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Slovakia 0-2 Slovenia: Slovenes Keep Hopes Alive As Slovakia Stumble

Slovakia have passed up an opportunity to secure World Cup 2010 qualification after Slovenia pulled off a shock win in Bratislava.

Slovakia still top the group with 19 points, but Slovenia are now on 17, meaning that in order to keep goal difference out of the equation, the Slovaks must win away to Poland in the final matchday, assuming that San Marino are ousted by Slovenia.

A thrilling first half was clearly a nervy affair, with visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic very nearly 'scoring' an own goal as he failed to hold a Jan Durica effort, only for the ball to dribble off the post.

Nonetheless the hosts had chances of their own - only to be shot down shortly after the break.

The excellent Valter Birsa strode forward before unleashing a 20-yarder that left Jan Mucha stranded.

Right at the death, an additional strike from Birsa's replacement, substitute Nejc Pecnik, settled matters in favour of the visitors.

Steve Michaels,