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Mar 26, 2011

England ease to victory, Germans romp

Two early goals saw England cruise to a 2-0 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium and move into pole position in their Euro 2012 qualifying group.

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• Euro 2012 photo gallery Photo Gallery

England were ahead after just seven minutes when Frank Lampard netted from the penalty spot after James Collins brought down Ashley Young in the area. In the 14th minute, England doubled their advantage when Glen Johnson played a superb long pass to release Young, who squared for Darren Bent to fire home from close range.

Wales improved as the game went on but were unable to provide a real test of England's defensive capabilities in a game that saw seven bookings. Wayne Rooney will be suspended for England's qualifier against Switzerland in June as a result of his yellow card.

Switzerland battled to a 0-0 draw in Bulgaria but it is a result that helps neither side as they now trail Group G leaders England and Montengro by six points and it will take a miracle for them to overturn the deficit.

Germany extended their lead at the top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group A to move closer to the finals in Poland and the Ukraine next year with a comfortable 4-0 win over Kazakhstan. Bayern Munich pair Miroslav Klose and Thomas Muller both grabbed a brace in an easy win for Joachim Low's side in Kaiserslautern.

In Group B, Russia were again left frustrated in front of goal as Armenia secured a battling 0-0 draw in Yerevan. Group leaders Russia have now failed to score in their last three matches after losing friendlies to Belgium and Iran, although will class this as a point gained in view of Armenia's strong start to the qualifying campaign.

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood marked his first competitive start with a vital save to deny Macedonia a battling point in Dublin and hold on for a 2-1 win

Giovanni Trapattoni's men had raced into a 2-0 lead within 21 minutes, thanks mainly to two glaring errors from Macedonia goalkeeper Edin Nuredinovski. He allowed Aiden McGeady's shot to beat him at his near post with just 85 seconds on the clock to hand the winger his first senior international goal in his 38th appearance, and then spilled Darron Gibson's free-kick at the feet of skipper Robbie Keane with predictable consequences.

A header from Vassilis Torosidis with the last touch of the game helped 10-man Greece beat Malta 1-0 and move to the top of Group F.

Earlier in the day Levan Kobiashvili struck in the last minute to condemn Croatia to their first qualifying defeat and maintain Georgia's superb form under coach Temuri Ketsbaia with a 1-0 win. The hosts extended their unbeaten record to 10 games under Ketsbaia as Kobiashvili lifted them onto nine points in Group F, just a point behind Croatia and Greece.

Beram Kayal hit a late winner as Israel survived a rocky second-half period to beat Latvia 2-1 in Group F. Elyaniv Barda gave them the lead in a first half they dominated but Latvia hit back through Kaspars Gorkss.

Erik Huseklepp's goal nine minutes from time maintained Norway's unbeaten record in Euro 2012 qualifying with a 1-1 draw as Denmark missed the chance to pull level with their Scandinavian rivals at the summit of Group H.

A cagey encounter produced little in the way of goalmouth action before Dennis Rommedahl fired the Danes ahead just before the half-hour, and the veteran winger was unlucky not to wrap up the points after the break when he fired against the crossbar

Cyprus blew their chance at a first win in Group H as Chryssis Michael missed a penalty and Konstantinos Makridis struck the post to draw 0-0 against fellow strugglers Iceland.

Bosnia-Herzegovina boosted their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 by coming from behind to beat Romania 2-1. It did not look good when Ciprian Marica put the visitors ahead on 29 minutes, but Vedad Ibisevic headed the equaliser just after the hour and Edin Dzeko grabbed the winner seven minutes from time.

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