Slovakia draw puts major dent in Irish hopes of qualification
It was the last seconds of the third and final minute of injury time when Stephen Hunt's cross provided Richard Dunne with a free header in Dublin last night.
Glory beckoned, but Dunne was no more accurate than Robbie Keane a few minutes earlier and the Republic of Ireland's chances of automatic qualification for Euro 2012 now hang on gaining an improbable win against Russia in Moscow on Tuesday.
The goalless draw between Ireland and Slovakia enabled Russia to move two points clear after their narrow victory over a Macedonian side being coached for the first time by the former Wales manager John Toshack. Igor Semshov scored the only goal of a dull match.
Northern Ireland's chances are even slimmer after a home defeat to Serbia, Marko Pantelic scoring the only goal midway through the second period.
No such problems for Germany who became the first country to qualify for the finals when they swept Austria aside in Schalke. Real Madrid's Mezut Ozil scored twice in a 6-2 win that maintained their 100 per cent record. With Belguim held to a 1-1 draw in Baku by Azerbaijan, Guus Hiddink's Turkey moved into second place after a dramatic late win over Kazakhstan in Istanbul. The Turks had Selcuk Inan dismissed in injury time but snatched a 97th-minute winner through Arda Turan.
Scotland's prospects received a lift before today's match with Czech Republic with Lithuania held to a goalless draw at home to Liechtenstein effectively ruling them out of the race for the play-off place behind Spain.
Arsenal strikers may be struggling to score in domestic football but two enjoyed last night. Robin van Persie scored four as Netherlands hit San Marino for 11 goals and, in the Asian World Cup qualifiers, new signing Park Chu-young scored a hat-trick for South Korea. Sunderland's Ji Dong-won also scored twice as Lebanon were beaten 6-0.
Latest in Sport
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal faces difficult task as Liverpool hold 'secret' meeting with transfer target
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Manchester City vs Aston Villa live: Latest score and updates as Sergio Aguero goal gives City the lead plus Watford promoted to Premier League
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers reveals transfer plans to sign a new striker to put Daniel Sturridge's future into doubt
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free