when otherwise he might have been through on goal. Smith is shown a yellow card but it could have been a lot worse for England.

    Phil McNulty at the National Stadium in Warsaw, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "England have chance to exert control on a tough group with victory here in Poland tonight - and don't want to stew on a bad result until March."

  229. 1806: 

    England start the second half with a free-kick which is aimed for Craig Dawson inside the Serbia area but which flies out of play.

    Serbia respond by breaking down the right but Dawson is in the right place - on the corner of the six-yard box - at the right time to block the resulting cross-shot from Nikola Ninkovic before it can trouble Jack Butland.

  230. 1803: 
    KICK-OFF- Serbia U21 0-0 England U21 (agg 0-1)

    England get the second half under way in Krusevac. A place in the finals of Euro 2013 is in sight.


    Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given, who retired from international football in August, tweets: "Good luck tonight to the lads against the Faroes. Three points tonight and we will be back on track. Believe."

    Faroe Islands v Republic of Ireland (19:00 BST)

    Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane returns for the match in the Faroe Islands after missing Friday's 6-1 hammering by Germany. Manchester United youth team player Robbie Brady and Stoke City defender Marc Wilson also come in.

    Republic of Ireland team: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Wilson, Brady, Andrews, McCarthy, McGeady, Keane, Walters.

  233. 1757: 

    BBC World Service have been speaking to legendary goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski, hero of Poland's draw at Wembley in 1973 that knocked England out of the World Cup.

    He seems pretty confident of another Polish success tonight, too:

    "I believe that Poland today has an enormous chance to make up for their disappointing Euro 2012 performance," Tomaszewski said.

    "It is know that the team compromised themselves during Euro 2012 and right now there's our only chance for this team to win back the trust of the fans and the opinions of the people. Of course the team will also be watched by 60,000 fans, there will be a twelfth team member, and I hope that Poles, the Polish team will oppose the English team which is much better and will put up a fight.

    "I hope that Poland won't be scared or run away or hide and will only defend but will fight back. Because when you play the English you can't be afraid of them because they are fantastic footballers, these are athletes who play on the edge of foul play, and you have to play back at them. "

    Who will be Poland's dangerman? "If you're after specific players I think that Robert Lewandowski will play a big role, he is a sniper, one of the best in Europe and a lot will depend on him on the outcome of today's match."

    Mark Pougatch, BBC Radio 5 live

    "England's next qualifier is not until the end of March against San Marino, so tonight's result will dictate the mood of the national side till then."

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former England full-back Graeme Le Saux talking about Poland v England (20:00 BST): "I played against Poland a few times. Going to Poland can be quite unsettling and a hostile atmosphere. They are a good side and technically much better than they used to be.

    "But England's six changes are good, because it keeps the side fresh. I think Hodgson's England are evolving all the time, because many players are in the twilight of their international careers. It's a chance for some younger players to establish themselves."

  236. 1751: 

    England Under-21s still lead 1-0 on aggregate and they are 45 minutes away from reaching the finals of Euro 2013 in Israel.

    But Stuart Pearce's men have not had things all their own way. The swirling wind and torrential rain have made things difficult for them, and so have a Serbia side who are sure to be pressing forward even more after the break.

  237. 1749: 
    HALF-TIME- Serbia U21 0-0 England U21 (agg 0-1)
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Steven Beacom from the Belfast Telegraph, talking about Portugal v Northern Ireland (20:45 BST): "This is definitely the Cristiano Ronaldo show tonight. It was amazing in the press conference, of 25 minutes of questions to Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, 23 minutes was taken up with Ronaldo. He is the special one.

    "What Northern Ireland have to do before the game is find his hotel room number and lock him in. On the pitch he is unstoppable. Even Barcelona can't stop him, so how on earth are Northern Ireland going to cope?"

  239. 1747: 

    Just one minute of injury time to be played at the end of the first half in Krusevac. So far, so good for the England Under-21s.


    Beatonio in Inverness via text on 81111: "Scotland have to be adventurous tonight, go for the win and restore a bit of pride; the campaign is all but over now!"

    Marc from Newcastle via text: "If we play the right way and play Walker and Oxlade-Chamberlain from the off then we should win. I just worry that Glen Johnson, if he plays, will give their left winger too many opportunities to cross."

    Tzali in London via text: "I have a good feeling about England tonight. Predicting a tight game with us winning 1-0."

  241. 1746: 
    YELLOW CARD- Serbia U21's Nemanja Kojic

    Not much doubt about this one, with Nemanja Kojic lunging in late on Danny Rose on the edge of the England penalty area. Kojic becomes the first Serbia player to be booked this evening.

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Wales captain Barry Horne talking about Croatia v Wales (19:00 BST KO): "It was a great game on Friday against Scotland. We witnessed on the the best performances I have ever seen from Gareth Bale. He was absolutely phenomenal. The winning goal came from absolutely nowhere, and very few players could have done it. As long as bale is playing Wales have always got a chance. He is just very special, and he is the star of the Wales team at the moment."

  243. 1744: 

    This is turning into Serbia's best spell of the game, with the hosts forcing a corner which England cannot clear... and Stuart Pearce's men are grateful to see Luka Milivojevic blast his shot over from near the edge of the area.

  244. 1741: 

    What's this, an attack in open play? Yes and, at first glance, England get a bit lucky here, with Nikola Ninkovic dancing away from Wilfried Zaha and instigating a dangerous move that ends with a low cross into the area that only just eludes Goran Causicm, unmarked in front of goal.

    But part of the reason that there are no England defenders to be seen soon becomes apparent - the referee blew for a foul by Zaha on Ninkovic just after he released the ball.

  245. 1739: 

    Yes, you guessed it, another free-kick. This one is by England and, again, Serbia's keeper Branimir Aleksic cannot deal with it when it is pumped into his penalty area but referee Huseyin Gocek decides the main reason for that was the challenge of Craig Dawson.

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Scotland manager Craig Brown talking about Belgium v Scotland (19:45 BST KO): "Belgium have certainly improved dramatically and are one of the best teams in Europe at the moment. But it will be a major disappointment for Scotland if they are eliminated so early, after just four matches. There may be consequences, though I hope not. But there's a ruthlessness in football that pervades the game and if the manager is not doing well he sometimes suffers the consequences.

    "But the Scots are renowned for their fighting qualities and they thrive on being the underdog. I would expect a very good Scottish performance tonight."

  247. 1736: 

    Hmmm. Lots of free-kicks to tell you about, and precious little else. The conditions in Krusevac are terrible, though, with the game being played in driving wind and rain, so that might explain it.

  248. 1732: 
    YELLOW CARD- England U21's Steven Caulker

    Another booking for an England defender, with Steven Caulker clumsily pushing Nemanja Kojic to the ground after the Serbian forward span away from him.

    Serbia cannot make the resulting free-kick count, however, with Darko Lazovic's attempt blocked before Milos Kosanovic flashes the follow-up well wide.

    Half-an-hour gone in Krusevac and it remains 0-0 on the night, and 1-0 to England on aggregate.

  249. 1730: 
    YELLOW CARD- England U21's Danny Rose

    Danny Rose becomes the first player into Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek's book this evening, catching Nemanja Kojic in the face with his hand as they battle for the ball.

    From the resulting free-kick, the ball drops for Serbian dangerman Darko Lazovic on the edge of the box but he bends his shot wide.

  250. 1728: 

    Another free-kick? Yes. And this time England give Serbia something to think about.

    Home keeper Branimir Aleksic comes off his line to try to reach Danny Rose's hoisted ball into the area... and gets nowhere near it. Craig Dawson is up to get on the end of it, but he cannot direct his header on target and the ball bounces agonisingly wide of the empty net.

  251. 1726: 

    Serbia's turn to bend a free-kick into the danger zone, and they fare rather better.

    Darko Lazovic's delivery is headed away by Jordan Henderson... but only as far as Nikola Ninkovic at the far post. He takes a touch and fizzes in a skidding shot that fizzes only an inch or two wide of Jack Butland's left-hand post.

  252. 1724: 

    England have not done much in the way of attacking since Marvin Sordell hit the post early on but they are still getting the odd opportunity to test the Serbian defence. They fail to do so on this occasion, though, because the linesman's flag goes up as soon as Thomas Ince curls a free-kick into the box.

  253. 1721: 

    A long throw into the England box causes a few problems for the visitors' defence but they clear as far as Darko Lazovic on the edge of the box, who blazes his volley a LONG way wide. Still 0-0 on the night with 20 minutes gone, which means England still lead 1-0 on aggregate.

  254. 1718:  
    Graham Taylor, BBC Radio 5 live

    Talking about England's prospects in Warsaw tonight: "Poland are improving and are certainly a difficult side. They are one of the hardest sides England will meet in their group, but I would expect England to get at least a draw. Poland supporters always get well in behind their team and the Polish do react to playing the English national side."


    Capital R on Twitter: "England need to be careful not to underestimate Poland. One wrong move and they could slip up tonight against a resilient team."

    Robert Ladak on Twitter: "Hart v Lewandowski Round Two tonight. Let's hope Hart doesn't have to perform as miraculously this time round."

    Marc Hughes on Twitter: "Jonny Evans v Ronaldo can surely only produce one outcome. A clean sheet for the boys in green! Maybe..."

  256. 1713: 

    England are playing a pressing game at the moment, and it is working - denying Serbia time and space to build in their midfield, and keeping the likes of Darko Lazovic quiet so far.

    Stuart Pearce's men are looking more dangerous when they get the ball, putting Serbia keeper Branimir Aleksic under more pressure by hoisting a succession of crosses into his area.

    Gary Lineker, Match of the Day presenter

    "Poland v England! The fixture that changed my life. 1986 World Cup. Great memories. Come on England."

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Chief Football Writer

    "Just arrived at Warsaw National Stadium. Filthy night here in Poland as England seek their third win in four qualifying games."

  259. 1707: 

    Yep, definitely already lots more attacking intent from Serbia, but the plus side is that leaves England more space to explore at the other end.

    They almost take advantage here, with Jordan Henderson finding Marvin Sordell inside the area with a delicious slipped pass. Sordell steps inside his man and lets fly but sees his shot cannon back off the post with Serbia keeper Branimir Aleksic statuesque on his line. What a start that would have been for England.

  260. 1704: 

    Serbia force their first corner inside the first minute - and that's almost as much pressure as they managed in the entire first leg. No-one can get on the end of Darko Lazovic's delivery though.

  261. 1702: 
    KICK-OFF- Serbia U21 v England U21 (17:00 BST)

    Here we go. Serbia, in all-red, kick-off against an England side wearing all-white.

  262. 1659: 

    The players are out on the pitch in Krusevac, and it is time for the national anthems.

    It's not the biggest of stadiums, and most of it doesn't have a roof, but it is a full house in southern Serbia.

  263. 1657: 

    Mind you, Stuart Pearce is hardly short of confidence as his side look to defend their 1-0 first-leg lead against Serbia.

    "What am I expecting? I am expecting us to win," Pearce said. "The first goal will be really important.

    "If we can do that and get our noses in front, it will put a lot of pressure on them. We've managed to get a lead in the tie and keep a clean sheet.

    "It's going to be a fantastic game for the players. There is a lot of pressure on them. It's a tough place to come and play but we're looking forward to it and we're ready."

  264. 1652: 

    Unlike their team-mates in the senior side, it is all or nothing for England's Under-21 team tonight, something their manager Stuart Pearce has been trying to get across to his squad.

    "If we have a bad night, some of my players might not play international football again," Pearce said. "That is the nature of it for those who go out of the age group and do not progress into the seniors.

    "Our last year-and-a-half is tied up in the next 90 minutes and they have to handle that."


    Arsenal and England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tweets: "Right, big game tonight, time to rest up..."


    Wigan and Scotland midfielder James McArthur on Twitter: "Looking forward to the match tonight. It will be a hard game but hope we can get the result."

  267. 1649: 

    So, are you feeling more confident than me about tonight's games? If so, let me know. Tweet me using the hashtag #bbcfootball or text the commentary on 81111. Make sure you put YOUR NAMES on those texts, though, because I can't use them otherwise.

    LINE-UPS- Serbia U21 v England U21 (17:00 BST)

    Serbia U21: Aleksic, Kosanovic, Medojevic, Gudelj, Rodic, Causic, Lazovic, Milivojevic, Ninkovic, Kojic, Mudrinski. Subs: Kirovski, Petkovic, Despotovic, Markovic, Milunovic, Jojic, Malbasic.

    England U21: Butland, Smith, Dawson, Caulker, Rose, Zaha, Lowe, Henderson, Ince, Sordell, Delfouneso. Subs: Amos, Bennett, Lees, McEachran, Sterling, Townsend, Wickham.

    Referee: Huseyin Gocek (Turkey)

    BBC Sport's Ben Smith reportsSerbia U21 v England U21 (17:00 BST)

    "Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 side stand on the brink of a fourth successive major tournament. A draw or better against Serbia tonight will take them to Euro 2013 in Israel next summer after a 1-0 victory in the first leg at Carrow Road on Friday.

    "Pearce has made two changes from that match, with Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling replaced by Aston Villa's Nathan Delfouneso and Jason Lowe coming in for the injured Jack Rodwell. Jordan Henderson captains the side on a night when the atmosphere in Krusevac is expected to be more than a little lively."

  270. 1642: 

    Lots to look forward to then, although, looking at those fixtures, I'm not too confident about how the ratio of pleasure to pain will pan out for the home nations.

    It's not all about the World Cup tonight, either. We start with a crucial encounter in Krusevac, where England Under-21s take on Serbia with a place at Euro 2013 at stake.

    Stuart Perarce's side won the first leg 1-0 at Carrow Road on Friday night thanks to Craig Dawson's penalty, but they still have a lot of work to do if they are going to make it to Israel next summer.

  271. 1638: 

    England are not exactly expecting a walk in the park against Poland in Warsaw either.

    Roy Hodgson's men are top of Group H but, as BBC Sport's Phil McNulty points out in his blog ahead of what appears to be a pivotal clash, they have plenty of World Cup history - good and bad - against a nation who are very familar foes.

    "The history is both rich and poor in an England context," says McNulty. "From the pain of Jan Domarski and Jan Tomaszewski at Wembley in 1973 to the pleasure of Gary Lineker's hat-trick in Monterrey in 1986."

  272. 1636: 

    That will be easier said than done, too.

    Northern Ireland, who are among the stragglers in Group F after only managing a draw against Luxembourg last time out, are hoping Cristiano Ronaldo has an off-night as he chalks up a century of Portugal caps in Porto.

    Wales got their first win under Chris Coleman against Scotland on Friday, but are in Osijek and up against a Croatia side with a formidable home record as they look to stay in sight of the pace-setters in Group A.

    And Scotland, whose manager Craig Levein is battling to save his job after that defeat in Cardiff, face a daunting task in Brussels as they face a Belgian side packed with expensive talent. Levein says his side need to win tonight to keep their qualification hopes alive - no pressure there then...

  273. 1632: 

    So, is tonight a chance to take a big step on the road to Rio 2014? For England, maybe.

    For Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, it's realistically more about trying to keep their hopes of reaching Brazil alive at all...

  274. 1630: 

    Afternoon folks. So, are you ready for another busy night of World Cup qualifying action? I hope so... All the home nations are in action over the next few hours, and all of them have tough-looking tasks away from home.

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