Two years after losing to Croatia and failing to qualify for the European Championship, England earned a World Cup berth against the very same opponent - and with two games to spare.
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard scored two goals each and Wayne Rooney added another in a 5-1 victory last night in Wembley, England.
“We put the record straight. This performance showed everything we are about,’’ England captain John Terry said.
Spain 3, Estonia 0 - European champion Spain breezed into the Cup, clinching first place in its qualifying group with a victory in Merida, Spain.
Mexico 1, Honduras 0 - Cuauhtemoc Blanco converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute, and host Mexico took a big step toward qualifying.
Brazil 4, Chile 2 - Nilmar scored three goals to lead Brazil over Chile, preventing the visitors from clinching a berth.
Italy 2, Bulgaria 0 - In Turin, defending champion Italy moved closer to a berth, shutting down Bulgaria on goals by Fabio Grosso and Vincenzo Iaquinta.
Portugal 1, Hungary 0 - Portugal and world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo kept themselves in contention for a berth, winning in Budapest.
Serbia 1, France 1 - France prevented Serbia from clinching a berth in Belgrade, rallying for a tie on a goal by Thierry Henry.
Paraguay 1, Argentina 0 - Diego Maradona’s Argentina stumbled again in Cup qualifying, losing in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Germany 4, Azerbaijan 0 - Miroslav Klose scored twice, and Michael Ballack and Lukas Podolski scored one goal each in Hannover to help Germany maintain its Group Four lead.
El Salvador 1, Costa Rica 0 - Rudis Corrales scored in second-half injury time, and El Salvador defeated visiting Costa Rica to hurt its chances of qualifying.