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The 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship comprises a qualifying group stage and play-off round to determine which seven teams join hosts Israel in the final tournament.
Qualifying group stage
Teams are split into ten groups – two of six teams and eight of five – and play each other on a home and away basis. The ten group winners and four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs.
Play-off matches are played according to the knockout system, with each team playing each opponent home and away. The team which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals, extra time and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The final tournament comprises the seven play-off winners and Israel, who qualify automatically as hosts. The eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays each other once in their group with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals where the winner of Group A plays the Group B runner-up and vice-versa. The winners advance to the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Defending champions Spain completed a comfortable play-off victory against Denmark as Álvaro Vázquez struck twice in the second half in Aalborg to confirm progress to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals.
Despite the absence of Rodrigo, who scored four for Julen Lopetegui's side in Thursday's 5-0 first-leg triumph, Denmark enjoyed no respite and their slim hopes were well and truly dashed when Iker Muniain extended Spain's advantage in the 24th minute. It was a tough break for the hosts, who had controlled most of the play during the opening quarter, but they could do nothing as Isco's superb ball split the defence, allowing Martín Montoya to burst into the box and lay off unselfishly for Muniain.
With the tie as good as won, Spain slowed the pace down after the interval yet retained the efficiency in front of goal which characterised their performance over the two legs. Just after the hour, Christian Tello conjured the perfect pass for Álvaro and the Getafe CF forward showed no mercy in bringing the aggregate score to 7-0.
Their chances may have vanished, but Denmark refused to go quietly and David de Gea was forced into two excellent second-half saves, while Viktor Fischer and Daniel Høegh both struck the woodwork. A consolation finally came in added time when Anders Christiansen turned past the goalkeeper, yet there was still time for Álvaro to round off proceedings in the 92nd minute and emphatically rubber-stamp Spain's ticket to Israel.
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|Morten Wieghorst (DEN)||Julen Lopetegui (ESP)|
|Szymon Marciniak (POL)|
|Paweł Sokolnicki (POL), Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)|
|Paweł Raczkowski (POL)|