Sport Soccer

Monday 22 January 2018

The other Euro 2012 play-offs

Portugal (0) v Bosnia (0)Stadium of Light, Lisbon, 9.0

Portugal coach Paulo Bento is confident his team will beat Bosnia in Lisbon tonight and qualify for Euro 2012.

The teams drew 0-0 on Friday, but Bento is feeling confident.

"It will be very tight," he said, "but we're convinced we'll go on and take control of the match. At the end of these 90 minutes we will be a happy team and, more importantly, a happy country."

Two years ago Portugal beat Bosnia in a play-off to reach the World Cup, and the visitors' striker Vedad Ibisevic is desperate to avenge that defeat.

"The time has come for this generation to go to a major competition," he said.

Sasa Papac and Boris Pandza are both available after suspension for the draw at the Bilino Polje. Midfielder Sejad Salihovic may replace Haris Medunjanin.

Montenegro (0) v Czech Rep (2)

Podgorica City Stadium, Podgorica, 7.15

Montenegro are hoping that the atmosphere in Podgorica tonight will help them to overturn a 2-0 deficit against the Czech Republic.

"We won't collapse," insisted striker Dejan Damjanovic. "We're a totally different team at home. We have to be a lot more attacking in the second leg."

Defender Stefan Savic, of Manchester City, was also in bullish form ahead of the second-leg clash.

"There's still 90 minutes to play, and I think we can beat them in our stadium. It's going to be very hard, but we have hope," he said.

Czech coach Michal Bilek's instructions to his players were simple as they look to finish off the job. "If we score once," he said, "Montenegro must get four, which will be very, very difficult."

croatia (3) v turkey (0)

Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, 7.05

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has forbidden complacency from his players despite their commanding 3-0 first-leg lead against Turkey.

"We have already forgotten the game in Istanbul," Bilic said. "The first thing we all said in the dressing-room was that we are only halfway through our task because we face a difficult 90 minutes on our own turf."

Bilic will be without the suspended Vedran Corluka and Tomislav Dujmovic.

Turkey manager Guus Hiddink has Arda Turan, Sabri Sarioglu, Emre Belozoglu and Hakan Balta suspended.

The Turks are faced with a huge task in Zagreb and there appears to be disharmony in the camp. Turan told a Turkish newspaper Hiddink's "timidity" was to blame for Friday's result.

Irish Independent

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