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Germany almost there; Sweden, Belarus close in

Published: Tuesday 7 June 2011, 22.45CET
Germany moved to within a win of a place at the finals after the last set of qualifiers before the summer break, while Sweden and Belarus also boosted their hopes on Tuesday.

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Published: Tuesday 7 June 2011, 22.45CET

Germany almost there; Sweden, Belarus close in

Germany moved to within a win of a place at the finals after the last set of qualifiers before the summer break, while Sweden and Belarus also boosted their hopes on Tuesday.

Germany moved to within sight of UEFA EURO 2012 after the last set of qualifiers before the summer break − as Sweden, Hungary, Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina boosted their hopes with victories and the Faroe Islands wrecked Estonia's.

A 3-1 win in Azerbaijan left Germany on a perfect 21 points from seven Group A games, ten clear of Belgium. In fact, only Turkey, who have a game in hand, can catch the 2008 runners-up, now assured at the very worst of a play-off berth and just one win from the finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Another side with a 100% record, the Netherlands, were not in Group E action but their nearest rivals, Sweden and Hungary, both were. Sweden moved to within three points thanks to an excellent 5-0 defeat of Finland, substitute Zlatan Ibrahimović claiming a hat-trick. Hungary won 3-0 in San Marino and are three points further back but have played a game more than the top two.

Thanks to a 2-0 win against Luxembourg, Belarus are only a point behind France in Group D, though Les Bleus have a match in hand. Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Albania 2-0 to leap from fifth to third, two points behind Belarus but the same distance ahead of their visitors and Romania.

Estonia could have gone third in Group C, ahead of Serbia and only a point off Slovenia in second, but instead suffered a 2-0 reverse in the Faroe Islands. After their first EURO qualifying win since 1995, the Faroes are at home to Northern Ireland on 10 August before qualifying continues in earnest on 2 September.

Last updated: 16/06/11 11.33CET

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