Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Colombia qualified for next year's World Cup on Friday.

Germany (8-0-1) routed Ireland 3-0 at Cologne to guarantee first place in Europe's Group C and reach soccer's biggest tournament for the 16th straight time. Belgium (8-0-1) won 2-0 at Croatia to ensure first place in Group A, and Switzerland (6-0-3) clinched Group E with a 2-1 win at Albania.

In South America, Colombia (8-4-3) rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a 3-3 draw against visiting Ecuador to clinch. Radamel Falcao converted penalty kicks in the 75th and 84th minutes.

Fourteen of the 32 spots at next year's tournament are set. The United States, Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and South Korea already qualified, and Brazil gets an automatic berth as host

  • World Cup-bound Australia fired coach Holger Osieck after a 6-0 exhibition loss at France.

    NBA

    Blake Griffin said "absolutely" he was nervous when he went down during the Los Angeles Clippers' intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday that resulted in a left knee bone bruise. But after an MRI revealed no structural damage, Griffin said he was feeling fine. "In terms of injury, it's not even really that bad," he told the Los Angeles Times.

  • Detroit's Rodney Stuckey had surgery on his broken right thumb. He'll wear a splint for two weeks before being re-evaluated.

    Golf


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    Larry Nelson shot his age for a share of the SAS Championship lead in Cary, N.C., while Nick Faldo failed to finish the round. Nelson had a 6-under 66 to join Russ Cochran and Mark Mouland atop the leader board. Faldo, 1 over for 12 holes, withdrew because of an elbow injury. San Mateo native Michael Allen was in a group at 67.

  • Ilhee Lee kept her lead in the LPGA Malaysia, while 18-year-old Lexi Thompson had an 8-under 63 and was one shot behind. Lee (65) was at 13-under 129. Feng Shansha (65) was 10 under, a shot ahead of Pleasanton native Paula Creamer (67).

    Motor sports

    Pole-sitter Kyle Busch raced to his 11th NASCAR Nationwide Series win of the year, giving him a season sweep at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. He edged Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr. at the 1.5-mile oval. Busch has a record 62 Nationwide wins.

  • Roush-Fenway Racing will field a Nationwide Series car next season for Ryan Reed with the American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign as his sponsor. Reed has Type 1 diabetes.

    Tennis

    Rafael Nadal closed out a 20-minute tiebreak in the first set against Stanislas Wawrinka before winning 7-6 (10), 6-1 in the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals. Also, Novak Djokovic needed 2½ hours to oust Gael Monfils 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4.