Football / World Cup: Greece in first World Cup finals

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The Independent Online
GREECE qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time yesterday when they drew 1-1 with Russia in a top-of- the-table Group Five qualifier in Moscow. The Russians dominated the game but fell behind when the Greek captain, Tasos Mitropolous, headed home following a free-kick in first-half injury time. Igor Dobrovolsky equalised with a 70th-minute penalty.

The draw gave Greece 10 points from six games to put them out of reach of Iceland and Hungary, who are both seven points adrift with three games to play. Russia need only one more point from their last three fixtures to join the Greeks in the United States next year by ensuring second place in the group - which has been weakened by Yugoslavia's enforced absence.

In Group Four, Belgium need one more point to secure a place in their fourth consecutive finals, after Saturday's 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands in Brussels.

John Sheridan, the Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for Wednesday's Group Three qualifier against Albania in Tirana with a thigh strain. Portsmouth's Alan McLoughlin has been called up.