Montenegro Beats San Marino to Lead World Cup Qualifying Group

Montenegro beat San Marino 3-0 to move above England at the top of their European qualifying group for soccer’s 2014 World Cup.

Andrija Delibasic scored two goals as Montenegro improved to 10 points after four of 10 matches in Group H. England is second with eight points, with Poland third on five points.

Northern Ireland scored a late goal to tie 1-1 with Azerbaijan in last night’s only other European World Cup qualifying match. The winners of each of Europe’s nine groups advance to the tournament in Brazil, with the best eight runners-up playing off for the remaining four slots.

Delibasic got both of his goals in the opening 31 minutes in Podgorica. Elsad Zverotic then closed the scoring in the 68th minute as Montenegro won its third straight game to remain unbeaten in qualifying.

David Healy scored with a free kick in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time in Belfast as Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan drew in a matchup of teams in the bottom half of Group F. Rauf Aliyev opened the scoring in the fifth minute for the visiting team.

Russia leads the group with 12 points, five more than Israel and Portugal. Northern Ireland has three points, Azerbaijan has two and Luxembourg one.

The next rounds of European qualifiers will be played March 22 and 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.