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Women's EURO groups reach their climax

Published: Monday 17 September 2012, 12.32CET
The nine qualifying groups conclude on Wednesday with four finals places to be decided, Norway and Iceland meeting for one and Denmark, England and the Netherlands hopeful of the others.
by Paul Saffer
Women's EURO groups reach their climax
Norway need a win to avoid the play-offs ©UEFA.com
 

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Published: Monday 17 September 2012, 12.32CET

Women's EURO groups reach their climax

The nine qualifying groups conclude on Wednesday with four finals places to be decided, Norway and Iceland meeting for one and Denmark, England and the Netherlands hopeful of the others.

The last UEFA Women's EURO 2013 group qualifiers are played on Wednesday with four finals places to be decided and the six-team play-off lineup confirmed.

Norway and Iceland meet in Oslo in a direct decider while Denmark need a point at home to Portugal and England can seal a place in Sweden with victory against Croatia. The team England would overtake, the Netherlands, are well-placed to avoid the play-offs as best runners-up, with Scotland, Russia and Austria also mathematically able to claim that berth, as are Denmark or England if they both do not win their groups.

All seven group winners and the best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed teams in the larger Groups 1, 2 and 3) progress to the final tournament in Sweden from 10 to 28 July 2013, drawn on 9 November. The other six runners-up go to the play-offs for the remaining three places, drawn on Friday 21 September and played over two legs on 20/21 and 24/25 October.

Qualified: Italy, Germany (holders), France, Finland, Sweden (hosts)
Secured at least play-off: Russia*, Scotland*, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, England, Austria, Denmark
Confirmed in play-offs: Spain, Ukraine

*Cannot win group but can be best runners-up

Group 1
Italy
have won the group and are the only team in one of the six-team sections with a perfect record, and the sole side in qualifying who have not conceded a goal. They will be confident of completing an unblemished run in Greece. Russia were confirmed in second place with Poland's 1-0 loss in Italy on Sunday. Russia can be best runners-up but only if they beat Poland by a big score in Moscow, England and Scotland fail to win and Denmark lose.

Group 2
Germany, aiming for a sixth straight European title, are assured of qualification and Célia Okoyino da Mbabi needs only one goal at home to Turkey to match compatriot Patricia Brocker's record of 16 in qualifying set in the 1995 edition. Spain will definitely finish second and cannot be best runners-up so are confirmed in the play-offs, where they missed out in 2009 against the Netherlands.

Group 3
What has been a four-horse race is now down to two. Norway welcome Iceland with two-time champions trailing by one point so must win to send their visitors to the play-offs. Belgium, who fell out of contention with Saturday's loss in Norway, visit the other side who were in the mix for so long, Northern Ireland.

Group 4
France have clinched first place and now have the only 100% record other than Italy's. Scotland's win in Wales on Saturday ensured second place and they will finish as best runners-up if they secure a four-goal win at home to Les Bleues in Edinburgh.

Group 5
Finland made sure of first place with victory in Estonia on Saturday and their midweek visitors Ukraine confirmed themselves in the play-offs by winning 5-0 in Belarus. They welcome Slovakia on Wednesday with both teams three points behind Ukraine, who have a superior head-to-head against either.

Group 6
England trail the Netherlands (who have completed their fixtures) by two points so will qualify with a home win against bottom side Croatia in Walsall. Should England prevail, the Netherlands will go to the finals as best runners-up unless Scotland beat France by four to better their goal diifference.

Group 7
Denmark's perfect record was ended on Saturday by Austria, who moved into a one-point lead. However, Austria have no more games left so Denmark can make sure of first place with a draw at home to Portugal. Austria can be best runners-up but only if England and Scotland both do not win.

Last updated: 17/09/12 14.09CET

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