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Five of our players put in 90-minute shifts for their countries in European Championship qualifying on Saturday.

Five of our players put in 90-minute shifts for their countries in European Championship qualifying on Saturday.

The matches provided mixed fortunes for the five in a key weekend of qualifying action.

Paul Robinson didn't have a save to make as England dominated in a 3-0 win against Israel at Wembley - one good punch clear from a free-kick his most telling contribution. Jermain Defoe was an unused substitute. England now face Russia at Wembley on Wednesday in a game that could make or break them as Russia are a point clear with both teams having played eight games. Croatia remain top.

It was a good weekend for Teemu Tainio. He played his part in Finland's 0-0 draw in Serbia while Group A leaders Poland drew with Portugal. It's tight at the top of that group with Finland second, two points behind the Poles who they play at home on Wednesday. Portugal are a further two points adrift having played a game less.

Dimitar Berbatov's Bulgaria suffered their first defeat in Group G against Holland in Amsterdam. The striker had a few efforts on goal to no avail as Holland leapfrogged above them in the standings. Bulgaria are now third and will need Holland or current leaders Romania to slip up. They next face Luxembourg on Wednesday.

Gareth Bale played in a left midfield role for Wales in their 2-0 loss against Group D leaders Germany in Cardiff, the same group in which Robbie Keane's Republic of Ireland were pegged back in injury time by Maric Cech's equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Slovakia.


Academy striker Tomas Pekhart - playing above his age group - bagged the equaliser for the Czech Republic in their 1-1 draw in Armenia, heading home two minutes into the second half.