World Cup: England take a step closer, Scotland stay alive

England need just two points from their final two matches to secure their place in the 2018 World Cup.

A 2-1 win over Slovakia has increased their lead at the top of Group F to five points.

Scotland moved to within a point of the play-off place after a 2-0 win against Malta whilst Northern Ireland secured a play-off place thanks to a two-goal victory against Czech Republic.

Group F

Despite Scotland’s win, they have dropped to fourth in Group F after Slovenia’s 4-0 win over Lithuania moved them up to third on goal difference.

Josip Ilicic scored twice from the penalty spot to lead Slovakia to victory.

The victory is nevertheless crucial for Scotland who will qualify for the playoffs with wins over Slovenia and Slovakia next month.

England meet Slovenia and Lithuania in October and look likely to secure their place in next year’s tournament.

Group C

Germany are on the brink of qualification after a stunning 6-0 victory over Norway.

Timo Werner scored twice with goals from Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Leon Goretzka and Mario Gomez completed the scoring.

Northern Ireland sit five points behind Germany with Azerbaijan’s nine-point deficit confirming Northern Ireland’s place in the playoff.

Azerbaijan defeated San Marino 5-1 earlier in the evening.

Group E

Just three points separate the top three teams in Group E going into the final two matches.

Poland, Montenegro and Denmark will be locked in a tight battle next month to see who qualifies automatically, who takes the play-off place and who misses out entirely.

Poland are in pole position on 19 points after a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan. Arkadiusz Milik opened the scoring before second-half goals from Kamil Glik and Robert Lewandowski.

Denmark and Montenegro both won to move to 16 points. The Danes defeated Armenia 4-1 and Montenegro won 1-0 against Romania.

Cover Photo: FIFA World Cup 2014 by Mariya Butd used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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