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Euro 2012 qualifying wrap: Sweden, Montenegro maintain finals course

8 October 2011 04:11

Sweden and Montenegro secured play-off spots, while Germany, Spain and the Netherlands maintained perfect records in Euro 2012 qualifying.

Erik Hamren's Sweden side sealed second place in Group E after a 2-1 away win over Finland.

Sebastian Larsson put the visitors in front within ten minutes and defender Martin Olsson extended the advantage after half-time.

A Joona Toivo strike for Finland put the visitors under immense pressure late on, but the Swedes held out to secure all three points.

The result means Sweden have the chance to qualify for next year's finals through the play-offs after the Netherlands secured top spot in the group with a 1-0 home win against Moldova.

Greece replaced Croatia as the leaders of Group F with a well-earned 2-0 victory over Slaven Bilic's side in Piraeus.

Georgios Samaras opened the scoring after 71 minutes before the hosts added a second through Theofanis Gekas, leaving the Greeks two points clear of Croatia with one game remaining.

In the group's other game, Latvia signed-off their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Malta.

Switzerland's qualifying hopes ended with a 2-0 away defeat to Wales as Montenegro's 2-2 draw with England was enough to secure the Group G play-off spot.

Goals to Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale secured all three points for Wales in Swansea.

Montenegro overturned a two-goal deficit against England to secure second place in the group.

The point was enough to ensure England's place in the finals.

Denmark kept the pressure on Group H leaders Portugal with a 4-1 win in Cyprus.

The Danes found themselves 4-0 ahead within 22 minutes as a Denis Rommedahl brace and goals to Lars Jacobsen and Michael Krohn-Delhi took the visitors out of sight.

Cyprus got on the scoresheet just before half-time through Andreas Avraam.

Portugal joined the Danes on 16 points after a 5-3 win over Iceland in Porto.

Paulo Bento's men cruised into a three-goal half-time lead thanks to a Nani double and Helder Postiga's strike.

Two Hallgrimur Jonasson efforts put Iceland on the verge of an unlilkely comeback only for Joao Moutinho and Eliseu to strike late ahead of Gylfi Sigurdsson's injury-time penalty.

Portugal's superior head-to-head record against the Danes means they only require a draw in Tuesday's blockbuster in Copenhagen to guarantee top spot in the group.

First-half goals from Juan Mata and Xabi Alonso gave Spain a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic, making it seven Group I wins from as many matches for the reigning world and European champions.

Spain had already secured a place in next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine prior to Friday's match, while the Czechs lead Scotland by two points in the race for a play-off spot.

Scotland play Liechtenstein on Saturday before travelling to Spain on Tuesday.

The Czechs visit Lithuania for their final qualifier in Kaunas.

Germany also kept up their 100 percent qualifying record in Group A after a 3-1 win over Turkey in Istanbul.

Mario Gomez and Thomas Mueller gave the visitors a two-goal advantage until Hakan Balta pulled a goal back on 79 minutes for Turkey.

Bastian Schweinsteiger restored Germany's two-goal advantage from the penalty spot six minutes later.

Belgium pounced on Turkey's defeat to snare second place after a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of Kazakhstan in Brussels, while Austria won in Azerbaijan by the same scoreline.

Russia moved a step closer to the finals in Poland and Ukraine after securing a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in their penultimate Group B qualifier.

A solitary 70th-minute strike from Alan Dzagoev proved enough to secure an impressive three points for Dick Advocaat's side, ending Slovakia's qualification hopes.

The hard-fought victory in Zilina leaves the Russians needing just a single point from their final game to secure qualification.

The Republic of Ireland and Armenia will battle it out for second place in Dublin on Tuesday, after both claimed victories against Andorra and Macedonia respectively.

Italy maintained their unbeaten record in Group C following a 1-1 draw against Serbia in Belgrade.

Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring for the visitors at Stadion Crvena Zvezda before Branislav Ivanovic pulled one back for the home side after 25 minutes.

Estonia defeated Northern Ireland 2-1 in Belfast to leapfrog the Serbs into second place.

Italy have already qualified for the finals, while Serbia will need to win in Slovenia on Tuesday to secure a play-off place.

France maintained top spot in Group D with a comfortable 3-0 win over Albania at Stade de France.

Florent Malouda opened the scoring early before Loic Remy doubled the home team's lead seven minutes before the interval.

Anthony Reveillere scored his first international goal on 67 minutes to secure three points for Laurent Blanc's side.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, who routed Luxembourg 5-0 in Zenica, face France in Paris on Tuesday knowing they must win if they are to usurp Les Bleus at the top of the standings.

Romania and Belarus drew 2-2 in Friday's other Group D clash.

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