Line-up complete for 2006 World Cup in Germany

17th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 November 2005, HAMBURG - As expected, the Czech Republic and Spain on Wednesday became the final two teams to book their places at the World Cup finals after winning their European playoff matches on aggregate.

17 November 2005

HAMBURG - As expected, the Czech Republic and Spain on Wednesday became the final two teams to book their places at the World Cup finals after winning their European playoff matches on aggregate.

They joined Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago and Australia, who earlier on Wednesday qualified for the finals in Germany.

In Prague Tomas Rosicky gave the Czech Republic a second straight 1-0 victory over Norway to advance 2-0 on aggregate.

The Scandinavians, however, were not without their own chances and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was called upon to pull off a number of breathtaking saves to deny the Norwegians a deserved goal.

Had Cech not prevented John Carew from scoring, Norway could have surprised the Czechs.

In Bratislava, Slovakia went into their game knowing that they needed a huge footballing miracle to overcome a 5-1 first round defeat and even after Filip Holosko had given them the lead in the 50th minute, they knew it was never on the cards.

David Villa equalised for the visitors in the 70th minute to give Spain a 6-2 aggregate victory.

"We really deserve this", said a delighted Villa afterwards. "We have been working for this for more than a year."

Raul, for his part, said that he was "really looking forward" to his third World Cup.

"I really believe that this time we have the quality to go all the way", was the optimistic message from the Spanish captain.

In Istanbul, Switzerland survived a furious Turkish onslaught to qualify despite losing their return leg 4-2 but booked their place at the finals on the away goal rule.

French-based striker Alexander Frei gave the visitors, who won the first leg on Saturday 2-0, the ideal start when he converted a first minute penalty awarded after Ozalan Alpay handled the ball.

Tuncay Sanli pulled one back with a header in the 22nd minute and gave his side the lead nine minutes from the break when he pushed a Hakan Sukur header - that would have crossed the line anyway - into the goal.

Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere awarded Turkey a penalty seven minutes after the restart and Necati Ates made no mistake from the spot to raise Turkish hopes and expectations.

The home side then threw caution to the wind as they went in search of a fourth goal that would have given them the advantage, but they were caught on the counterattack six minutes from time when Marco Streller went around goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and pushed the ball into the empty net.

Although Tuncay scored his third in the last minute, it was too little too late and the Turks, who stunned the football world at the last World Cup by finishing third, were knocked out.

Earlier Wednesday, Australia had secured their second participation at the finals with a penalty shoot-out win over Uruguay after beating them 1-0 to level the tie at 1-1.

Also through on Wednesday was Trinidad and Tobago, who stunned Bahrain 1-0 to advance 2-1 on aggregate. The only goal in Manama was scored by Wrexham defender Dennis Lawrence.

DPA

Subject: German news

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