|Attempts on target||2||0|
|Attempts off target||0||0|
|3||Bulgaria||Republic of Ireland|
|10||Bosnia and Herzegovina||France|
|3||Portugal||Republic of Ireland|
Bulgaria gave themselves an excellent chance of avoiding the wooden spoon in qualifying Group 3 after defeating the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in their final home game of a testing campaign.
Bulgaria had won just one match going into tonight's fixture at the
Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in Sofia – 1-0 against high-flying Portugal last October – but triumphed thanks to goals from Atanas Kurdov and Momchil Tsvetanov either side of half-time. Bulgaria have six points going into their final match in Montenegro on Tuesday, when Ireland (four points) travel to Portugal needing to win to prevent a bottom-placed finish.
Despite the searing heat in the capital, the Irish started well and looked comfortable without creating a real opening. Bulgaria's chances had also been of the half variety before they broke the deadlock moments before the interval, Tsvetanov crossing from the left for Kurdov to finish adroitly beyond Shane Redmond. The goalkeeper was beaten again in the 77th minute as Tsvetanov drove the ball low in the visitors' net to end an eleven-month wait for victory.
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|Ivan Kolev (BUL)||Donald Givens (IRL)|
|Marco Borg (MLT)|
|Philip Agius (MLT), Alan Camilleri (MLT)|
|Alan Mario Sant (MLT)|