World Cup round-up – Europe | World Soccer

Analysis of the European World Cup qualifying after Saturday’s games…

Group One
Holland’s 2-0 win overthe Czech Republic guaranteed them top spot on 31 points with a game to spare.

The Czech Republic, on 24, must win in Finland on Wednesday to overtake Romania and take second place.

Romania finished their campaign with a 1-0 win in Finland to finish on 25 points. Their head to head record with Czechs is superior so they will finish second if the the Cezech Republic fail to win on Wednesday.

Group Two
Already-qualified Ukraine drew 2-2 at home with Albania but the battle for second remains a three-way battle with Turkey, Greece and Denmark still in the hunt.

Turkey remain favourites as they will finish second if they win their final game in Albania.

Denmark will take the playoff spot if they win in Kazakhstan and Turkey lose or draw. A draw could also be enough for the Danes if Turkey lose, depending on the scoreline.

Greece have to beat Georgia in Athens and hope Denmark do not win and Turkey lose to Albania.

Group Three
Portugal qualified as group winners when they beat Liechtenstein 2-1.

Slovakia and Russia beat Estonia and Luxembourg respectively to set up a tanatlising final match-up in Bratislava.

The teams drew 1-1 in Moscow in September last year and with Slovakia having a superior goal difference they now need only to draw on Wednesday to secure a place in the play-offs.

Group Four
This remains the tightest of the groups with the top four all remain in contention for at least a play-off place.

Israel lead the way on 18 points after they beat the Faroes 2-1 but they have now finished their games and must rely on an unlikely sequence of results if they are to reach next year’s finals.

Switzerland and France both have 17 after their 1-1 draw in Bern, while Ireland are on 16 after winning 1-0 in Cyprus. France can win the group by beating Cyprus in Paris while Switzerland would then take second by drawing in Dublin.

Ireland would guarantee a play-off spot if they beat Switzerland, which would also be enough to win the group if France failed to beat the Faroes.

Despite completing an impressive unbeaten campaign, Israel’s only hope is to reach the playoffs and that would need France to lose.

Group Five
Italy reached the finals as their 1-0 win over Slovenia secured top spot with a game to spare.

Norway beat Moldova by the same score and are sure of second and a play-off slot. Slovenia could match them on points but they have an inferior heads-up record, while Scotland’s slim chancesd evaporated with the home defeat to Belarus.

Group Six
England and Poland are both through – though the group winner will be decided only when they meet in Manchester.

England’s 1-0 home win over Austria took them to 22 points, two behind Poland, who were not in action. But even if they lose their final match their record is good enough to earn one of the best runners-up spots.

Group Seven
Serbia & Montenegro won 2-0 in Lithuania to move within a win of their first finals. If they beat Bosnia at home on Wednesday they qualify as group winners.

Spain won 2-0 in Belgium but trail by two points and look set to enter the play-offs. To top the group they must win their last game in San Marino and hope Serbia lose to Bosnia. If Serbia draw with Bosnia, Spain could still top the group by beating San Marino by four goals.

Bosnia beat San Marino 3-0 and are also still in the hunt, but they must win their final game to have a chance of qualifying.

Group Eight
Croatia’s 1-0 home win over Sweden, combined with the Dutch win in Prague, ensured that on 23 points Croatia are though either as group winners or a best runner-up. They have beaten the Swedes home and away and now need only a draw away to Hungary to top the group.

Sweden need a point at home to Iceland to progress.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s