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UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying by numbers

Published: Tuesday 29 November 2011, 12.14CET
With the UEFA EURO 2012 draw looming, picks up some key stats from qualifying, with the 2008 finalists Spain and Germany boasting unblemished records.
UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying by numbers
Germany can claim to have had the most impressive qualifying campaign ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 29 November 2011, 12.14CET

UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying by numbers

With the UEFA EURO 2012 draw looming, picks up some key stats from qualifying, with the 2008 finalists Spain and Germany boasting unblemished records.

Qualifying basics
Germany and Spain – finalists at UEFA EURO 2008 – were the only sides to finish qualifying with 100% records, but Joachim Löw's team may cite theirs as the more impressive given they had to play ten games in Group A rather than the eight Spain navigated in Group I.

Germany also scored an average of 3.4 goals a game whereas Vicente del Bosque's men managed a more modest 3.25.

Germany were the first side to qualify for the finals, apart from the co-hosts, sealing their place with a 6-2 win against Austria on 2 September 2011.

• In their last qualifying match – the 3-1 victory at home to Scotland – Spain equalled France and the Netherlands' record of 14 consecutive wins in official competition.

• The Netherlands lost their 100% record on the final day, losing 3-2 in Sweden having already confirmed their finals place. Bert van Marwijk's men boasted the top scorer in qualification – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on 12 – and the highest goal average: 3.7 per game. Their 11-0 defeat of San Marino was the Oranje's biggest international victory.

• In addition to the Oranje's 11-0 win, Hungary and Finland both beat San Marino 8-0, and there were five other thrilling matches where teams shared out eight goals more evenly.
Belgium 4-4 Austria
Germany 6-2 Austria
Netherlands 5-3 Hungary
Portugal 4-4 Cyprus
Portugal 5-3 Iceland

Andorra and San Marino were the only sides to end the qualifying campaign with no points. Andorra scored one goal and conceded 25 in Group B, while San Marino had a particularly torrid time – their 11-0 loss to the Netherlands was the worst of their ten Group E defeats; they conceded 53 goals without scoring.

Greece and the Czech Republic are the lowest-scoring countries to reach UEFA EURO 2012, registering 14 and 15 goals respectively in ten games en route to Poland and Ukraine. Greece's 14 came in ten matches as they came first in Group F; the Czechs notched just 12 – including three Michal Kadlec penalties – in eight Group I outings to finish runners-up before scoring three more in the play-offs against Montenegro.

Italy boast the best defensive record going into the finals. They were breached only twice – against Estonia and Serbia – in ten Group C fixtures, an average of 0.2 goals per game.

• Of the 16 teams at UEFA EURO 2012, only Ukraine will be making their first European finals appearance, though plenty of Ukrainian players – not least current national coach Oleh Blokhin – featured in the Soviet Union's numerous finals campaigns in the past.

• The Republic of Ireland have been absent from the finals the longest of all the qualified sides, last competing at the 1988 competition in West Germany in what was their continental finals debut.

Oldest and youngest
Oldest player: Jákup Mikkelsen (40 years and 361 days) – Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland, 10/08/2011

Oldest outfield player: David Weir (40 years and 155 days) – Scotland v Spain, 12/10/10

Oldest scorer: Jari Litmanen (39 years and 272 days) – Finland v San Marino, 17/11/10

Youngest player: Romelu Lukaku (17 years and 112 days) – Belgium v Germany, 07/09/10

Youngest scorer: Václav Kadlec (18 years and 145 days) – Liechtenstein v Czech Republic, 12/10/10

Final score
• The first goal on the road to Poland–Ukraine was scored by Faroe Islands striker Jóan Edmundsson on 11 August 2010 in Tallinn; his team went on to lose 2-1.

• With 12 goals, Huntelaar was the leading marksman in qualifying, just one shy of the 13-goal record set by Northern Ireland's David Healy in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying. Huntelaar's tally is all the more remarkable given he played in only eight of the Oranje's ten matches, thus averaging 1.5 goals a game.

• Ten players hit hat-tricks in qualification, yet only Robin van Persie went on to score a fourth goal in a single match, doing so in the Netherlands' 11-0 win against San Marino.

• The hat-trick scorers are listed (with goal times) in chronological order:
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 38 48 66 (San Marino 0-5 Netherlands, Group E, 03/09/10)
Tim Matavž 25 36 65 (Slovenia 5-1 Faroe Islands, Group C, 08/10/10)
Ádám Szalai 18 27 48 (Hungary 8-0 San Marino, Group E, 08/10/10)
Yossi Benayoun 7 64p 75 (Israel 3-1 Malta, Group F, 02/09/10)
Jermain Defoe 3 61 86 (England 4-0 Bulgaria, Group G, 03/09/10)
Xherdan Shaqiri 45+2 62 90 (Switzerland 3-1 Bulgaria, Group G, 06/09/11)
Roman Pavlyuchenko 26 59 73p (Russia 3-1 Armenia, Group B, 04/06/11)
Zlatan Ibrahimović 31 35 53 (Sweden 5-0 Finland, Group E, 07/06/11)
Robin van Persie 7 65 67 79 (Netherlands 11-0 San Marino, Group E, 02/09/11)
Mikael Forssell 51 59 78 (Finland 8-0 San Marino, Group E, 17/11/10)

• Five of those ten trebles were scored against San Marino.

• Ibrahimović's 22-minute hat-trick against Finland was the fastest in qualifying.

• Huntelaar was the solitary player to claim a treble away from home in qualifying.

Personal bests
• Two players scored their 50th international goals in UEFA EURO 2012 qualification:
– The Republic of Ireland's Robbie Keane became the first player from the British Isles to reach 50 goals, registering numbers 50 and 51 in a 2-0 win in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 4 June 2011. Two more goals against Estonia in the play-offs took his haul to 53.
– Spain's David Villa surpassed Raúl González's national-team record of 44 goals, netting twice in a 2-1 victory over the Czechs on 25 March 2011. He achieved the 50 mark in the 3-1 success against Scotland in the world and European champions' concluding qualifier.

• The following players (listed in chronological order) earned their 100th caps in the course of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.
Mario Frick (Liechtenstein) v Switzerland, friendly, 10 August 2011
Dennis Rommedahl (Denmark) v Germany, friendly, 11 August 2010
Yiannis Okkas (Cyprus) v Norway, Group H, 8 October 2010
Giorgos Karagounis (Greece) v Latvia, Group F, 8 October 2010
Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine) v Canada, friendly, 8 October 2010
Michał Żewłakow (Poland) v United States, friendly, 9 October 2010
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Ukraine) v Brazil, friendly, 11 October 2010
Miroslav Karhan (Slovakia) v Republic of Ireland, Group B, 12 October 2010
Martin Jørgensen (Denmark) v Czech Republic, friendly, 17 November 2010
Raio Piiroja (Estonia) v Uruguay, friendly, 25 March 2011
Xavi Hernández (Spain) v Czech Republic, Group I, 25 March 2011
Stilyan Petrov (Bulgaria) v Switzerland, Group G, 26 March 2011
Dejan Stanković (Serbia) v Faroe Islands, Group C, 6 September 2011
Levan Kobiashvili (Georgia) v Greece, Group F, 11 October 2011

• In addition, Croatia boss Slaven Bilić took his combined appearances total to 100 in a 2-0 loss away to Greece on 7 October 2011 – capped 43 times as a player, he was overseeing his 57th game as a coach.

• Kevin Kilbane's unprecedented run of 66 straight competitive matches for the Republic of Ireland ended when a back injury forced him to miss the 0-0 Dublin draw with Slovakia on 2 September 2011.

Minor landmarks
Montenegro and Estonia both broke new ground, contesting a play-off for the first time in their histories – losing out to the Czechs and Ireland respectively.

• Of the other play-off contenders, only Bosnia and Herzegovina had never been to a major championship before. They were denied a place this time by Portugal, having fallen to the same opponents in the 2010 World Cup play-offs. Still, their points tally of 20 was a national record.

• Four different coaches led Finland in UEFA EURO 2012 qualification: following Stuart Baxter's departure, Olli Huttunen took charge for one game – a national-record 8-0 triumph over San Marino – and Markku Kanerva for three friendlies before Mixu Paataleinen was put in permanent command.

• David Healy joined former Manchester United FC defender Mal Donaghy as Northern Ireland's most-capped outfield player as he made his 91st outing against Italy on 11 October 2011; goalkeeper Pat Jennings holds the national record with 119 caps.

• For the first time in their history Bulgaria failed to score a home goal during UEFA European Championship qualifying. Their three Group G strikes all came on their travels. Midfielder Petrov ended the campaign with 106 caps, having earlier broken Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) president Borislav Mihaylov's national record of 102.

• Along with team-mate Nemanja Vidić, Serbia captain Dejan Stanković announced his retirement from international football at the close of the qualifying programme. He had earned 102 caps, the same as his nation's most-capped player Savo Milošević. Stanković is the only Serbian player to have featured at three World Cups: 1998, 2006 and 2010.

Last updated: 29/11/11 13.15CET

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