Saturday, October 8, 2011

Argentina beat Chile 4-1 in WCup qualifier

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP)—Gonzalo Higuain scored three goals and Lionel Messi added another as Argentina defeated Chile 4-1 Friday in the... first round of South American World Cup qualifying for each country. Argentina looked strong under new coach Alejandro Sabella, dominating from the start. Higuaian scored in the eighth minute, Messi added his in the 26th. Higuain added his second in the 52nd and completed his hat trick in the 63rd. Matias Fernandez scored for Chile in the 60th.

Also Friday, England clinched its place at the 2012 European Championship despite Wayne Rooney’s ejection in a 2-2 draw at Montenegro, while Croatia missed a chance to reach the finals by losing 2-0 to Greece in the next-to-last round of qualifying matches. Needing at least a draw to win Group G, England was 2-1 up thanks to goals by Ashley Young and Darren Bent when Rooney was shown a red card in the 74th minute for kicking defender Miodrag Dzudovic. Andrija Delibasic’s late equalizer ensured Montenegro clinched a playoff spot, while England became the fifth team to qualify for the finals, after defending champion Spain, Italy, Germany and Netherlands. Host nations Ukraine and Poland did not need to qualify.

Spain, the world and European champion, claimed a seventh straight victory in Group I by beating the Czech Republic 2-0 on goals by Juan Mata and Xabi Alonso. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s strike earned the Netherlands a 1-0 win over Moldova, its ninth victory in a row clinching first place in Group E, while Germany defeated Turkey 3-1 on goals by Thomas Mueller, Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger in Group A.Serbia can still finish runner-up if it beats Slovenia away on Tuesday.

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