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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Russia tops the group

Russia 3 Israel 1. This result puts Russia on top of group F before the last two games of the Group Phase of qualifyers for Brasil 2014. Now Russia has two games remaining, away to Luxemburg and Azerbaijan.

Russia 3                               Israel 1

Vasili Berezutskiy 50          Eran Zehavi 90+3

Aleksander Kokorin 52

Denis Glushakov 74

 

 

Russia

Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Denisov (Capt.) (Glushakov), Kokorin (Bystrov), Kerzhakov, Berezutskiy, Shirokov, Samedov, Faizulin (Dzagoev), Kozlov, Kombarov

Three second-half goals buried the game but the fact remains that Israel has a spirited and skillful side playing some excellent football. On another night, Israel could have had more goals and the national team promises to be the dark horse of future qualifying phases. This time around, the group belongs to Russia and Portugal.

Last game

Russia 4           Luxemburg 1

Kokorin 1, 35; Joachim 90

Kerzhakov 60

Samedov 90+3

Russia

Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Denisov (Capt.), Kokorin (Ionov), Kerzhakov, Granat, Shirokov (Ryazantsev), Bystrov (Samedov), Faizulin, Kozlov, Kombarov

 Games played

 

Russia 2 N. Ireland 0

Israel 0 Russia 4

Russia 1 Portugal 0

Russia 1 Azerbaijan 0

Portugal 1 Russia 0

N. Ireland 1 Russia 0

Russia 4 Luxemburg 1

Russia 3 Israel 1

Games to play

11/10 Luxemburg Russia

15/10 Azerbaijan Russia

Group F

Russia        8 games 6 victories 0 draws 2 defeats 15 goals for 4 against 18 points

Portugal     8 5 2 1 16 8 17

Israel          8 3 3 2 17 12 12

N. Ireland   8 1 3 4 8 14 6

Luxemburg 8 1 3 4 7 19 6

Azerbaijan  8 0 5 3 4 10 5

 

In the other groups, the favourites are all well placed to go through to the finals in Brazil. Group A seems to favour Belgium, in Group B Italy is qualified, in C, Germany leads, in D, the Netherlands is qualified and Switzerland leads Group E. In G, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece share top place with 19 points each; in H, England is one point ahead of Ukraine and Montenegro. Finally in Group I, Spain (undefeated) is equal on points (14) with France (one game more).

 

The first-placed teams qualify automatically. The 8 best second-placed teams will enter a play-off phase to choose the remaining 4 teams (UEFA sends 13 to the FIFA World Cup).

 

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru