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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Trinidad & Tobago off to the World Cup

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Now 32 nations are ready to paly the 2006 World Cup. The remaining five of the 32 available places were snapped up by Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago and the Czech Republic on Wednesday, and joined Australia, who beated Uruguay earlier that day.

Spain national team qualified for their eighth straight World Cup finals on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw at Slovakia in the second leg of the teams' play-off.

Filip Holosko opened the scoring in the 50th minute at Tehelne Pole stadium but Spain substitute David Villa levelled the scores 21 minutes later to give Spain a 6-2 aggregate victory.

Switzerland scraped through to the World Cup finals on Wednesday on away goals after drawing 4-4 with Turkey over two legs in their European play-off.

Turkey won a thrilling return match 4-2 but Switzerland, leading 2-0 after an impressive performance in Saturday's first leg in Bern, clinched their place at Germany 2006.

The Czech Republic were celebrating their first World Cup appearance with a 1-0 win over Norway after defeating the Scandinavians by the same margin in the first leg.

Dortmund midfielder Tomas Rosicky's 35th minute strike sealed the fate of Norway who went close when only a fine save by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech denied John Carew's second half header.

The Czechs though had a Vladamir Smicer goal dubiously ruled offside in the 59th minute and a Karel Poborsky tap in from close range in the 79th less controversially disallowed.

In Manama, Trinidad and Tobago staged a remarkable comeback to ensure they'd be rubbing shoulders with the sport's superpowers next year in what will be their World Cup debut.

After an all important away goal in the 1-1 first leg draw in Port-of-Spain Bahrain were firmly in the driving seat but Trinidad ensured they became the first Caribbean island to make it to the finals since Jamaica in 1998 with a 49th minute goal from Dennis Lawrence.


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