Northern Ireland still top Group Three

Northern Ireland remained a point clear at the top of Group Three in World Cup qualifying with a hard-fought 1-0 defeat of Slovenia.

On-loan Dundee United striker Warren Feeney, who scored at the weekend, grabbed the winner in the 73rd minute with a glancing header following good work from Sammy Clingan and Damien Johnson.

Slovakia kept up the pressure on Northern Ireland with a late 2-1 win over Czech Republic.

Erik Jendrisek clinched all three points for the visitors at Sparta Stadium with a goal in the 83rd minute, after Stanislav Sestak’s 23rd-minute opener had been cancelled out by Zdenek Grygera (30).

In the group’s other match, Poland thrashed rock-bottom San Marino 10-0 to keep alive their hopes of qualification.

Ebi Smolarek scored four with goals in the 18th, 60th, 73rd and 81st minutes, while Rafal Boguski (one and 27) netted a brace.

Robert Lewandowski (43), Ireneusz Jelen (51), Mariusz Lewandowski (63) and Marek Saganowski (88) completed the mauling.

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