| 18.6°C Dublin

Concern for Alex Ferguson as Robin van Persie suffers thigh injury

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie was substituted a half-time after suffering a thigh injury during Holland's 4-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Hungary.

The former Arsenal man has been in imperious form since joining their rivals, scoring four times in three matches.

Van Persie took a knee to the thigh in a challenge with Hungarian defender Roland Juhasz but Dutch manager Louis van Gaal said he didn't fear the injury was too bad.

He said: "We took off Robin for precautionary measures. It doesn't seem to be too serious, but you never know. We didn't want to take any risks."

Another injury worry for Manchester United is fellow new-boy Shinji Kagawa who missed Japan's 1-0 victory over Iraq with a back injury.

"I felt a twinge in the back during practice when I was on the ball. I had some treatment but didn't want to risk causing the team trouble by playing," said the midfielder. "Obviously it's a shame I wasn't able to play. It's not that serious and I don't think it will keep me out for long."

Reigning World and European champions Spain left it late to extend their run of 22 successive victories in qualifying when they faced Georgia.

Having not dropped a point in qualifying since 2007, Spain were thankful for a Roberto Soldado goal in the 86th minute to ensure a 1-0 win.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany beat Austria 2-1 thanks to goals from Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil, Italy ran out 2-0 winners over Malta and Belgium drew 1-1 at home to Croatia.

There was better news for Manchester United in Central America where striker Javier Hernandez headed home on the hour to ensure a 1-0 win over Costa Rica and book his country's place in the final qualifying phase.

In South America, Argentina stayed at the top of the qualifying table when they came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Peru.