UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifiers day 10.
It was the final day of the 2016 Euro Qualifiers and all teams have directly qualified to the Final stage in France next June. There will be playoffs in December for the third place teams to complete the first ever Euro with 24 teams.
Germany 2-1 Georgia and Poland 2-1 Ireland have clinched respectively the first and second place of the group after their respective win. Ireland will play the playoff round finishing third of the group. Lewandowski scored another goal to tie the most goals scored in a Euro Qualifiers with 13 goals.
Faroe Islands 0-3 Romania. Romania booked their ticket to France with the win finishing second of the group and sending Hungary to the playoffs stage finishing 3rd. Armenia 0-3 Albania. Albania qualified for the first time ever to a major tournament finishing behind Portugal in group I.
Russia and Slovakia added their name to the list of teams qualified for the Euro Finals. For Slovakia this is a historic moment since they qualify for the first time to a major tournament. Slovakian coach Ján Kozák, reacts: “We have many talented players – not just Marek Hamšík and Martin Škrtel but also Vladimír Weiss for example. I would like it if all my players could play at top clubs to show their qualities. I have worked with them on improving their confidence.”
England made a perfect 10 with 10 wins in 10 games – Lithuania 0-3 England. Coach Hodgson was again very satisfied: “I think it [10 wins in qualifying] is an achievement and I am very proud of the players’ performance. And to get 10 wins out of 10 is never easy in these qualifying groups and tsake a bit of pride form it. A lot of the players we have used have been due to injury and tonight we had the luxury of using a lot of players so everyone who was part of this troop has got on and played some football for England which is good.
We know also going to France we will come across strong opposition, better opposition, teams which are more capable to cause us problems and we will see how we deal with that. We know the players are working vey hard on their game and whatever comes up in the game we need to continue to work on and we will do so.”
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic. Finally the drama comes from Netherlands who are eliminated from the Finals in France, the first time they are eliminated from a major tournament since the Euro 1984 also in France.. In all senses this is major disgrace and a shame for the team who was so flamboyant a year ago in Brazil finishing 3rd.
Malta 0-1 Croatia. Croatia won and surpassed Norway for the second place of group while Norway will play the playoffs. Turkey won in Czech Republic and against Iceland to seal their direct path to France finishing best 3rd of all the groups.
As for the host country France they rounded-up their 4th consecutive win the first time under coach Deschamps era with two wins 4-0 v. Armenia and 2-1 in Denmark. Two men, Benzema and Giroud distinguished themselves from the two games scoring a brace respectively in a very quick fashion. benzene had his brace against Armenia in less than 180 seconds and Giroud scored his own in less than 4 minutes in Denmark. Les Bleus are in good form ending the year.
The qualified teams are: Albania, Germany, England, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Wales, Poland, Portugal, Czech republic, Romania, Switzerland, Russia, Slovakia, Croatia, Turkey, France
The third place playoffs countries are: Bosnia, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukriane.