Trailblazing Denmark, Switzerland among seven best

Group winners Denmark, Finland, Georgia, France, Latvia and Armenia plus best runners-up Switzerland made progress to the main round with England among those pipped.

Finland dominated Group B, topping the section with a 100% record and without a goal conceded
Finland dominated Group B, topping the section with a 100% record and without a goal conceded ©Vijesti

Group winners Denmark, Finland, Georgia, France, Latvia and Armenia plus best runners-up Switzerland progressed from the UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 preliminary round after the final set of fixtures today.

FINAL STANDINGS

Main round draw: 18–21 March
Group 1: Russia, Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Latvia

Group 2: Spain, Hungary, FYR Macedonia*, Switzerland

Group 3: Italy (holders), Belarus, Poland*, Finland

Group 4: Ukraine, Azerbaijan*, Belgium, Denmark

Group 5: Czech Republic, Slovenia*, Norway, France

Group 6: Croatia*, Slovakia, Turkey, Armenia

Group 7: Portugal, Romania*, Kazakhstan, Georgia

*Mini-tournament hosts

• The seven main round group winners will advance to join hosts Serbia in the final tournament from 2–13 February 2016.

•  The seven runners-up plus the best third-placed team will enter the play-offs on 15 and 22 September 2015 (drawn on 10 June). The winners of these four two-legged ties will complete the 12-nation lineup for the finals.

Saturday's action
Group A

Gibraltar 1-9 Denmark
• The Danes seized control of the match with three goals in the first 15 minutes and never let up. Gibraltar got their second ever goal at this level, but could not handle Mads Falck, who struck four times to claim top spot for his side. It will be Denmark's first-ever appearance in the main qualifying round.

Greece 2-3 Bulgaria
• Yosif Shutev's last-gasp goal earned Bulgaria a hard-fought win in a tight match, but the margin of victory the mini-tournament hosts required to progress eluded them.

Group B
Wales 2-1 Cyprus
• After two straight defeats, Richard Gunney's outfit go out with a bang by procuring their first-ever competitive win. Point-less Cyprus get their first goal of the campaign, but cannot prevent a bottom-place finish.

Finland 2-0 Montenegro
• Mikko Kytölä was the hero, scoring twice as Finland beat mini tournament hosts Montenegro 2-0 to finish top of Group B with maximum points and without a goal conceded.

Group C
Estonia 5-7 Switzerland

• A determined Estonia caused Switzerland plenty of problems, even after going 3-0 down, but Balvis Gonzalez was the four-goal hero as the Swiss claimed the spoils in a thrilling match that featured two red cards and two penalties. Gonzalez's goals proved vital, as Switzerland progress to the main qualifying round, pipping England on goals scored.

Georgia 8-2 Lithuania
• After Switzerland's result, Georgia needed to win by two clear goals and although Lithuania took a suprise lead, they ultimately offered little resistance as Alik Sarkisyan's side clinched top spot in style.

Group D
San Marino 0-11 Albania

• A hat-trick for Mentor Mejzini helped Albania storm to an emphatic victory, three players scoring doubles as they ended on a high after back-to-back defeats.

France 4-2 Moldova
• Les Bleus joined Finland in progressing with a 100% record, Sid Belhaj grabbing his third in as many games to put France back on track after their 2-0 lead had been wiped out.

Group E
Andorra 2-3 England

• England stormed out of the blocks with George Nash and Ian Parkes putting them two ahead. Flying goalkeeper Jonathan Perez gave Andorra some hope, but England held on during an intense conclusion after Luke Ballinger and Marçal Raventóshad traded goals. Latvia, though, were to extinguish England's hope, Peter Sturgess' charges eliminated despite an eight-game unbeaten run.

Latvia 8-0 Malta
• Latvia needed to win by three goals to secure qualification and they did not waste any time, bursting three in front within two minutes and adding a fourth shortly after. Malta stemmed the tide slightly, but Latvia pressed home their advantage and sealed passage to the Elite Round on goal difference. "This group has been of a high standard - the next will be even tougher, but we hope to win," said Latvia coach Artūrs Šketovs. "I wish them the very best," said Malta's Mark Marlow. "We have seen what real futsal is."

Group F
Scotland 1-6 Armenia
• A match dominated by Armenia from start to finish - Scotland's only real opportunities came when their opponents played with an extra field player for the final ten minutes. Armenia secured top spot with a ruthless attacking display.

Israel 0-4 Sweden
• Neat, quick combinations were the key to a comprehensive Sweden victory sealed by four different scorers, but ultimately it was a defeat to Armenia in the first match which cost the Swedes dear.

Reporters: Ben Gladwell, Aleksandar Radović, Nicklas Vinde, Victor Daghi, Christine Borg & Aleksei Binkovski

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