by GIANFRANCO PANIZO
Seven games. Six shutouts. 22 goals.
Those are just some of the more interesting numbers that describe Wednesday's UEFA World Cup qualifiers. But the midweek action wasn't just about numbers as some intriguing story-lines developed, including England getting one step closer to South Africa, Sweden keeping themselves from the brink of elimination and a former American youth player scoring his first international goal.
Here is a recap of Wednesday's UEFA qualifiers:
Group 1 – Sweden 4-0 Malta
Sweden's slim hopes of reaching South Africa stayed alive as they got a much-needed victory. The Swedes currently sit in fourth with four games remaining and are just four points back of second place Hungary.
Group 4 – Finland 0-3 Russia
Andrei Arshavin and Russia further distanced themselves from third place Finland with a decisive victory. Alexander Kerzhakov's brace led the way for the visitors, who are now five points ahead of Finland and only one behind current leaders Germany.
Group 6 – Ukraine 2-1 Kazakhstan
It took a comeback victory for a Andriy Shevchenko-less Ukraine to stay level with Croatia for second place in the group. Croatia and Ukraine both currently sit on 11 points.
Group 6 – England 6-0 Andorra
England moved a win away from securing passage to South Africa 2010 with their demolition of Andorra at Wembley Stadium. Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Defoe each netted twice, while Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch each knocked in a goal of their own to keep England undefeated in qualifying.
Group 7 – Faroe Islands 0-2 Serbia
American fans might have cringed watching this game. Not only did defender Neven Subotic help Serbia remain in first place of the group with a clean-sheet victory, but he also scored his first international goal in the 62nd minute.
Group 9 – Macedonia 2-0 Iceland
With second place now the only way to qualify out of the group (Netherlands clinched first this past weekend), Macedonia kept its World Cup aspirations alive by defeating Iceland. Macedonia now has 7 points and is currently tied for second place with Scotland.
Group 9 – Netherlands 2-0 Norway
Netherlands already had their place in World Cup 2010 booked but that didn't stop them from bringing out their plethora of talent to defeat Norway, who surprisingly still has a shot to qualify despite sitting at the bottom of the table with three points.
Which result did you most enjoy on Wednesday? Glad to see England a step closer to qualifying? Think Sweden can edge out Portugal and Hungary for second place in Group 1? Still angered by Subotic's decision to play for Serbia?
Share your thoughts below.