SO IRELAND’S VICTORY tonight means they’re through to the play-offs. But who can we potentially face? Well, in short, one of either Bosnia, Turkey, Montenegro or Estonia.
Indeed initially, no one seemed quite sure whether Ireland had gotten a seeded spot, which conceivably enables you to face inferior opposition, as well as getting to play the second leg of the play-off match at home.
However, both FAI and UEFA quickly confirmed to reporters that Ireland had secured a coveted seeded spot.
But that’s just one aspect of a number of fascinating permutations arising from tonight’s action. For more, simply read on and bask in all the complex glory of the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Germany had already qualified, but secured their 100% record by beating Belgium 3-1. That result enabled Turkey to gain second spot in the group at the expense of Belgium, after they beat Azerbaijan with a narrow 1-0 victory.
Eliminated: Belgium, Austria, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
If you’ve been living under rock for the past few hours, you won’t know that Ireland have secured their play-off place with a win over Armenia, while Russia confirmed their place at the top of the group with a 6-0 win over Andorra.
Eliminated: Armenia, Slovakia, Macedonia and Andorra.
Italy had already qualified, so their 3-0 win over Northern Ireland was irrelevant. Meanwhile, Serbia’s 1-0 loss to Slovenia opened the door for Estonia (who weren’t playing tonight) to come second at their expense.
Eliminated: Serbia, Slovenia, Northern Ireland and Faroe Islands.
France qualified thanks to a late Samir Nasri goal. Meanwhile, Bosnia’s 1-1 draw with the French meant they had to make do with a play-off spot. All the other teams in the group had been knocked out before tonight.
Eliminated: Romania, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg.
Sweden beat Holland 3-2, which means they qualify as best runners up, while Holland, who had already qualified, lose their 100% record.
Qualified: Holland and Sweden (best runner-up)
Eliminated: Hungary, Finland, Moldova and San Marino.
(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Greece beat Georgia 2-1, enabling Otto Rehhagel’s side to top the group, which meant that Croatia’s 2-0 win over Latvia was academic.
Eliminated: Israel, Latvia, Georgia and Malta.
This was the only group in which everything had been decided prior to tonight’s games, with England’s draw against Montenegro on Friday meaning that the former qualified and the latter secured their position in the play-offs.
Eliminated: Switzerland, Wales and Bulgaria.
Denmark’s victory over Portugal meant they topped the group, while Norway lost out to Cristiano Ronaldo’s team for second spot. Despite beating Cyprus 3-1, they went out on goal difference.
Eliminated: Norway, Iceland and Cyprus.
Czech Republic confirmed their place in the play-offs with a win over Lithuania, while Scotland’s faint qualification hopes ended after a 3-1 loss to Spain, who had already qualified.
Play-offs: Czech Republic
Eliminated: Scotland, Lithuania and Liechtenstein.