Euro 2008 Qualifying – 4 Spots Remaining in Wednesday’s Final Round Matches

Another 6 countries secured their places at Euro 2008 on Saturday night, with Leo Beenhakker’s Poland possibly celebrating the loudest after their 2-0 defeat of Belgium qualified for the first time to a Euro championship. World champions Italy, Netherlands and Spain all progressed with victories while Croatia, beaten by Macedonia, advanced thanks to Russia’s defeat against Israel. France‘s players did not even have to put on their boots, with Italy’s last-gasp win in Scotland enough to send them through also. This takes to 12 the number of teams now qualified, with co-hosts Austria & Switzerland, holders Greece, Czech Republic, Germany and Romania already assured their places.

4 more spots to Euro 2008 remain up for grabs, with only one round left to go. Here’s a round-up of each qualifying group, with an analysis of the situation with regards to Wednesday’s matches (courtesy of uefa.com).

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=verdana>GROUP A
Poland’s 2-0 defeat of Belgium takes them through. Portugal are one point back and in need of just a single point more after beating Armenia 1-0. However, Finland’s 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan keeps them within 3 points of the Portuguese whom they could overtake by winning the sides’ Porto showdown on Wednesday. There is also hope for Serbia who will take on Poland on Wednesday and Kazakhstan on Saturday 24 November after snow in Belgrade forced the game’s postponement on Saturday. Serbia would qualify with wins against Poland, on Wednesday, and Kazakhstan combined with a Portugal defeat against Finland.
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Final Round: Armenia vs. Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan vs. Belgium
Serbia vs. Poland
Portugal vs. Finland
Serbia vs. Kazakhstan
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Qualified: Poland
Still in contention: Portugal, Finland, Serbia
Eliminated: Belgium, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan

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=verdana>GROUP B
Italy’s 2-1 triumph in Glasgow lifts them to the top, 1 point clear of France and 2 above Scotland, whose brave bid for qualification is over.
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Final Round: Georgia vs. Lithuania
Ukraine vs. France
Italy vs. Faroe Islands
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Qualified: Italy, France
Still in contention: /
Eliminated: Scotland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia, Faroe Islands

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=verdana>GROUP C
Turkey took a massive step towards securing 2nd place behind group winners Greece by beating Norway 2-1 in Oslo, a result that puts them a point clear of the Scandinavians and well placed to complete the job on Wednesday when they entertain Bosnia-Herzegovina and Norway travel to Malta.
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Final Round: Turkey vs. Bosnia-Herzeg.
Malta vs. Norway
Hungary vs. Greece
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Qualified: Greece
Still in contention: Turkey, Norway
Eliminated: Bosnia, Hungary, Moldova, Malta

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=verdana>GROUP D
The Czech Republic and Germany had already secured qualification and they remain tied on points at the summit after both won, the Czechs beating neighbours Slovakia 3-1 and Germany sweeping Cyprus aside 4-0.
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Final Round: Cyprus vs. Czech Republic
Germany vs. Wales
San Marino vs. Slovakia
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Qualified: Czech Republic, Germany
Still in contention: /
Eliminated: Ireland, Wales, Cyprus, Slovakia, San Marino

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=verdana>GROUP E
Russia’s 2-1 reverse in Tel-Aviv means Croatia, 3 points clear at the top, are guaranteed at least 2nd place despite going down 2-0 at Macedonia. It also restores England’s hopes of progress for, with a 2-point lead over Russia, they now need only a point at home to Croatia on Wednesday when the Russians face Andorra.
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Final Round: Israel vs. Macedonia
Andorra vs. Russia
England vs. Croatia
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Qualified: Croatia
Still in contention: England, Russia
Eliminated: Israel, Macedonia, Estonia, Andorra

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=verdana>GROUP F
Spain booked their finals berth by beating Sweden 3-0 in Madrid. The Scandinavians are 2 points behind Spain in 2nd place and will still qualify so long as they take a point from their concluding home game against Latvia. If Sweden lose, then 3rd-placed Northern Ireland (2-1 victors over eliminated Denmark) can pip them to second place on the head-to-head rule by winning in Spain.
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Final Round: Spain vs. Northern Ireland
Denmark vs. Iceland
Sweden vs. Latvia
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Qualified: Spain
Still in contention: Sweden, Northern Ireland
Eliminated: Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lichtenstein

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=verdana>GROUP G
The Netherlands’ 1-0 home victory over Luxembourg ensured they cannot be caught by 3rd-placed Bulgaria, who remain 4 points behind the Top 2 despite beating an already qualified Romania side 1-0.
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Final Round: Romania vs. Albania
Slovenia vs. Bulgaria
Belarus vs. Netherlands
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Qualified: Romania, Netherlands
Still in contention: /
Eliminated: Bulgaria, Albania, Slovenia, Belarus, Luxembourg

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Marco Pantanella writes for the mCalcio blog

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4 Comments

  1. Ahmed Bilal 21 November, 2007
  2. Mads 21 November, 2007
  3. Marky 21 November, 2007
  4. Tefo 30 May, 2008