Yohan Cabaye started for France tonight in Paris, and a 1-1 draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina saw France win their Group D, one point clear of Bosnia, and they automatically qualify for the finals next summer.
Yohan Cabaye – won 8th cap for France tonight
As he did last Thursday Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye started for France and played for 61 minutes before before replaced by Marvin Martin, as he was last Thursday, but after 48 minutes.
And France left it late after Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko had put Bosnia ahead after 40 minutes, in a first half where France struggled to match their opponents in Paris.
But France raised their game in the second half, and Manchester City’s Samir Nasri was brought down in the penalty area after 77 minutes, and the former Arsenal player coolly converted from the penalty spot, to put France automatically though to the finals.
And when Yohan Cabaye came off, France were still trailing 1-0 and as far as we know he was not injured in the game.
Former Newcastle midfield star star Gary Speed saw his Wales team win again, this time it was 1-0 in Bulgaria, to register their second competitive win, for the first time in six years, and Gareth Bale scored the winning goal just before half time.
Wales finished in 4th place (second bottom) in England’s Group G with a respectable 9 points from their 8 games, and Bulgaria were bottom with just 5 points.
And Ireland beat Armenia 2-1 in Dublin to keep their hopes alive and they make the playoffs, so they can still qualify for the finals in Poland and the Ukraine next summer.
But Spanish referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez wrongly sent off Armenia keeper Roman Berezovsky after just 26 minutes to make Ireland’s job a lot easier.
Gonzales was sent off for handling a Simon Cox shot just outside the box, but TV replays showed Berezovsky played the ball with his chest, and it looked like it was Cox who was the one who handled Glenn Whelan’s through pass.
And then Kevin Doyle was sent off after 81 minutes, for a second yellow card, but the Wolves striker would have missed the first leg of the play-offs in any case, as a result of his first booking.
Spain beat Scotland 3-1 in Alicante to end any hopes the Scots had of making the finals, and Northern Ireland were beaten 3-0 in Italy.
Spain finished top of Group I with a 100% record from their 8 games, and Italy finished top of Group C, and were also unbeaten with 26 points from their 10 games.