Euro 2012 qualifying wrap: No splitting Groups B, G

Euro 2012 qualifying Group B remains wide open after Russia, the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia all won on Saturday.Tottenham Hotspur strike Roman Pavlyuchenko hit a hat-trick as Russia came from behind to beat Armenia 3-1 in the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

A brace from Pavlyuchenko’s Spurs team-mate Robbie Keane – the first of which was his 50th international goal – gave Ireland a 2-0 win away to Macedonia.

And Miroslav Karhan’s 62nd-minute strike saw Slovakia sneak a 1-0 victory at home to minnows Andorra.

The results leave Russia, Ireland and Slovakia level on 13 points from six matches played, with all three teams still to play one another once more.

Elsewhere on Saturday, England had to come from 2-0 down to scrape a 2-2 draw at home to Switzerland in Group G.

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta benefited from defensive mistakes to score two first-half free kicks in the space of four minutes at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard pulled one back from the penalty spot two minutes after Barnetta’s second.

And Aston Villa forward Ashley Young, on as a substitute, levelled six minutes into the second half.

Fortunately for England, Montenegro also dropped points with a 1-1 draw at home to Bulgaria.

Striker Radomir Djalovic had given Montenegro the lead, before forward Ivelin Popov equalised for the visitors.

The two draws mean England and Montenegro remain level on 11 points at the top of the group.

In other matches, Greece regained the lead from Croatia in Group F with a 3-1 win over Malta.

Israel joined second-placed Croatia on 13 points – one behind Greece – after they beat Latvia 2-1 away from home.

Group H is also too close to call, with Portugal and Denmark both winning to join Norway on 10 points at the top of the group.

A second-half goal from experienced forward Helder Postiga gave Portugal a 1-0 win at home to Norway, while Lasse Schone and Ajax teenager Christian Eriksen were on target as Denmark beat Iceland 2-0.

 


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