World Cup round up
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Simon Davies made sure Wales avoided an unwanted record — and helped book Sergei Rebrov’s Ukraine a World Cup play-off place.
Our midfield prospect set up John Hartson for the only goal of the game as Wales recorded their first qualifying win of this campaign against Belarus and, in doing so, avoided the worst run in Wales’ 125-year history.
Simon was in the thick of the action throughout at the Millennium Stadium.
He forced two fine saves out of visiting goalkeeper Tumilovich, carved out a golden chance for Craig Bellamy and, unfortunately, missing the chance of the match from six yards in the second half.
Belarus’ defeat against Wales opened the play-off door for Sergei’s Ukraine.
Striker Sergei was suspended for his country’s final match at group-winners Poland and his nerve-ends would have been frayed as Ukraine had to wait until the 81<sup>st</sup> minute for Andrei Shevchenko’s equaliser for the vital point to secure second spot.
Sergei will be back for the play-offs against Christian Ziege’s Germany for a place in next summer’s finals.
Stephen Carr and Gary Doherty were also spectators, this time through injury, as the Republic of Ireland comfortably beat Cyprus in their final group match.
However, Portugal also beat Estonia so Ireland will now be in a play-off next month — unfortunately, neither Stephen or Gary will be fit.
Yugoslavian Goran Bunjevcevic was another of our crocked international stars who had to suffer Saturday’s events from the sidelines.
He needed a miracle from the Faroe Islands to get a result against Slovenia but the miracle didn’t come, Slovenia won and that meant Yugoslavia’s 6-2 hammering of Luxembourg counted for nothing and they finished third.
Neil Sullivan was in goal as Scotland beat Latvia 2-1 but only finished third behind Croatia and Belgium while injured Steffen Iversen and suspended Oyvind Leonhardsen missed out on Norway’s 4-1 win at Armenia.