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Sunday 22 April 2018

Euro 2012 group-by-group

Group A

Qualified: Germany

Play-off: Turkey

Germany completed a perfect Euro 2012 qualifying campaign by beating Belgium 3-1 to claim their 10th win in as many matches. Belgium (15 points) failed to advance. Germany were top on 30, while second-placed Turkey (17) booked a play-off spot following their 1-0 win over Azerbaijan.

Mesut Ozil and Andre Schuerrle struck late in the first half for Germany and Mario Gomez added another goal just after the restart.

Marouane Fellaini pulled a goal back for the visitors after 86 minutes.

Euro 2008 semi-finalists Turkey needed a win to be certain of a place in the play-offs, but Belgium's loss meant a draw would have sufficed.

Group C

Qualified: Italy

Play-off: Estonia

Italy wrapped up an unbeaten Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Northern Ireland to top Group C by 10 points as visiting coach Nigel Worthington ended his four-year stint with another defeat.

Antonio Cassano bagged a brace, with Gareth McAuley putting through his own net.

Estonia finished second in the group on 16 points to go into the play-offs for the first time.

Group D

Qualified: France

Play-off: Bosnia-Herzegovina

Samir Nasri's controversial second-half penalty sent a nervy France to the finals after a 1-1 home draw against Bosnia-Herzegovina, who had to settle for a play-off place.

France began the final qualifier a point ahead of the Bosnians and needing at least a draw to qualify automatically.

The hosts trailed to Edin Dzeko's strike five minutes before half-time and needed a 78th-minute spot-kick to secure a draw at the Stade de France.

Group E

Qualified: Holland, Sweden (as best second-placed team)

Sweden came from behind to beat Holland 3-2 and book their place at Euro 2012 as best runners-up.

The Dutch had already qualified, having won nine qualifiers on the trot to secure top spot. Kim Kallstrom put Sweden ahead when he curled a free-kick into the top corner after 14 minutes, only for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to equalise nine minutes later.

Dirk Kuyt headed the Dutch into the lead five minutes into the second half, but Sebastian Larsson levelled with a penalty two minutes later and Ola Toivonen sent Sweden through three minutes after that when he sidefooted home a rebound.

Group F

Qualified: Greece

Play-off: Croatia

Greece's remarkable come-from-behind win away to Georgia cemented their spot in Poland and Ukraine.

Georgia led 1-0 until the 79th minute when Greece turned the tie on its head with two goals in six minutes to take a famous 2-1 win.

Greece, who finished the group unbeaten, end with 24 points, with Croatia second on 22 following their 2-0 home win over Latvia. Greece are now unbeaten in 16 games since coach Fernando Santos took over from Otto Rehhagel in July 2010.

With Greece trailing for so long, Croatia's 2-0 win over Latvia looked likely to give them top spot, but the Croats had the silver lining of a play-off berth.

Group H

Qualified: Denmark

Play-off: Portugal

Denmark's 2-1 win over Portugal ensured they topped the group and sent their opponents into the play-offs.

Norway's admirable 3-1 win over Cyprus came to nothing in the end as they needed to overcome a nine-goal swing in Portugal's favour.

Group I

Qualified: Spain

Play-off: Czech Republic

There was no fairytale ending for Scotland as they went down 3-1 to Spain, while the Czech Republic, as expected, won in Lithuania.

Only a win would have done for Craig Levein's side but, in the end, the Scots campaign ended with a whimper.

The Czechs were 2-0 up inside 16 minutes on their way to a 4-1 win which confirmed their play-off spot.

Irish Independent

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