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Croatia top England; Russia, Macedonia claim wins

11 October 2006 20:55

ZAGREB, Oct 11 (SW) - After a poor showing against Macedonia at home, England fell victim to defeat in Croatia while Russia and Macedonia were victorious in Euro 2008 Group E.

Croatia - England 2-0

England shocked everyone by coming out in a rare 3-5-2 formation in an attempt to spark their somewhat dormant attack, and it seemed to be working early as Frank Lampard flashed a shot high.

Croatia though started the second half the brighter of the two sides and they went in front in the 61st minute as Eduardo da Silva headed past Paul Robinson from Niko Kovac's cross to break the deadlock.

Eight minutes later, Gary Neville's attempted backpass hit a rut in the pitch and took an unlucky bounce past Robinson as he attempted to clear, and he then had to watch the ball roll into the net for an own goal.

Steve McClaren later in the half abandoned the 3-5-2 to revert to a 4-4-2, but it had no effect as the wind had already been knocked out of them, and defender Ashley Cole picked up a booking that earned him a suspension.

In fact, it could have been 3-0 to the Croats, but a Josip Simunic header went over the top on a play that saw Cole pick up a potential injury.

Russia - Estonia 2-0

After two scoreless draws at home, Russia finally got their first competitive win under Guus Hiddink by defeating western neighbors Estonia.

Despite Russia thoroughly dominating the proceedings, they could not solve Estonia goalkeeper Mart Poom until the 78th minute when Pavel Pogrebnyak finally slid a shot into the goal to the delight of the St. Petersburg crowd.

Just before the match entered injury time, Estonia's Raio Piiroja picked up a second yellow card, and Dmitri Sychev sealed up the win a minute later with a brilliant shot from 25 yards that Poom couldn't stop.

Andorra - Macedonia 0-3

Just days after earning a wonderful draw at England, the Republic of Macedonia went continued their road show in Andorra with a win thanks to some early firepower.

Lazio striker Goran Pandev put Srecko Katanec's men in front in the 13th minute after being set up nicely by a Robert Petrov cross, and three minutes later Pandev provided the pass for Nikolce Noveski to head past Koldo for a 2-0 lead.

Andorra winger Toni Sivera was sent off in the 26th minute, adding to their disadvantage, and Ilco Naumoski made it 3-0 from close range to put the match well out of Andorra's reach.

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