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Germany Clinches Cup Berth

Three-time winner Germany earned its 14th World Cup spot with a 4-3 win over Hanover, and England - after missing out four years ago - claimed a place Saturday with a scoreless draw in Italy.

The Italians face a playoff to reach the 32-team field next summer.

Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands also got through by winning one of the nine European groups. They joined Romania, Norway, Bulgaria and Spain, who were already assured of advancing. France qualifies automatically as the host team.

Scotland - claiming a 10th European berth - also automatically claimed a place in France next summer by beating Latvia 2-0.

Europe’s four remaining places will be determined in a playoff later this month and next among the eight remaining second-place teams. The draw for those matchups is Monday in Zurich.

Italy - runner-up four years ago to Brazil and a three-time World Cup winner - will have to qualify through this route as will Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Russia, Croatia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia.

 
Tags: soccer

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