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Created by 2010FIFAWorldCup on May 11, 2010
Last updated: 05/11/10 at 04:49 PM
Slovenia closes group C play with a match against England.
Slovenia faces the USA in their second match of group play
A must win game for both teams.
Slovenia reached the 2010 World Cup finals at the expense of nine-man Russia thanks to Zlatko Dedic's 44th-minute goal on a dramatic night in Maribor.
The Bochum striker toe-ended in Valter Birsa's cross a minute before half-time in what proved to be the game's only goal to spark jubilant scenes at the Gradski Vrt stadium.
Russia, who had Aleksandr Kerzhakov and Yuri Zhirkov sent off in the second half, were left to rue some poor defending and an overall disjointed performance.
Substitute Nejc Pecnik's late goal gave Slovenia a lifeline in their World Cup qualifying play-off against Russia.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's brace seemed to have put the home side in commanding but Pecnik - only introduced in the 83rd minute in place of Andraz Kirm - pounced two minutes from time for a potentially crucial away goal.
Slovenia had to settle for a place in the World Cup qualifying play-offs despite a 3-0 win away to San Marino in Group Three.
Slovakia's 1-0 win in Poland meant they took top spot in the pool and consigned Slovenia to a two-legged tie to reach the finals in South Africa next year, with the play-off draw taking place on Monday.
Milivoje Novakovic gave Slovenia a 24th-minute lead and goals from Dalibor Stevanovic and Marko Suler in the second period wrapped up a comfortable if not especially emphatic victory.
Second-half goals from Valter Birsa and Nejc Pecnik put Slovenia on course to clinch at least a World Cup qualifying play-off place thanks to a surprisingly comfortable win away to Group Three leaders Slovakia.
Birsa struck in the 56th minute, and Pecnik doubled the lead in injury time to eliminate Northern Ireland from the play-off reckoning and put Slovenia in pole position - two points ahead of the Czech Republic, with bottom-of-the-table San Marino still to play in their final match on Wednesday.
Slovakia, meanwhile, are no longer such strong favourites to progress automatically and will almost certainly need to beat Poland in their final match to stay ahead of Slovenia.
Slovenia kept alive their slim hopes of topping World Cup qualifying Group Three with a convincing victory over Poland which leaves them five points behind Slovakia with two games left to play.
Zlatko Dedic put them in front after 12 minutes in Maribor and Milivoje Novakovic added a second on the stroke of half-time before Valter Birsa (63) put the match beyond reach of Poland.
# Robert KOREN (SVN) 19',
# Aleksander RADOSAVLJEVIC (SVN) 39',
# Andraz KIRM (SVN) 54',
# Robert KOREN (SVN) 74',
# Zlatan LJUBIJANKIC (SVN) 90'+3
On-loan Dundee United striker Warren Feeney sent Belfast into raptures as he grabbed the winner in the 73rd minute in this World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.
It means Northern Ireland remarkably remain top of Group Three and still in with a shout of making it to South Africa.
After a poor start to their campaign they have suddenly become the team to beat.
Slovenia and Czech Republic had to settle for a point apiece in Maribor tonight after cancelling each other out in a tense World Cup Group Three qualifier.
The result ensured Northern Ireland - 3-2 winners against Poland at Windsor Park earlier today - finished the night atop the pool, a point clear of Slovakia and two ahead of Slovenia and the Czechs.
Libor Sionko's second half goal led the Czech Republic to a 1-0 victory over Slovenia in their World Cup Group Three qualifier on Wednesday.
The Czechs, looking to revive their campaign after securing just one point from their opening two matches, made sure of a first victory after September's draw in Northern Ireland and Saturday's loss in Poland.
FC Copenhagen midfielder Sionko put the Czechs ahead in the 62nd minute, heading in Marek Jankulovski's centre from close range.
Northern Ireland suffered their second defeat in three World Cup qualifiers after crumbling late in the Group Three game against Slovenia.
Goals from Milivoje Novakovic and substitute Zlatan Ljubijankic in the 84th and 85th minute did the damage.
It was a heartbreaking end to the match for the province who had shown good discipline until the last six minutes.
Milivoje Novakovic struck either side of half-time to give Slovenia their first win of their World Cup campaign against Slovakia in Maribor on Wednesday.
The home side were looking to build on their opening 1-1 draw away to Poland on Saturday and were in the lead after 22 minutes through their striker Novakovic.
Slovenia continued to dominate the game and were duly rewarded eight minutes from full-time when Novakovic struck again.
Poland produced a lacklustre performance to draw 1-1 with Slovenia in their opening Group Three World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Poland controlled the game from the start and went 1-0 ahead after a Michal Zewlakow penalty in 17th minute but ran out of steam and allowed Slovenia to launch penetrating counter-attacks.