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.
Lithuania ended a run of four successive defeats in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 with victory against Malta in Gozo.
Malta began on the front foot, with Terence Vella forcing Emilijus Zubas into a fine save after six minutes, but it was the visitors who looked more likely to open the scoring. Vytautas Andriuškevičius came close with a long-range free-kick before Martynas Dapkus gave Lithuania the lead, tapping in after an Andriuškevičius corner caused havoc in the penalty area.
Malta threatened an equaliser after the break through Tristan Caruana and Vella, but it was Mindaugas Neoras's side who scored a decisive second when Artūras Žulpa's strike from the edge of the box beat Steve Sultana just shy of the hour.
The hosts' search for the result which will mean they become the first Maltese national team at any level to surpass five qualifying points continues on 15 November against Sweden.
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|Ronald Vella (MLT)||Mindaugas Neoras (LTU)|
|Vlado Glodjović (SRB)|
|Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB), Goran Kojić (SRB)|
|Dragan Krstic (SRB)|