PARIS (AFP) - France, the 1998 world champions, suffered an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to lowly Austria on Saturday to endure a nightmare start to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. On a night when reputations counted for little, defending champions Italy needed a last-minute goal to beat Cyprus 2-1 while England could only defeat little Andorra, the 186th team in the world rankings, 2-0. Elsewhere, European champions Spain managed a 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina but former champions Germany went on a goal rampage demolishing Liechtenstein 6-0 while 2006 World Cup semi-finalists Portugal saw off Malta 4-0. After a dismal Euro 2008 finals, where they failed to get out of the group stages, France again hit the rocks with a 3-1 Group Seven loss in Vienna against Austria with the defeat again throwing the future of coach Raymond Domenech into doubt. Goals by Marc Janko and Rene Aufhauser before the break put the hosts firmly in front but Sidney Govou got one back for France on the hour. A converted penalty by Andreas Ivanschitz in the 72nd minute sealed France's fate. France now face a tough home assignment against Serbia on Wednesday with Domenech desperately in need of a win. "It's difficult to analyse what happened immediately. I will have to look at the match again to see what exactly happened," said Domenech. "What disappointed me the most? To have lost." In Larnaca, defending champions Italy needed a last-minute goal to eke out a 2-1 victory against lowly Cyprus in Group Eight. Antonio Di Natale, with his second of the night, secured an undeserved three points after Cyprus had ran Italy ragged at times on a balmy Mediterranean evening. "There was little difference between the two sides, Cyprus were unlucky many times. We could have lost this game," said Italy coach Marcello Lippi in the first competitive match of his second spell in charge. In the same group, the Republic of Ireland, who are coached by Lippi's compatriot Giovanni Trapattoni, beat Georgia 2-1. England's World Cup campaign also got off to a stuttering start against Andorra's part-timers in Barcelona. Fabio Capello's first competitive game in charge ended in a lacklustre and tense 2-0 win with supersub Joe Cole delivering the three points. "People think that this should be an easy game but they got 10 men behind the ball and made it difficult on a very sticky pitch," said Cole. England now travel to Zagreb on Wednesday to face Group Six rivals Croatia who opened their campaign on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan. Portugal, World Cup semi-finalists in 2006, saw off little Malta 4-0 to top Group One but it was only late in the game that they really dominated. A Brian Said own-goal gave the Portuguese, with Carlos Queiros having succeeded Luiz Felipe Scolari at the helm, a 25th-minute lead before Hugo Almeida, Simao and Nani added to the total in the last 30 minutes. Spain, with Vicente del Bosque having taken over from Luis Aragones, opened their Group Five campaign with a 1-0 win over Bosnie-Herzegovina in Murcia. Missing the injured Fernando Torres and David Silva, they needed a 58th-minute goal from David Villa, who had missed a first-half penalty to secure the three points. In the same group, Turkey beat Armenia 2-0 in a highly-charged encounter in Yerevan. In Group Four, striker Lukas Podolski gave the perfect answer to last week's accusation of "whining" with two goals as Germany beat Liechtenstein 6-0. The 23-year-old Bayern Munich forward struck either side of half-time to lead Germany's charge and he has now scored 30 goals for his country in 56 matches. Scotland wilted in 35-degree heat in Skopje and fell to a 1-0 defeat in Group Nine to Macedonia. Ilco Naumoski gave Macedonia a fifth-minute lead which they clung onto to leave Scotland boss George Burley still looking for his first win. "We were disappointed to lose but for the whole of the second-half I thought we dominated the game," Burley said. Scotland now travel to Iceland on Wednesday where a win will be crucial from a group where the Netherlands are expected to clinch top spot. In Group Three, where the Czech Republic and Poland are tipped to dominate, Northern Ireland lost 2-1 against Slovakia in Bratislava. Poland could only draw 1-1 at home to Slovenia. A Michal Zewlakow penalty put Poland in front in Worclaw, but Zlatko Dedic levelled for Slovenia. In Cardiff, teenage striker Samuel Vokes came off the bench to score a late winner as Wales beat Azerbaijan 1-0 in Group Four. Only the nine group winners are assured of places in the finals with the eight best runners-up playing off for the remaining four spots.