8 Jun 2013

Scots stun Croatia in World Cup qualifying

1:27 pm on 8 June 2013

Scotland caused the upset of the latest round of football World Cup qualifiers in Europe with a 1-0 victory away over Croatia in Zagreb.

It's the first win for Gordon Strachan's Scotland in the qualifying campaign, and while it ends Croatia's unbeaten Group A record, the Scots have no chance of qualifying for next year's World Cup finals.

World No.4 ranked Croatia drop three points off Belgium, who maintained their unbeaten start downing Serbia 2-1. Serbia are out of contention as they trail the group leaders by 12 points.

Italy forward Mario Balotelli was sent off in his team's 0-0 draw in the Czech Republic, but despite the draw, the Azzurri push out their lead over second-placed Bulgaria in Group B to three points, with the Czechs two points further back.

Portugal gave themselves a Group F lifeline as Helder Postiga's ninth-minute winner gave them a 1-0 success against previously-unbeaten Russia.

Portugal are top of the group, two points above Russia, who have two games in hand.

Ukraine ensured Group H remained very congested with a stunning 4-0 success away to group leaders Montenegro, a result that played into England's hands. England are second, two points behind Montenegro but with a game in hand, while Ukraine are third, a further point back, and also with a game in hand.

That means the top three could be separated by just a point if the two chasers win their games in hand.

A Robbie Keane hat-trick has the Republic of Ireland level on points with second-placed Austria in Group C as the Irish beat minnows Faroe Islands 3-0 in Dublin.

Germany are five points clear in that group, while Austria defeated Sweden 2-1.

Bosnia and Herzegovina maintained their unbeaten record and three-point lead over Greece at the top of Group G with a 5-0 win in Latvia. Greece won 1-0 away to Lithuania.

In Group E, Iceland lost 4-2 at home to Slovenia, who moved off the bottom.