Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Euro 2012: One match away

Euro 2012: One match away. 45846.jpegThe first round of play-offs among the eight second-placed teams which did not make it to the UEFA finals automatically from the group phase took place today, the first of two matches (home and away) to pick the last four teams to go to the UEFA finals in Poland/Ukraine in 2012.

Bosnia and Herzegovina took on Portugal in Zenica at 20.00 CET. Five minutes later, Turkey kicked off against Croatia then at 20.15, the Czech Republic vs. Montenegro. The last match of the evening was between Estonia and the Republic of Ireland, at 20.45 in Tallinn.

Results

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 Portugal 0

Portugal had the better of the first half but Bosnia came back in the second. Both sides could have scored. While the away draw is clearly a good result for Portugal, Bosnia has to score in the second leg and a 1-1 result would put the Balkan team through, together with Croatia. Portugal, however, has to remain the hot favourite in the return game in Portugal, where Bosnia will witness a scalding reception.

 

Turkey 0 Croatia 3

This result leaves no doubt. Bar a miracle, Turkey has been unceremoniously dumped out of the Euro. Olic made Croatia's intentions clear after 2' (0-1), Mandzukic added the second before the break (32') and Corluke scored the third after 51'.

 

Czech Republic 2 Montenegro 0

The third Balkans team in the play-offs, Montenegro, had a bad result but not a catastrophic one. The home team managed to break the deadlock after 63' (Pilar) and added the second right at the end (Sivok, 90+2'). Montenegro will have to have all guns firing for the return match in Podgorica, but not all is lost, contrary to the comments by most sports writers.

 

Estonia 0 Republic of Ireland 4

The result basically says it all. Keith Andrews scored after 13' and in the second half, the Republic devastated the Baltic side leaving no chance for the return match in Dublin: Walters added the second after 67' and Robbie Keane did the rest on 71' and 88' (penalty) to compound Estonia's misery.

 

Return match (second leg) November 15

 

Standings

 

Group A

Germany 3  Belgium 1

Turkey 1 Azerbaijan 0

Kazakhstan 0 Austria 0

  

Country Games Points Goals

Germany             10  30 34-7

Turkey             10  17 13-11

Belgium             10  15 21-15

Austria             10  12 16-17

Azerbaijan            10    7 10-26

Kazakhstan            10    4  6-24

  

Germany qualifies automatically, Turkey enters the play-offs

  

Group B

Russia 6 Andorra 0

Rep. Ireland 2 Armenia 1

Macedónia 1 Slovakia 1

  

Country Games Points Goals

Russia              10 23 17-4

Rep. Ireland            10 21 15-7

Armenia            10 17 22-10

Slovakia            10 15   7-10

Macedonia            10   8   8-14

Andorra            10   0   1-25

 

Russia qualifies automatically, Rep. Ireland enters the play-offs

 

Group C

Slovenia 1 Serbia 0

Italy 3 Northern Ireland 0

 

Italy                 10   26 20-2

Estonia 10   16 15-14

Serbia              10   15 13-12

Slovenia            10   14 11-7

N. Ireland            10     9   9-13

Faroe Islands            10     4  6-26

 

Italy qualifies automatically, Estonia enters the play-offs

 

Group D

France 1 Bosnia 1

Albania 1 Romania 1

 

France             10    21 15-4

Bosnia-H.            10    20 176-8

Romania            10    14 13-9

Belarus 10    13   8-7

Albania            10      9   7-14

Luxemburg            10      4   3-21

 

France qualifies automatically, Bosnia enters the play-offs

 

Group E

 

Sweden 3 Netherlands 2

Hungary 0 Finland 0

Moldavia 4 San Marino 0

 

Netherlands            10 27 37-8   

Sweden            10 24 31-11

Hungary            10 19 22-14

Finland 10  10 16-16

Moldavia            10  9   12-16

S. Marino            10   0   0-53

  

Netherlands and Sweden both qualify directly

 

Group F

Georgia 1 Greece 2

Croatia 2 Latvia 0

Malta 0 Israel 2

 

Greece             10 24 14-5

Croatia             10 22 18-7

Israel                10 16 13-11

Latvia               10 11   9-12

Georgia            10 10   7-9

Malta               10   1   4-21

 

Greece qualifies automatically, Croatia enters the play-offs

 

Group G

Bulgaria 0 Wales 1

Switzerland 2 Montenegro 0

 

England            8 18 17-5

Montenegro            8 12   7-7

Switzerland            8  11 12-10

Wales              8   9   6-10

Bulgaria            8   5   3-13

  

England qualifies automatically, Montenegro enters the play-offs

 

Group H

 

Denmark 2 Portugal 1

Norway 3 Cyprus 1

 

Denmark            8 19 15-6

Portugal            8 16 21-12

Norway            8 16 10-7

Iceland             8  4   6-14

Cyprus             8  2   7-20

 

Denmark qualifies automatically, Portugal enters the play-offs

 

Group I

Spain 3 Scotland 1

Lithuania 1 Czech Republic 4

 

Spain               8  24 26-6

Czech Rep.            8  13  12-8

Scotland            8   11  9-10

Lithuania            8    5  4-13

Liechtenstein            8    4  3-17

 

Spain qualifies automatically, Czech Republic enters the play-offs

 

UEFA Rules for qualifying:

"Qualifying group stage
The 51 entrants were drawn into nine groups, six of six teams and three of five. Matches are played on a home-and-away basis between 3 September 2010 and 11 October 2011. The nine winners and the runner-up with the best record against the top five sides in their pool qualify directly for the final tournament. The eight remaining runners-up enter the play-offs.

Play-offs
The four sides with the best UEFA national team coefficient ranking will be seeded and will play the second legs on 15 November 2011 at home. The first legs will be played on 11 or 12 November. The teams which score the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the finals, with away goals and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw".

(Source: UEFA.com)

 

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru