World Cup Soccer
 
                         === Spain held by Finland ===
 
 Gijon,  Spain  (Sports Network) -  A 79th-minute  goal from Teemu Pukki helped
 Finland  snatch a surprising 1-1 draw at Spain on Friday in a Group I match in
 UEFA World Cup qualifying.
 
 Sergio  Ramos  put Spain in front  in the 49th minute  when he latched on to a
 David Silva corner kick and headed the ball past goalkeeper Nikki Maenpaa.
 
 Spain  generated most  of the  dangerous chances  and dominated  possession as
 usual,  but the hosts were hit on the break 11 minutes from time by a clinical
 move from Finland.
 
 Tim  Sparv got  down the left wing and  delivered a low cross into the path of
 Pukki, who redirected the ball first-time past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
 
 Alvaro  Negredo had two  good chances to win the game for Spain in the closing
 minutes, but he headed the ball wide of the net from a few yards.
 
 With  the  result, France  moves to  the top  of Group  I with  a 3-1 win over
 Georgia  as Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Valbuena and Franck Ribery netted goals in
 the first hour of the match.
 
 France  will  host  Spain  on  Tuesday with  Les  Bleus  holding  a  two-point
 advantage.
 
 Montenegro  survived  a scare at  Moldova as Mirko  Vucinic scored in the 78th
 minute to lead 10-man Montenegro to a 1-0 win that keeps them two points clear
 of England at the top of Group H.
 
 England  coasted to an 8-0 win over San Marino, while Poland fell off the pace
 with a 3-1 home defeat against Ukraine.
 
 Bosnia-Herzegovina  climbed  three points clear  of Greece  in Group G as Edin
 Dzeko  netted  two goals  in a 3-1  Bosnia victory. The  other contests in the
 group  finished  1-1 as  Latvia  and  Liechtenstein  shared the  points  while
 Lithuania and Slovakia also ended in a stalemate.
 
 Portugal  remains  in third  place in Group  F after needing  two goals in the
 final  18 minutes to  secure a 3-3 draw at Israel, which keeps both teams four
 points  adrift of  leaders Russia.  The other  match in  the group  took place
 between  the  bottom two sides  as Azerbaijan and  Luxembourg played out a 0-0
 draw.
 
 Albania  is  one point  back of  Switzerland in Group  E after  a 1-0 win over
 Norway  thanks to a second-half goal from Hamdi Salihi. Iceland joined Albania
 on  nine points thanks to a 2-1 win at Slovenia after a second-half brace from
 Gylfi Sigurdsson.
 
 The  Netherlands remained  perfect atop Group D with a comfortable 3-0 victory
 against  Estonia,  Turkey topped Andorra,  2-0 and Romania got a stoppage-time
 equalizer from Alexandru Chipciu to claim a 2-2 draw at Hungary.
 
 Germany  handled  Kazakhstan, 3-0, to move  five points clear at the summit in
 Group  C, Sweden  and Ireland finished in a 0-0 stalemate and Austria hammered
 the Faroe Islands, 6-0.
 
 Aleksandar  Tonev  scored a hat  trick in Bulgaria's  6-0 thumping of Malta to
 move the team to within a point of Group B leaders Italy. Denmark joined Czech
 Republic in third place after beating the Czech's, 3-0.
 
 Belgium  and  Croatia remained locked  atop Group A  as both sides secured 2-0
 wins in their respective matches on Friday.
 
 Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard scored in Belgium's victory against Macedonia,
 while  first-half  tallies from Mario  Mandzukic and Ivica Olic helped Croatia
 down Serbia. The other match in the group saw Aaron Ramsey and Hal Robson-Kanu
 score  two minutes apart  to help Wales come from a goal down to top Scotland,
 2-1.
 
 03/22 19:11:27 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.

Sports Plus - Ruidoso News