World Cup Qualifiers round-up: Croatia keep up chase but lose Corluka



Croatia held on to second place in Group 6, and maintained their distant pursuit of England, with a disjointed 1-0 win over Belarus, but they will be without Vedran Corluka for Wednesday's game at Wembley after he was sent off with 12 minutes remaining.

Already booked for a foul late in the first half, the Tottenham full-back collected a second caution for time-wasting as he dallied over the taking of a free-kick. Ivan Rakitic, playing only because of the injury to Luka Modric, got the game's only goal midway through the first half, his 30-yard drive deflecting in off Dmitry Verkhovtsov.

"We can go to Wembley and win again, but I am not saying we will win," Slaven Bilic, the Croatia coach, said. "We've already beaten England twice before, which very few teams if any have done in such a short space of time. They have won seven games out of seven, and they are on fire. I would swap the points that they have got for the points that we have got. But we are very confident. "

Penalties were the order of the day as Ukraine kept up their pursuit of England and Croatia with a 5-0 thrashing of Andorra in Kiev. Andriy Yarmolenko, the 19-year-old Dynamo Kiev striker, opened the scoring after 28 minutes, and Artem Milevski scored the second in added time before the interval. After the break it was all penaltie. Andriy Shevchenko put away his one in the 72nd minute, Milevski added his second goal from the spot in added time at the end of the match after a foul by Marc Vales and moments before the whistle Yevgen Seleznov, of Shakhtar Donetsk, added the fifth from another penalty after Vales handled a shot by Milevski.

Russia had two spot kicks, too, as they scored a 3-0 victory in St Petersburg over Liechtenstein, the minnows of group four, Wales's group. Roman Pavlyuchenko, the Tottenham striker, put away both of them in the first half after CSKA Moscow's Vasili Berezutsky had set the ball rolling.

Russia'a victory kept them on Germany's heels at the top of the group. Germany, who beat South Africa 2-0 in a friendly. They play at home on Wednesday against Azerbaijan, who lost 2-1 to Finland.

Spain continued their charge to the finals by beating Belgium 5-0 in La Coruna in group five. David Silva scored twice, as did David Silva, with Gerard Pique, once of Manchester United, adding the fifth.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
These photographs released by the University of Maryland Medical Center show images of full face transplant recipient 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Virginia
mediaGQ front page features man who underwent full face transplant
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on