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.
Montenegro kicked off their 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship campaign in fine style with a commanding victory in their qualifying Group 3 opener, consigning hosts Andorra to a second consecutive defeat.
Beaten 1-0 by Wales towards the end of March, Andorra held out well until Dušan Vlaisavljević's men finally broke the deadlock through Marko Vešović after 56 minutes. Captain Stefan Nikolić then doubled the deficit nine minutes later and Asmir Kajević quickly added to the visitors' advantage, before substitute Stefan Mugoša and Kajević rounded off the scoring late on.
Patience was required for Montenegro at the Estadi Comunal as Andorra defended stoutly in the opening period, but Justo Ruiz González's charges eventually buckled when Dejan Bogdanović fed Vešović to finish at the far post. The task facing the home side grew more daunting when a mistake by defender Santi Molins allowed Nikolić to pounce, and soon afterwards it was goalkeeper Oriol Oliva who failed to clear, allowing Kajević to head in from a long throw.
With Andorra tiring due to their first-half efforts, Kajević then teed up Mugoša to bury a low shot four minutes from the whistle, before he added his second in added time after collecting the ball from Nikolić and dancing past an opponent. Montenegro will look to make it two wins from two when they visit Armenia on Tuesday, with Andorra next in action away against the Czech Republic on 10 August.
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