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.
England's excellent start to UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 8 continued as a dominant performance against Iceland was rounded off with two fine goals from substitute Gary Gardner.
It was a fourth win in succession for England, who are five points clear of second-placed Norway, have scored 16 goals and conceded just once in reply. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the star in Reykjavik last month, hitting a hat-trick in England's 3-0 win, and the 18-year-old should have opened the scoring in the return but chipped wide after stealing the ball from Eidur Sigurbjornsson.
The opening goal came from Marvin Sordell, who released Jordan Henderson before powering into the penalty box to guide the Liverpool FC midfielder's cross into the net. Martin Kelly then stole possession from Gudlaugur Pálsson and charged through to finish emphatically on 58 minutes, before fellow centre-back Craig Dawson headed in his fourth goal in qualifying with five minutes remaining.
Aston Villa FC midfielder Gardner scored the first goals of his senior career in added time, the first a beautiful curling free-kick from 25 metres and the second a low shot from the edge of the area. Belgium will try to halt England's momentum when they host Stuart Pearce's side on Monday in Mons.
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