Ivanov goal puts Bulgaria in finals

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The Independent Online
Bulgaria secured their place in the World Cup finals yesterday when a second-half header by their captain, Trifon Ivanov, gave them a 1-0 win over Russia in Sofia. Bulgaria, semi- finalists in the 1994 World Cup and the 10th team to qualify for France, have an unassailable four-point lead over Russia in Group Five with one match to play.

Ivanov came up from the back to score in the 55th minute with a header from Hristo Stoichkov's left-wing cross.

Jurgen Klinsmann marked his 100th cap for Germany with two goals to help the European champions crush Armenia 4-0 and move a step closer to next year's finals. Klinsmann, who had not scored in his eight previous internationals, bounced back in the Group Nine qualifier with a close-range effort in the 70th minute and a brilliant header 14 minutes later. The Germans wrapped up victory with goals from Thomas Hassler and Ulf Kirsten in the 86th and 90th minutes. They now need to beat Albania at home in their last game to qualify.

Austria strengthened their chance of qualifying by beating Belarus 1- 0 in Minsk to vault back over Scotland to the top of Group Four. Heimo Pfeifenberger's goal in the 50th minute settled a match of many chances.

The Laudrup brothers scored a goal each as Denmark beat Croatia 3-1 in Copenhagen. The Danes now lead Group One with 16 points and need at least a draw in their last game in Greece next month to qualify. Rangers' Brian Laudrup opened the scoring and his brother Michael added a second, and Miklos Molnar a third, but Davor Suker pulled one back, all before half- time.

Yugoslavia spoiled their chance of being the automatic qualifier as the best second-placed team, when they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Slovakia in Group Six, which Spain look set to win.