Friday night's qualifiers

Gomez spares Germany's blushes

June 3, 2011

A last-minute winner from Mario Gomez gave Germany a 2-1 victory over Group A rivals Austria and kept their perfect start to the Euro 2012 qualification campaign alive.

Mario Gomez's winner was scored in the 90th minute
GettyImagesMario Gomez's winner was scored in the 90th minute

Gomez had given Germany the lead on the stroke of half-time but Austria, who remain fourth in the group, were level after 50 minutes when German defender Arne Friedrich scored an own goal.

The game looked destined to end in a draw until Gomez rose about the defence to head home Philip Lahm's cross with only moments remaining.

Germany's dramatic win extended their lead at the top of the group as their two closest rivals, Belgium and Turkey, drew 1-1 in Brussels. Marwin Ogunjimi gave the hosts the perfect start when he converted Nacer Chadli's cross on after three minutes, but Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz scored from close range to level midway through the first half before Axel Witsel fired a second-half penalty over the bar.

In the other match in Group A, Kazakhstan beat Azerbaijan 2-1 thanks to a brace from Sergei Gridin, with Vuqar Nadirov replying for Azerbaijan.

Everything went to the form book in Group C as Italy beat Estonia 3-0 and Slovenia won 2-0 against the Faroe Islands.

Italy remain top of the group after goals from Giuseppe Rossi, Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini gave them a comfortable win over Estonia.

Slovenia had Marko Suler sent off after 25 minutes against the Faroe Islands but took the lead through Bostjan Cesar only two minutes later before defender Rogvi Baldvinsson headed past his own goalkeeper to give Slovenia a vital three points.

An Eric Abidal own goal handed Belarus an unlikely 1-1 draw at home to a below-par France side as the top two in Group D met.

Abidal turned Timofey Kalachev's cross into his own goal after 20 minutes, but after Florent Malouda levelled matters only two minutes later France would have expected to win the game. However, in an evenly-matched contest they could not find a winner.

An Adrian Mutu strike and a double from Ciprian Marica gave Romania a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in the other match in Group D. Cristian Sapunaru also saw a late penalty saved as Romania moved ahead of their opponents in the table.

Sweden moved to within six points of Holland at the top of Group E with a routine 4-1 victory over Moldova. Ola Toivonen opened the scoring before former Bolton forward Johan Elmander grabbed a brace. Moldova then pulled a goal back through Viorel Frunza before Alexander Gerndt restored Sweden's three-goal advantage late on.

Elsewhere in Group E a solitary Mikael Forssell strike gave Finland a 1-0 win over San Marino to move them level on points with Moldova.

Croatia took advantage of the fact group-leaders Greece were not in action to take top spot in Group F with a 2-1 win at home to Georgia. A Jaba Kankava header had put the visitors ahead but Mario Mandzukic and Nikola Kalinic scored in the final 15 minutes to turn the game around.

In Group I, bottom-of-the-table Liechtenstein picked up their first points with a 2-0 win over Lithuania thanks to first-half goals from Philippe Erne and Michele Polverino.