With the group stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers over, nine national teams have already booked a place in Brazil. Soon another four teams will be joining them, making it 13 participants from the European bracket.
Here we look at what went down on the final match day in Group I.
France 3-0 Finland
France finished second in their group which means they will have to battle it out with one of the runners-up. Even though their team looks nothing worse than the best of ‘em, we all remember their shaky play-off match against the Republic of Ireland when it took a Thierry Henry hand ball to propel them to the next stage.
In this match however, the Tri-colours got a routine win over third-placed Finland. Eight minutes into the game Franck Ribery already gave his team the lead and in the second half a Toivio own-goal along with a late strike by Karim Benzema was enough to ensure a comfortable victory by a fair margin.
Spain 2-0 Georgia
Spain finished top of the group and earned direct qualification for the World Cup in Brazil next year. They signed off with a routine victory against Georgia and look more than able to defend their crown.
Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo’s first half strike, along with Juan Mata’s in the second was enough to confirm their dominance. The current European Championship and World Cup Champions finished above France mostly thanks to their away win over their strongest rivals in the group and look as strong as ever, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they climbed to the summit again.
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