Hail Cesar as he comes off bench to bury Italy

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The Independent Football

On a day of upsets, Slovenia produced the biggest shock by beating Italy 1-0 in Celje to move to the top of Scotland's section, Group Five. Bostjan Cesar headed home the decisive goal eight minutes from time.

A crowd of only 9,000 saw Cesar capitalise on Nastja Ceh's cross to flick home the winner just six minutes after coming on as a substitute. "You can't get better than scoring for your country against a side like Italy," Cesar said.

Poland kept themselves on England's coat-tails in Group Six when they won 3-1 away to Austria, despite finishing the match with 10 men. They stay a point behind England with six points from three games.

Radoslaw Kaluzny gave them the lead in the 10th minute after an error by the home goalkeeper, Alex Manninger, but Markus Schopp equalised 15 minutes before half-time. Jacek Krzynowek put Poland ahead again in the 79th minute but their chances of holding on looked slim when Arkadiusz Radomski, who had come on for Kaluzny, was sent off three minutes later. However, Poland managed to stretch their advantage in the closing moments when Tomasz Frankowski was sent clear on a counter-attack and scored at the second attempt.

The Portuguese are used to disappointment after their national side failed to win the European Championship at home this year. But even that would not have prepared them for the shock of being held to a 2-2 draw by Liechtenstein in Group Three.

Portugal were leading 2-0 at half-time and apparently coasting against a side who had never collected even a point in World Cup qualifying. They had suffered 20 defeats in eight years, scoring four goals and conceding 84. But Franz Burgmeier gave Liechtenstein hope with a goal three minutes into the second half and Thomas Beck scored the equaliser that made history in the 76th minute.

Greece, who upset Portugal in the Euro 04 final, continued to stutter in their campaign, but at least snatched a point in Ukraine, where an 81st-minute goal by Vassilios Tsartas earned them a 1-1 draw in Group Two. Ukraine should have taken charge with the number of chances they created in the first half, but Andrih Shevchenko did give them the lead after 49 minutes when Antonis Nikopolidis allowed his free-kick to squirm through his legs.

Shefki Kuqi, the Ipswich Town striker, recalled by Finland to replace the injured Mikael Forssell, scored twice in a 3-1 victory over Armenia in the same group.

Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg scored in the first half and Barcelona's Henrik Larsson and Anders Svensson, of Southampton, added goals in the second as Sweden beat Hungary 3-0 in Group Eight.

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