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.
Slovakia continued their perfect start to UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 9 with a comfortable win in Latvia.
Having already beaten Latvia 2-0 at home in June, Slovakia were ahead on two minutes through Marián Kolmokov. By the end had secured their third victory in the section and struck their ninth unanswered goal.
Taking on a side yet to get off the mark or score a goal in the section, Kolmokov turned in Juraj Vavrík's high cross in Slovakia's very first attack. Alans Siņeļņikovs hit the bar with a free-kick soon after but the visitors resumed their dominance, and three minutes from the break Ján Greguš shot in from outside the box via the right post.
Four minutes into the second half Matúš Čonka also scored from distance and it was 4-0 shortly afterwards as Milan Lalkovič's cross was turned in by Vavrík. Further goals came when Arnold Šimonek pounced on a rebound after the post was struck twice by Vavrík, who did have his second near the end when sent through by Samuel Štefánik. Slovakia have a crucial trip to France on 14 November, also Latvia's next destination on 2 June.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
|Mihails Zemļinskis (LVA)||Ivan Galád (SVK)|
|Ognjen Valjić (BIH)|
|Dalibor Drašković (BIH), Hrvoje Turudić (BIH)|
|Edin Jakupovic (BIH)|