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World Cup: Greece Eliminates Kazakhstan

Greece has kept its World Cup football finals hopes alive, rallying for a 2-1 victory over host Kazakhstan (in Almaty).

Nikos Liberopoulos scored the winning goal four minutes into injury (stoppage) time, as Greece gained an important European Group-2 win. Ukraine has already won Group-2 to qualify for next year's World Cup in Germany and lost to Turkey, 1-0. Turkey is second in the group, two points ahead of Greece.

Nearly 30 qualifiers were on the schedule Wednesday. Elsewhere, Italy beat host Belarus, 4-1, to move to the brink of qualifying for its 12th straight World Cup. Italy leads Group-5 with 17 points. Norway, which lost 2-1 to visiting Scotland, is second with 12 points.

Croatia's qualifying chances were hurt after being held to a 1-1 draw by host Malta in Group-8.

The eight European group winners plus the two next best teams qualify for the 32-team World Cup. The remaining six second-place teams will play off for three more slots.

In other matches (home team listed first) the scores were:

Russia 0, Portugal 0
Latvia 1, Slovakia 1
Finland 5, Macedonia 1
Faroe Islands 0, Israel 2
Czech Republic 4, Armenia 1
Bulgaria 3, Iceland 2
Lithuania 0, Bosnia-Herzegovina 1

Some information for this report provided by AP