Euro 2012 round-up: Bulgaria come to Capello's rescue with a draw in Montenegro
Sunday 05 June 2011
Montenegro could have pulled two points clear of England last night, but despite taking the lead they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bulgaria in their home stronghold in Podgorica to leave Fabio Capello's men still at the top of group G on goal difference.
Radomir Djalovic gave the Montenegrins the lead after 52 minutes, but Ivelin Popov netted an equaliser 14 minutes later that brought some relief to England after their own home disappointment.
Roman Pavlyuchenko rescued Russia with a hat-trick to lead them to a vital 3-1 victory after they fell behind against Armenia in a European Championship qualifying match inSt Petersburg. The striker either reminded Tottenham why they should keep him or underpinned his transfer value with goals in the 26th, 59th and 73rd minutes, the third from the penalty spot, after Brazilian-born Marcos Pizzelli had given Armenia the lead after 25 minutes.
The victory was vital for Russia, as Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland both won to keep the trio locked together at the top of group B.
Portugal went to the top of group H with a 1-0 win over the previous leaders Norway in Lisbon, where Helder Postiga, the former Tottenham, striker, scored the only goal. The Norwegians adopted a cautious approach based on strong defence. It worked in the first half, but Portugal came out after the break with greater purpose and Manchester United's Nani sent in a cross that Postiga sidefooted home after 53 minutes.
Denmark joined Portugal and Norway at the top of the group on 10 points by winning 2-0 away to Iceland, where the Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Christian Eriksen notched his first international goal from Dennis Rommedahl's pass. His strike wrapped up victory after substitute Lasse Schone had put the visitors in front against the run of play in the 60th minute.
Greece regained control of group F thanks to a 3-1 home win over Malta with Giannis Fetfatzidis scoring twice. His first and and a first-half goal by the 19-year-old debutant Kyriakos Papadopoulos put Greece in charge at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium. Michael Mifsud pulled one back for Malta just after half-time but a second by Fetfatzidis after an hour seal the victory.
Greece recaptured top spot after Croatia briefly led the group with a 2-1 home win over Georgia on Friday. Greece have 14 points with Croatia a point behind also after six matches while Israel are third on 10 from seven after a 2-1 win in Latvia, where Yossi Benayoun and Tal Ben-Haim scored their goals.
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