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Round-up

World Cup qualifying: England held in Slovenia, Scotland slump to Slovakia loss

They dropped captain Wayne Rooney but England were lucky to escape Slovenia with a point while Scotland boss Gordon Strachan is under pressure after another loss. Here's our roundup of Tuesday's action.

Slovenia 0-0 England 

England had goalkeeper Joe Hart to thank after a series of spectacular stops saw England claim a somewhat fortunate point in Slovenia.

Interim boss Gareth Southgate had dropped Rooney to the bench but a side packed with Premier League talent failed to register a shot on target in a tepid first half display.

Slovenia had the better chances, Jasmin Kurtic hitting a post and forcing Hart to claw out from under his crossbar. The visitors saw a lot of the ball, registering 67% possession, but barely tested Jan Oblak in the Slovenian goal despite carving out some decent second half opportunities. The draw keeps England top of group F.

 

Slovakia 3-0 Scotland
(Mak 18', 56', Nemec 68')

Slovakia picked up their first win of the World Cup qualifying campaign, comfortably beating Scotland 3-0 in Trnava. The second seeds of Group F lost to England and Slovenia, creating an early six-pointer with the Scots to keep their hopes of qualification for Russia 2018 alive.

Despite claims from Scotland over a foul on Steven Fletcher in the build up, Robert Mak fired home the opener after 18 minutes. Despite offering little cutting edge after that, the Slovaks pounced with a well-aimed finish from Mak, who plays for Russian side Zenit, just before the hour mark. Adam Nemec came off the bench and scored soon after with a free header from inside the box.

Defeat for Scotland increases the pressure on manager Gordon Strachan following their 1-1 draw at home to Lithuania on Saturday. Scotland hasn't qualified for a major international tournament since France 1998 and their next World Cup qualifier is next month against arch-rivals England at Wembley.

 

Czech Republic 0 - 0 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan kept up their excellent start to the qualifying campaign with a surprise point in Ostrava that opens up a three point cushion to third-placed Northern Ireland in group C.

Germany's win over Northern Ireland keeps them top but Azerbaijan's strong start gives them hope of qualifying for a first major tournament.

For the Czechs, the news isn't so good. They've failed to score in their three matches so far, two of which have been at home, and sit second bottom of the group on two points.

 

World Cup qualifying results - October 11

Group C

Norway 4 - 1 San Marino

Germany 2 - 0 Northern Ireland

Czech Republic 0 - 0 Azerbaijan

 

Group E

Kazakhstan 0 - 0 Romania

Denmark 0 - 1 Montenegro

Poland 2 - 1 Armenia

 

Group F

Lithuania 2 - 0 Malta

Slovakia 3 - 0 Scotland

Slovenia 0 - 0 England

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