Winless night to forget for home nations

SCOTLAND’S hopes of reaching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were ended last night with a 2-0 defeat to Serbia. Two close-range finishes from Filip Duricic kept Gordon Strachan’s team bottom of Group A without a win from six matches.

In the same group, Wales’ chances of qualification were dented when Croatia fought back from a goal down to win 2-1.

Spurs star Gareth Bale put Wales in front with a 21st-minute penalty, but Croatia levelled through Dejan Lovren and stole the points when former Arsenal striker Eduardo struck with three minutes remaining.

Wales sit fourth in the group, 10 points behind the top two.

Republic of Ireland are still searching for a home win in Group C, after a late equaliser from Austria forced a 2-2 draw.

Martin Harnik pounced on an error from defender Ciaran Clark to fire Austria in front on 11 minutes, but two goals from Stoke forward Jonathan Walters swung the match in the home side’s favour.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s team looked set for three valuable points, but David Alaba popped up in second half stoppage time to stun Ireland, who stay fourth.

Northern Ireland’s qualification hopes look to have disappeared after a 2-0 defeat to Israel at Windsor Park left Michael O’Neill’s men nine points behind Group F leaders Russia. Lior Refaelov and Eden Ben Basat scored late in the second half.