miércoles, 13 de junio de 2012

Euro 2012 headlines

11th October - All Euro 2012 qualifying results are in - and all automatic qualifiers have been decided. In Group A Turkey make the play-offs after a narrow victory over Azerbaijan. Group winners Germany did the Turkish a huge favour by beating Belgium 3-1 to finish with a 100% record.
Russia ensured qualification by beating minnows Andorra 6-0 - but all eyes were on Dublin where the Republic of Ireland rode their luck to beat Armenia 2-1 and advance to November's knock out double header from Group B.
Group C's winner was already decided with Italy comfortably winning the group. Serbia could have gone through to the play-offs with a point in Slovenia but slipped up to Vrsic goal in first half stoppage time. The heart breaking result for the Serbs means Estonia make the play-offs without kicking a ball tonight.
Group D went all the way with the top two fighting it out in Saint-Denis, Paris for the top spot. France needed a Sami Nasri penalty thirteen minutes from time to equalise for the French - who pip Bosnia and Herzegovina for automatic qualification.
Group E was all over bar the shouting before today's round of matches but Sweden managed to stun group winners the Netherlands to ensure they qualify automatically as best runners up.
Two late goals for Greece in Georgia secured top spot for the 2004 champions in Group F. Croatia miss out on automatic qualification despite a 2-0 win over Latvia.
Group H provided the surprise of the night as Denmark beat Portugal 2-1 in Copenhagen to take top spot - and consign the Portuguese to next months nail biting play-offs.
Group I has been a stroll for Spain and tonight was no different as the European and World Champions finish qualifying with eight wins out of eight. The defeat for Scotland in Alicante - and the Czech Republic's 4-1 win in Lithuania - means it's the Czechs, and not the Tartan army that have a chance of getting through to Poland and Ukraine.
7th October - England qualify for Euro 2012 after tough test in Montenegro - England threw away a two goal lead and finished with 10 men, but still came away from Montenegro happy after a hard fought 2-2 draw ensures they will qualify for the 2012 European Championships. Wayne Rooney will miss at least the first game of the finals however, after seeing red when he kicked out angrily at Miodrag Dzudovic late in the second half. Montenegro secured second spot in Group G with the draw after Switzerland lost 2-0 in Wales.
6th September - Italy qualify for Poland and Ukraine - Italy are the second nation to qualify for Euro 2012 after a narrow 1-0 victory over Slovenia in Group C. Serbia are now in pole position to take second place after beating the Faroe Islands 3-1 in Belgrade.
Spain qualify from Group I after hammering whipping boys Liechtenstein 6-0 in Logrono - and can now concentrate on defending their European Championship title next year.
The Netherlands qualify following a 2-0 win in Finland. Although unlikely, Sweden can still top Group E but should that happen, the Dutch would qualify as best second place side.
England are on the brink in Group G after a 1-0 victory over neighbours Wales. The Three Lions only need a point in Montenegro next month to ensure qualification.
The Republic of Ireland fought out a goalless draw in Russia to keep alive their qualification hopes. Remarkably Slovakia, who could have gone top of the group with a win at home to Armenia, lost 4-0 and drop to fourth as Group B goes right to the death.
2nd September - Germany first to qualify after thrashing Austria - The Germans can always be relied upon to do well in major tournaments and Euro 2012 is no exception so far. After a faultless run in Group A qualifying, with eight wins from eight, the runners up from 2008 take their place in Poland and Ukraine with a 6-2 mauling of neighbours Austria in Gelsenkirchen.
Italy are on the brink in Group C after squeezing past the Faroe Islands 1-0 tonight. The Azurri have an eight point lead and can only be caught by Serbia - but with three games left to get the two points they need, the Italians will already be booking their hotels for Poland and Ukraine.
The Netherlands maintained their 100% record in style at home to San Marino in Group E. The Dutch put eleven past the hapless minnows and are now six points clear with three games to play.
England took a huge step towards the finals with a convincing 3-0 win in Bulgaria. Neighbours Wales did England a huge favour by beating second placed Montenegro 2-1 in Cardiff to ensure the English comfortably top Group G with only two games to go.
4th June - Flat England lucky to still be on top - It seems that nobody wants to win Group G as the two leading sides both dropped points in the latest round of games. England went 2-0 down at home to Switzerland before rescuing a point with a Frank Lampard penalty and a sweet Ashley Young strike, while Montenegro also dropped points at home to Bulgaria - Ivelin Popov's second half equaliser just about keeping the Bulgarians in the hunt for qualification.
Group B couldn't be tighter with three teams on 13 points. The Republic of Ireland lead on goal difference after a solid 2-0 win in Macedonia. Russia beat Armenia 3-1 to take second place while Slovakia struggled past tiny Andorra 1-0 to hang on to the coat tails of the leaders. When the qualifiers and play-off entrants are decided, it could be head to head records that determine the winners and losers.
Greece return to the top of Group F tonight with a 3-1 home win over whipping boys Malta. The 2004 European Champions have a slender one point lead over Croatia and Israel as Group F looks like going all the way to the final game.
3rd June - Germany march on in Group A - But it was close in Austria as Mario Gomez scored in the final minute to give the visitors victory in Vienna. Germany are now 7 points clear in Group A of second place and look a shoe in for automatic qualification for Poland and Ukraine.
Belgium were looking for revenge against Turkey as 2nd and 3rd in Group A played each other in Brussels tonight. Turkey won the corresponding fixture 3-2 in September but a goal each in the first half meant the two sides share the spoils this time, as they battle for the runners up spot behind the runaway leaders.
Italy look comfortable in Group C after a convincing 3-0 victory over Estonia. Gli Azzurri have a game in hand and a 7 point advantage over Slovenia in second - themselves 2-0 winners in the Faroe Islands - and look like needing only a win and a draw from their final four games to make Euro 2012.
In other notable games, Belarus and France played out a 1-1 draw in Group D, while Croatia go top of Group F after coming from a goal behind to beat Georgia 2-1.
Sweden are still in contention in Group E after thrashing Moldova 4-1 in Chisinau but still have a long way to go to catch Holland - who don't play again until September.
29th March - The Nertherlands march on in Group E - The Dutch had to come from behind to beat Hungary 5-3 in Amsterdam and are now a huge nine points clear at the top. Sweden kept up the pressure with a narrow victory over Moldova and now have two games in hand on the top team in the race for qualification.
Spain kept up their 100% record in Group I with a 3-1 win in Lithuania. The Czech Republic got back on track after defeat at the weekend with a 2-0 home win over Liechtenstein.
There were problems for match reporters in Israel tonight when Tal Ben Haim scored Israel's winner in a 1-0 victory over Georgia in Group F. The goalscorer was not the Portsmouth defender and Israel stalwart. His 21 year old namesake came off the bench to bag all three points for the blues and whites as Group F gets tighter and tighter.
26th March - England brush Wales aside to go top of Group G - A 7th minute penalty from Frank Lampard and a 14th minute tap in from Darren Bent gave the English the spoils in Cardiff. Lacklustre Wales sit rock bottom of Group G with nothing to show so far from their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
The other game in Group G saw Bulgaria and Switzerland play out a disappointing 0-0 draw - meaning a defeat for either in the next qualifiers in June will end their Euro 2012 qualifying hopes.
Germany go a massive 8 points clear in Group A tonight following a typically efficient demolition of Kazakhstan in Kaiserslautern. Miroslav Klose and Thomas Mueller bagged a brace each to maintain the German's 100% record.
The Republic of Ireland went joint top in Group B tonight with a 2-1 win over visitors Macedonia in Dublin. Talisman Robbie Keane got the winning goal, but a reply from Trickovski on the stroke of half time meant the Irish had some nervy second half moments to negotiate on their way to the three points.
25th March - Euro 2012 qualification resumes after the winter break - and there were no shocks in Group C as Serbia beat Northern Ireland 2-1 in front of just a couple of hundred Irish fans in Belgrade. Home fans were banned from the game after crowd trouble in Italy last year - and the home side struggled in the eerie atmosphere in the first half going in at the break 1-0 down. But second half goals from Pantelic and Tosic gave the Serbs the three points.
Italy ground out a 1-0 victory in Slovenia to open up a six point lead at the top of Group C. Thiago Motta scored the decider on 73 minutes in Ljubljana.
European and World champions Spain struggled past the Czech Republic in Granada tonight - eventually prevailing by the odd goal in three. David Villa became Spain's highest goalscorer with a second half brace to turn the Group I game around after the Czechs led at half time.
The Netherlands sit six points clear in Group E tonight after hammering second place Hungary 4-0 in Budapest. England based trio Rafael van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie were all on the score sheet for the Dutch. Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay chipped in with the other goal for the visitors.
Belgium go third in Group A tonight after a 2-0 victory in Austria, with Axel Witsel's double ending Austria's unbeaten qualifying run in Vienna.
France made it four wins on the spin in Euro 2012 qualifying with a comfortable 2-0 win against Group D whipping boys Luxembourg. The visitors netted in each half to go four points clear of Belarus - who play their game in hand against Albania tomorrow.
17th November - Two matches to catch up with in Euro 2012 qualifying - While most international teams were involved in friendlies tonight, four nations competed in Euro 2012 qualifiers. Finland brushed visitors San Marino aside 8-0 in Group E with the help of a Mikael Forssell hat-trick while Croatia went top of Group F with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Malta in Zagreb.
29th October - Italy awarded 3-0 victory over Serbia following crowd trouble - UEFA today handed Italy the three points after the Group C qualifier with Serbia on the 12th October was abandoned after just 7 minutes. Following the disturbances caused by travelling fans, Serbia will also have to play at least one game behind closed doors.  
12th October - Italy v Serbia abandoned due to crowd trouble - After just 7 minutes of play the Group C qualifier in Genoa was called off tonight as flares and fireworks rained down from the Serbian fans. The travelling fans were urged to calm down by players before the kick off after clashes with police earlier in the day but disorder returned - and with Italy goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano in the firing line, referee Craig Thompson called a halt to proceedings. UEFA must now decide whether to award the game to the Italians - and whether to allow Serbia to continue in the competition.
Montenegro stay top of Group G tonight, and with a comfortable three point cushion, after a spirited 0-0 draw at Wembley against England. The minnows limited the disjointed home side to just a handful of half chances on their way to a share of the spoils. It could have been even better for the Montenegrins - Milan Jovanovic's 83rd minute shot clattered back off the bar with keeper Joe Hart well beaten.
Group A was where the action was tonight. Belgium and Austria shared eight goals in Brussels with the visitors scoring deep in injury time through late substitute Martin Harnik to grab a point. Meanwhile the shock of the night was unfolding in Baku where Azerbaijan beat Turkey by a single goal. Rashad Sadygov may have a few awkward moments when he returns to his club after the international break. He plies his trade in Turkey with Eskisehirspor and it was the Azerbaijan skipper's goal that sunk the visitors. 
9th October - France leave it late in Paris - It has been a dark period for the French after their World Cup debacle but there is light at the end of the tunnel now as they go top in Group D after a late win against Romania. Second half substitute Loic Remy gave the French the lead just 7 minutes from time before Yoann Gourcuff secured the three points in injury time.
Croatia went top of Group F today with a 2-1 win in Israel. Tottenham's Niko Kranjcar was the difference between the two sides as he hit a first half double to give the visitors the points in Ramat Gan.
8th October - They were 150-1 to win the group at the beginning of Euro 2012 qualifying but the world's newest international side top Group G tonight - a 1-0 win at home to Switzerland means it's three out of three for Montenegro. Next up on Tuesday is a trip to Wembley to face England where another win will really put the newbies on the international football map.
There were more heroics from Northern Ireland tonight as they held Italy 0-0 in Group C. Both sides had gilt edged chances to win the game but it will be the Irish who will be happier tonight as they remain unbeaten after two matches.
Portugal finally won a qualifier in Group H beating Denmark 3-1 in Porto. Christiano Ronaldo was back to inspire the home side with the third after former Manchester United team-mate Nani had bagged a first half brace. They still have a way to go to climb to the summit in Group H however, as Norway won in Cyprus to go 5 points clear.
7th September - All the results are in from the first round of Euro 2012 qualifying: And it's Portugal making the headlines tonight. A 1-0 defeat in Norway leaves the 2004 finalists languishing second from bottom in Group H with Denmark up next on the 8th October.
There was a dramatic end to Scotland's match against Liechtenstein in Group I. With the scores locked at 1-1, and with 7 minutes of injury time played, Stephen McManus headed in the winner to send the tartan army wild.
England maintained their 100% record in Group G with a comfortable 3-1 win in Switzerland. The victory takes England to the top of the group on six points alongside Montenegro - 1-0 winners in Bulgaria.
France finally got in the groove in Bosnia with a 2-0 victory in Group D, while fellow World Cup flops Italy continued their steady progress with a 5-0 hammering of the Faroe Islands in Group C.
Highest scorers of the night were Germany and Sweden. Each side hit 6 past Azerbaijan and San Marino in Group A and Group E respectively.
3rd September - Full qualifying program sees shocks and redemption: World Cup flops England went some way to appeasing their critics with a resounding 4-0 win over Bulgaria in Group G. Tottenham's Jermain Defoe blasted a hat-trick but England's defensive injury woes continue as Michael Dawson was carried off with a knee injury.
France's dismal year didn't get any better tonight in Paris. New boss Laurent Blanc saw his charges stunned by Belarus in Group D. Substitute Sergei Kislyak got the only goal 4 minutes from time.
There was a goal fest in Group H as Portugal and Cyprus shared 8 goals in an amazing game in Guimaraes. Portugal were behind twice in the first half - and led twice in the second - before Andreas Avraam had the last word to give Cyprus a share of the spoils 2 minutes from time.
2nd September 2010 - Israel kick off with comfortable win: Chelsea new boy Yossi Benayoun scored a hat-trick as minnows Malta were brushed aside in Ramat Gan.
11th August 2010 - First qualifying match kicks off in Tallinn:  Estonia and the Faroe Islands had the honour of contesting the first qualifier for Poland and Ukraine as they went head to head in the Estonian capital. The Faroe Islands were on the brink of victory following a goal from Newcastle United midfielder Joan Edmundsson on 28 minutes. Estonia forward Kaimar Saag had other ideas and broke the hearts of the tiny island nation, netting in injury time before a dramatic last ditch winner from Raio Piiroja that takes Estonia to the summit in Group C.
Poland and Ukraine will host Euro 2012!
In a shock decision, the hosting of Euro 2012 has gone to Poland and Ukraine. The Eastern European neighbours beat off a bid by World Cup holders Italy and a joint bid from Hungary and Croatia to host the 14th European football championship. 
The decision was announced in Cardiff, Wales on April 18th 2007 at a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee.
Head of the Ukranian FA, Hryphor Surkis said, "It is my main aim to hold a tournament that will change both our country and its people".
There had been concerns about a Polish bid following a corruption scandal that rocked the national game and nearly resulted in Poland's expulsion from Euro 2008. FIFA president Sepp Blatter moved to allay such concerns when he said, "The Polish [football] federation has recovered the total rights and confidence of the FIFA family...".
Late lobbying by Poland and Ukraine appears to have been the deciding factor in the decision and new UEFA chief Michel Platini is thought to have been an influence in taking the tournament to Eastern Europe. Platini said, “Today Poland/Ukraine has been chosen by the UEFA Executive Committee to host UEFA Euro 2012 and they are surely a worthy winner. However there are no losers today, rather only bids that have not won this time round.”
Euro 2012 will be the first major sporting event held in former communist Eastern Europe since the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
Also addressed at the UEFA meeting was the possibility of an expansion of the European Championships to 24 teams. This will not happen in Poland and Ukraine but a timetable has been put in place to conduct a study into possible expansion for Euro 2016 onwards.

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