For most European and African nations early September marked the start of their continental qualifiers and saw many changes in the Ziaian world rankings. France who seemed to be sinking deeper into the abyss after losing 1-0 at home to Belarus received a boost with a 2-0 win in Bosnia & Herzegovina 4 days later, while Croatia who had got off to a good start winning 3-0 in Latvia were held to a goalless home draw by Greece who had started with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Georgia. Northern Ireland shocked Slovenia with a goal in Maribor while Slovakia achieved the same result in Russia. Lithuania and Montenegro also enjoyed 1-0 wins away to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria respectively. Finland suffered a 2-0 loss in Moldova while a thriller between Portugal and Cyprus ended in a 4-4 draw in Guimaraes and England earned a 3-1 win in Switzerland.
In Africa Sierra Leone picked up a 1-1 draw in Egypt while the Central African Republic returned from Morocco with a goalless draw and Malawi shared 4 goals with their hosts Tunisia. Guinea Bissau defeated their visitors from Kenya 1-0 while Angola lost 3-0 in Uganda and Congo surrendered 2-0 in Sudan. Senegal enjoyed a 4-2 win in DR Congo and Guinea won 4-1 in Ethiopia while Burundi drew 1-1 in Benin and Tanzania returned from Algeria with a creditable 1-1 draw.
In friendly matches world champions Spain were thumped 4-1 in Argentina while Mexico lost 2-1 at home to Ecuador and Iran won 2-0 in China and 1-0 in South Korea.