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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Strides Toward World Cup With 1-0 Win

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LONDON — Russia marched closer to next year's World Cup finals and severely dented Yugoslavia's chances Wednesday with a 1-0 win in Belgrade.

Vladimir Beschastnykh netted the only goal of the game 18 minutes from the end at the Red Star stadium as the Russians moved five points clear at the top of Group 1 with the Yugoslavs back in fourth, eight points behind.

It was a grim result for the home team, especially with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica among the spectators. But there were problems even before kickoff when striker Predrag Mijatovic, who plays in Italy for Fiorentina, walked out because he was furious at being relegated to the substitutes' bench by coach Milovan Djoric.

The fans were unhappy too, chanting "Djoro, Go" at the unpopular coach.

San Marino celebrated its first away point in World Cup soccer with a 1-1 draw with Latvia in Riga despite Marian Pahars, who plays club football with Southampton in England, netting after just 46 seconds of the Group 6 game.

Nicola Albini headed the equalizer with San Marino's first effort on target in the 60th minute, and goalkeeper Federico Gasperoni made a series of fine saves to preserve the point.

Among the other six qualifying games, Andorra stunned the Irish fans at Lansdowne Road by taking the lead through Ildefons Lima's outstanding long-range header, which was his country's first on the road in the World Cup.

But Kevin Kilbane, Mark Kinsella and Gary Breen made it 3-1 to give Group 2 leader Ireland a three-point lead over the Dutch and Portuguese.

The Netherlands moved into second place on goal difference after beating Cyprus 4-0. First-half strikes by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Marc Overmars and Patrick Kluivert were followed by a second-half goal by Ruud van Nistelrooy, back in the lineup after a long injury layoff and just two days after he signed for Manchester United for ?19 million ($28.5 million)

Iceland scored a 4-1 victory at last- place Malta after the home team had taken the lead through Carmel Busuttil.

Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen and Helgi Sijurdsson scored twice in a minute just before halftime to turn the game around, and late strikes by Smari Gudjohnsen and Thordur Gudjonsson made the victory more even emphatic.

Austria went to the top of Group 7 by downing Liechtenstein 2-0 with strikes by Eduard Glieder and Thomas Flogel, although second-place Spain has a game in hand.

In South American qualifying, Bolivia and Argentina played to a 3-3 draw in La Paz, Bolivia, and Brazil drew 1-1 with Peru in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In the CONCACAF zone, the United States remained unbeaten after three matches with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Kansas City, Missouri, while Trinidad and Tobago held Mexico to a 1-1 draw in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Jamaica and Honduras played to a 1-1 draw in Kingston, Jamaica.

The highlight among 13 international friendlies was a brilliant 4-0 victory by World Cup and European Champion France over Euro 2000 semifinalist Portugal at the Stade de France.

Sylvain Wiltord, Mikael Silvestre and Thierry Henry gave the French a 3-0 halftime lead before Youri Djorkaeff added a fourth 10 minutes from the end.

Spain, 2-1 winner in its last friendly against France, got a goal in second-half injury time from Ruben Baraja to defeat Japan 1-0 in an otherwise lackluster match in Cordoba, Spain. The Japanese defended relentlessly against Spain but never posed much of a scoring threat.

Italy edged South Africa 1-0 through Vincenzo Montella's second-half strike, although Filippo Inzaghi had a penalty saved by Hans Vonk.

Elsewhere on the international circuit, former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel had a successful finale to his international career as Denmark scored a 3-0 victory over Slovenia in his 129th and last appearance.

Two second goals by Anders Svensson gave Sweden a 2-0 victory at Switzerland, which had 10 players missing through injury.

World Cup 2002 Qualifiers
European Zone Group 1


Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Russia

5

4

1

0

7

1

13

Switzerland

5

2

2

1

13

5

8

Slovenia

5

1

4

0

8

7

7

Yugoslavia

4

1

2

1

4

3

5

Faroe Islands

4

1

1

2

5

8

4

Luxemburg

5

0

0

5

1

14

0