Ameobi scores brilliant goal as Nigeria draw with Italy

Italy and Nigeria played out a thrilling 2-2 draw which included a goal-of-the-season contender from Shola Ameobi in an entertaining friendly at Fulham`s Craven Cottage on Monday.

Egypt seek World Cup miracle

Egypt will attempt to engineer a World Cup miracle by overturning a 6-1 deficit against Ghana on Tuesday and snatch a spot in the finals in Brazil next year.

Germany must plug leaky defence ahead of World Cup

Germany may have displayed their attacking prowess in a 5-3 demolition of Sweden in their final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday but their hopes of ending an 18-year wait for international success hinge on the sealing of a porous defence.

Super Mario saves Azzurri blushes in Armenia draw

Mario Balotelli came off the bench to save Italy`s blushes in a 2-2 draw with Armenia which threatened to end in the hosts` first defeat of a successful World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday.

Leighton Baines says England`s WC hopefuls not even thinking about play-offs

Everton`s Leighton Baines has said that England is not even thinking about World Cup play-offs and is confident that they will qualify as group winners after the match against Poland.

Ethiopia slam ref after World Cup setback

Giant-killers Ethiopia blamed bad refereeing for Sunday`s defeat by Nigeria that virtually extinguished hopes of a first World Cup appearance.

Magical Ibra secures playoff spot for Sweden

Captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck a late winner to give Sweden a 2-1 victory over Austria on Friday that secured second place in World Cup Group C qualifying.

Townsend takes long and winding road to England cap

Debutant Andros Townsend, who inspired England to an emphatic 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Montenegro at Wembley on Friday, is only 22 but the fans of 10 clubs have already seen first hand the talent that led to his first cap.

Keeper Martin Skrtel`s howler hands Greece fortunate victory

A freak own goal by Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel gave Greece a 1-0 victory over Slovakia on Friday that kept them in the running to top World Cup Group G qualifying.

Argentina won`t take foot off throttle

Argentina will not hold back despite having already qualified for the World Cup finals or lost four top players including Lionel Messi to injury when they host Peru in a qualifier on Friday.

Wilshere `an important cog` for England`s midfield, feels Hodgson

Roy Hodgson insists he has no concerns over the amount of playing time Jack Wilshere receives at Arsenal ahead of England`s crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Barcelona hit with injury to Spain fullback Jordi Alba

Barcelona`s Spain left back Jordi Alba will be sidelined for around three weeks after he damaged a hamstring in Saturday`s 3-2 La Liga win at home to Sevilla, the club said on Sunday.

Scolari confirms Julio Cesar as Brazil`s Cup keeper

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari confirmed goalkeeper Julio Cesar will definitely be going to the World Cup next year but said there are still four or five places up for grabs in his 23-man squad.

US and Costa Rica celebrate, Mexico in trouble

The United States and Costa Rica celebrated qualification to next year`s World Cup finals in Brazil while Mexico fell further into disarray on Tuesday after a dramatic night of action in the CONCACAF region.

Scolari hails Brazil`s 6-0 rout of Australia

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari heaped praise on midfield pair Ramires and Bernard after the Selecao`s thrashed Australia 6-0 victory in an international football friendly here.

Spain close to qualification after win in Finland

Holders Spain eased to the brink of qualification for next year`s World Cup finals when Jordi Alba and Alvaro Negredo struck either side of halftime in a 2-0 win away to Finland in Group I on Friday.

Van Persie penalty spares Dutch embarrassment

Robin van Persie`s stoppage time penalty spared the Netherlands from suffering an embarrassing defeat as they drew 2-2 in Estonia to keep up their unbeaten run in the World Cup qualifiers in Tallinn on Friday.