France and Turkey became the first teams to earn places in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs on a busy night of qualifiers.
A victory against Cyprus was required for 2002 finalists France to be confirmed as Group 1 winners and goals from Habib Bamogo and Jérémy Toulalan ensured that they made it six wins out of six. Cyprus remain second, four points ahead of Slovenia who were beaten 2-1 at home by Israel, but only six of the ten group runners-up will progress to the play-offs.
Off the mark
Turkey ensured they joined France after a 2-1 win in Portugal. Halil Altintop's winner 14 minutes from the end took his side out of reach in Group 7. England missed the chance to overhaul Portugal in second place, though, as they were held 1-1 by F.Y.R. Macedonia, who now have their first point. Portugal will secure second place with a win in England on Tuesday.
The Czech Republic - who beat France in the 2002 final - missed their chance to secure a play-off place as their perfect record was ended with a 1-0 defeat in Belarus. Tsimafei Kalachov's goal moved Belarus level on points with the Czechs in Group 3, but the holders have a game in hand and victory against the Netherlands on Tuesday would take them into the play-offs, though both the top two are secure of their places after the winless Dutch held Austria 0-0.
Eight for Italy
Italy are also on the verge of winning Group 9 after an 8-1 win against Wales. Alberto Gilardino led the way with four goals as Italy kept up their 100 per cent winning record, and a draw in Serbia and Montenegro on Tuesday is all they need to wrap up their play-off berth. Finland won 1-0 at Azerbaijan in Saturday's match, but neither side can qualify.
One win away
Germany moved to the top of Group 5 as a 3-1 win in Iceland ensured they need only win at home against Scotland on Tuesday to clinch a play-off place with a match to spare.
Poland on top
It was a similar story in Group 4 where Poland's 2-1 win in Latvia means they can secure top place on the same night with a home victory against Sweden - who are second after beating San Marino 6-0.
Norway moved to the head of Group 2 as a 3-1 win in Bosnia-Herzegovina took them a point ahead of Denmark. However, Denmark play their game in hand on Tuesday against Romania, who secured fourth place by beating Luxembourg 2-0.
Greece missed a chance to take over from Spain in Group 6 as they were held 0-0 in Armenia. Greece are now a point behind Spain and one ahead of Ukraine, who beat Northern Ireland 1-0. Spain, not playing tonight, have a game in hand, though, and a home win against Ukraine on Tuesday would take them into the play-offs.
Russia's hopes also took a setback as they lost 2-0 in away to the Republic of Ireland. Switzerland, who were not in action, lead Group 10 by four points with two games left, and a home draw against Russia on Tuesday will be enough to secure first place. Albania's hopes were ended as Georgia picked up their only win of the competition so far by a 3-1 scoreline - confirming the Swiss and Russians as the top two.
Bulgaria can still make it from Group 8 after a 1-0 win against Estonia. With one game left they have the same number of points as second-placed Belgium and one less than Croatia, who each have a match in hand. The top two face each other on Tuesday, with a Croatian win sufficient to wrap up the group.
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