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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina revived their prospects of qualifying from UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group 1 with a runaway victory against Cyprus.
The hosts completed their second success of the group stage after a dominant first half in which they raced into a four-goal lead. Edin Višća put them ahead with a fourth-minute penalty, and from there on it was one-way traffic, the impressive Nemanja Bilbija doubling the lead on 18 minutes, before Zakarić powered Višća's corner past Kyriakos Ioannou (25).
The fourth goal also stemmed from a corner, conceded after Ioannou made a fine save from Bilbija, whose subsequent corner was erroneously steered past the Cyprus goalkeeper by Marios Antoniades.
Several half-time changes made for a less open second period, although there was some cheer for Cyprus when Andreas Pittaras scored a penalty after Zakarić's foul on Stelios Demetriou. Miroslav Stevanović stole his thunder, though, racing through to score a splendid fifth for Vlado Jagodić's charges.
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