World Cup round-up: Nine-man Russia go crashing out

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Slovenia v Russia

Russia were knocked out the World Cup last night as Slovenia's 1-0 win in Maribor meant Guus Hiddink's side, semi-finalists at the European Championship last year, went out on the away goals' rule.

It was a traumatic night for the Russians, who went into the two-legged play-off as overwhelming favourites and were 2-0 up in the first leg in Moscow on Saturday before Nejc Pecnik's late header brought Slovenia back into the tie. The visitors finished with just nine men after Alexander Kerzhakov and Chelsea's Yuri Zhirkov were sent off.

Zlatko Dedic scored the Slovenes' winner just before the break when he stabbed in Valter Birsa's cross and even though Russia dominated the last 20 minutes, despite Kerzhakov being shown a red card for kicking goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, they could not find an equaliser. Zhirkov was sent off in injury time after picking up a second booking.

Ukraine v Greece

Dimitris Salpigidis was the Greek hero as his 32nd-minute goal against the run of play was enough to send Otto Rehhagel's side through 1-0 on aggregate against Ukraine in Donetsk.

After surviving a spell of pressure from the home side, Greece broke away and Celtic's Georgios Samaras set up his strike partner Salpigidis to score from close range. On the hour Evgen Seleznev fired just wide as Ukraine tried to get back into the tie, then Andrei Yarmolenko put a good chance too close to Greece goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas.

At the end the Greeks celebrated clinching only their second appearance at the World Cup finals in front of a virtually deserted stadium. "Our boys were rewarded today for an unbelievable passion and fighting spirit," Rehhagel said. "We said that no road should be too far and before you have success you have to have the gods sweating for you."

Bosnia v Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo will be in South Africa next summer after Portugal won 1-0 in Zenica go to through 2-0 on aggregate. Even without the injured Ronaldo, the Portuguese were too good for Bosnia and, after missing two good chances either side of half-time, they took the lead in the 56th minute. Nani won the ball on the edge of the penalty area and the Manchester United winger fed Simao Sabrosa, who squared the ball for Raul Meireles to score. Bosnia's Sejad Salihovic was sent off for dissent 10 minutes later.

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