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Ukraine closest to qualification

Published: Wednesday 17 August 2005, 16.47CET
Although no team has yet earned a place in Germany via the European qualifying groups, the picture is clearing.

Published: Wednesday 17 August 2005, 16.47CET

Ukraine closest to qualification

Although no team has yet earned a place in Germany via the European qualifying groups, the picture is clearing.

While no team has yet earned a place in Germany via the European FIFA World Cup qualifiers, or even secured a play-off berth, the picture is beginning to clear. uefa.com looks at the state of play.

Group 1
The Netherlands and the Czech Republic won twice in June, keeping the Dutch one point ahead. Romania, defeated by the Netherlands before overcoming Armenia, are five points adrift of the Czechs and have three games left to the leading pair's four. They can close the gap on 17 August when they play Andorra. Romania then welcome the Czech Republic on 3 September, as the Dutch go to Armenia.

Group 2
Unbeaten Ukraine stretched their winning run from four to six in June, beating Kazakhstan and European champions Greece, and now lead Turkey by seven points with three matches remaining. Turkey themselves are one point above Greece, with whom they drew before defeating Kazakhstan, with Denmark a further three behind albeit with a game in hand. Bottom two Georgia and Kazakhstan meet on 17 August before the crucial 3 September fixtures, when Ukraine can qualify with a win in Georgia while Turkey host Denmark.

Group 3
Portugal overcame second-placed Slovakia to open up a three-point gap before winning in Estonia. Slovakia are the same distance ahead of Russia after beating Luxembourg, but Yuri Semin's team have a game in hand. Latvia are one point behind Russia, having played a match more, and the sides face off on 17 August when Slovakia visit Liechtenstein. Portugal return to action on 3 September against pointless Luxembourg.

Group 4
The Republic of Ireland had led 2-0 only to draw at home to Israel, but their subsequent success in the Faroe Islands took them top. Switzerland, a point behind, have a game in hand on the Irish and Israel, who are two adrift. France, like the Swiss, have four games left and trail Israel by a point. Cyprus travel to the winless Faroes on 17 August, then on 3 September Israel go to Switzerland and France entertain the Faroese. Four days later the French visit Ireland and the Faroes play Israel.

Group 5
Italy drew with Norway to maintain their four-point advantage in June, with the Norwegians' next opponents, Slovenia, now only behind them on head-to-head record as they finished 1-1 against Belarus. A subsequent draw between the Belarussians and Scotland kept that pair one and two points respectively short of Norway and Slovenia. Scotland receive Italy on 3 September, when Norway tackle Slovenia and Belarus head to Moldova.

Group 6
Poland thrashed Azerbaijan to overtake England, two points behind with a match in hand. Austria are five further points adrift. On 3 September, England cross the border to Wales, Poland can clinch a top-two finish by defeating Austria and winless rivals Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan also meet.

Group 7
Spain's last-gasp equaliser against Bosnia-Herzegovina took them one point above Serbia and Montenegro, who play their game in hand on 3 September against Lithuania, three points off second spot after losing in Spain. Belgium are a further point behind and visit Bosnia-Herzegovina, whom they lead by one point, the same day. Four nights later Spain welcome Serbia and Montenegro in a vital fixture, while Belgium play San Marino and Lithuania face Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Group 8
A 3-1 win in Bulgaria helped leaders Croatia keep their one-point cushion over Sweden, who sailed past Malta 6-0. Hungary are five points behind Sweden but two clear of Bulgaria, all with four matches remaining. Sweden host Bulgaria on 3 September, as Hungary take on bottom team Malta and Croatia journey to Iceland.

Last updated: 15/04/12 6.51CET

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