European World Cup Qualifiers: England, Bosnia, Spain, Russia, Seal Ticket, France Unseeded in Playoff.

England confirmed their place in next summer’s World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday night, thanks to a Wayne Rooney first-half strike and Steven Gerarrd’s superb finish.

Bosnia-Hercegovina are also through to their first ever World Cup finals as an independent nation after beating Lithuania 1-0 to finish top of Group G.

World and European champions Spain secured the ticket for their title defence in Brazil with a comfortable 2-0 win over Georgia, so also Russia, who got the point they needed to top Group F following a 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan.

Wayne Rooney Scored England's Opening Goal Against Poland a Minute to the Interval.
Wayne Rooney Scored England’s Opening Goal Against Poland a Minute to the Interval.

Croatia, Portugal, Greece and Ukraine are seeded, while France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland are unseeded for next month’s two-legged playoff, with the draw billed for 21 October in Zurich.

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The nine European teams to have booked their tickets for the 2014 World Cup are: Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Bosnia, England and Spain.

The seeded playoffs take place on 15 and 19 November.

Group A

Belgium had automatically booked the group’s ticket and Tuesday’s game against Wales was a formality match for coach Marc Wilmorts’ men, which ended 1-1.

Croatia had already laid claim to the second place in the group, but lost 2-0 to Scotland, who finished the group preliminary qualifiers above Wales (third). Serbia thrashed Macedonia 5-1 and ended the group campaign in third.

Croatia’s 2-0 loss to Scotland has forced their coach Igor Stimac to resign, despite booking a playoff ticket.

Group B

Italy finished the top of the group but had to stage two come-backs to earn a 2-2 draw against Armenia in Naples. Alessandro Florenzi and Mario Balotelli, who returned to the eyes of the Italian Media prior to the match, equalised for the Azurri’s.

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark and Armenia began the day in contention for second-place finish.

Bulgaria lost at home to Czech Republic, allowing Denmark to leapfrog to second, with their 6-0 drubbing of Malta but will no feature in the playoff, as they were the second-placed team with the worst record in games against the teams finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in the group.

Group C

Having clinched the group’s top position, Germany fought back from 2-0 down to seal a thrilling 5-3 win over Sweden, who were already sure of playoff place.

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle scored a second-half hat-trick in the match played in Guthenburg.

The Republic of Ireland finished fourth after beating Kazakhstan 3-1.

Group D

Two goals from Ciprian Marica helped Romania secure a 2-0 victory over Estonia, moving on to clinch a playoff berth.

Turkey, who were second, ahead of Romania on goal difference early on, slipped to third; after losing in Istanbul to the Netherlands.

Group E

Switzerland Fans Chants During their World Cup Qualifier Against Slovenia on Tuesday.
Switzerland Fans Chants During their World Cup Qualifier Against Slovenia on Tuesday.

Switzerland had already claimed the group’s ticket but defeated Slovenia 1-0, a result which saw Iceland reach the playoffs.

Iceland drew 1-1 with Norway in Oslo.

Iceland Players Celebrates Playoff Place.
Iceland Players Celebrates Playoff Place.

Group F

Russia knew they needed only a draw to reach the World Cup finals and played a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan in Baku. Azerbaijan got the equalizer on the nick of full-time.

Portugal, without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, secured a 3-0 win over Luxembourg and will be in November playoff.

Northern Ireland drew 1-1 with Israel and finished fifth.

Group G

Crowd of fans gathered in Sarajevo’s central square lighted up flares chanting tunes to Bosnia’s first qualification for the World Cup finals.

Thousands more back home watched the game on big screens erected in city squares around the country.

Bosnia ensured they put the disappointments of not being in South Africa in 2010 and Euro 2012 aside, by beating Lithuania by a lone goal in Sarajevo.

Bosnia and Hercegovina Will Stage Their First Ever World Cup Appearance as an Independent Nation in Brazil.
Bosnia and Hercegovina Will Stage Their First Ever World Cup Appearance as an Independent Nation in Brazil.

Greece, who beat Liechtenstein 1-0, finished level on points but with an inferior goal difference.

Group H

Ukraine trounced San Marino 8-0, but had to settle for playoff place after England beat Poland 2-0.

San Marino Goalkeeper Dived to Save a Shot in Their 8-0 Humiliation By Ukraine.
San Marino Goalkeeper Dived to Save a Shot in Their 8-0 Humiliation By Ukraine.

Group I

Spain only needed a draw against Georgia but won 2-0. Alvaro Negredo and Juan Mata ensured the ‘La Roja Furia’ will be in Brazil for the defence of the title they won in 2010.

1998 World Cup winners, France, comfortably put three goals past Finland but will not be seeded in next month’s playoff.

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