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France, Germany, Sweden, Swiss, Spain impress

There were crucial wins for France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland in October's qualifiers, with Scotland, Iceland and Norway among other perfect teams.

Switzerland celebrate scoring in their 3-0 win in Italy
Switzerland celebrate scoring in their 3-0 win in Italy ©Getty Images

UEFA Women's EURO 2017 qualifying stepped up a gear over the last week with some crucial games, as Switzerland won in Italy, Sweden beat Denmark, Spain prevailed in Finland, Germany beat Russia and France came away from Ukraine with victory. UEFA.com rounds up the October action.

• The qualifying group stage runs until 20 September 2016.
• The group winners and the six best runners-up (not counting results against fifth-placed teams) will join hosts the Netherlands in the final tournament from 16 July–6 August 2017.
• The other two runners-up will play off over two legs for the remaining berth in the expanded 16-team finals from 17–25 October 2016 (after a draw, on 23 September 2016, to determine who is at home in which leg).
October results
• Latest standings

Group 1
and Iceland strengthened their grip on the group as both kept up their perfect records. Scotland moved on to three wins out of three as they beat Belarus 7-0 including two stunning late Jo Love goals on Friday. On Tuesday they prevailed 4-1 in FYR Macedonia with all their goals in a ten-minute first-half spell.

Iceland had already won 4-0 in FYR Macedonia before defeating Slovenia 6-0 away, Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir winning her 100th cap but being taken off injured in the 30th minute. Slovenia defeated Belarus 3-0 last week, thereby are the only team apart from Iceland or Scotland to have picked up points.

Action from Scotland's 4-1 win in FYR Macedonia
Action from Scotland's 4-1 win in FYR Macedonia©FFM

Group 2
Spain opened their campaign on Tuesday with what could prove the key result as Alexia Putellas and Virginia Torrecilla scored either side of a Natalia Kuikka goal in a 2-1 win in Finland, who had won both their September games. One of Finland's victims last month, the Republic of Ireland, bounced back to win 2-1 in Portugal. Ireland face Spain on 26 November, the day before Portugal and Montenegro attempt to get off the mark in Estoril.

Group 3
France followed up their opening 3-0 defeat of Romania last month as they travelled to Lviv on Tuesday and won by the same scoreline against second seeds Ukraine, Les Bleues' 35th qualifying group victory in a row coming courtesy of goals from Marie-Laure Delie, Élise Bussaglia and Amel Majri. Ukraine had opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Romania, who then won 3-0 against an Albania side already beaten 4-1 at home by Greece.

Marie-Laure Delie (right) celebrates her goal in Ukraine
Marie-Laure Delie (right) celebrates her goal in Ukraine©AFP

Group 4
The biggest crowd of qualifying so far, more than 11,000, watched Sweden beat fellow 2013 semi-finalists Denmark 1-0 through a 59th-minute Caroline Seger goal. The victory was Sweden's third in as many group games, while Denmark had only opened on Thursday by winning 4-0 against Moldova, who then lost by the same score away to a Slovakia side fresh from losing 2-0 against Poland. Sweden do not return to group action until their 8 April trip to Slovakia, who Denmark visit on 26 November.

Group 5
Germany, aiming for a seventh straight European title, built on their two September wins by defeating second seeds Russia 2-0 then overcoming Turkey 7-0, Mandy Islacker scoring early on her first two appearances. Hungary beat Turkey 1-0 and drew 1-1 in Croatia to join their second opponents on four points, eight behind Germany with a game in hand. Russia, who opened their campaign in Germany, visit Turkey and Hungary in November, while Germany next play in April.

Germany won twice for the second month running
Germany won twice for the second month running©Getty Images

Group 6
Having reached their first major tournament by qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Switzerland are on course to make their debut EURO finals after opening with a 3-0 win in Italy in which Ramona Bachmann scored twice, then managing a 4-0 defeat of Georgia, Lara Dickenmann on target twice.

Italy have never failed to make the European last eight and are on six points from three games after a vital 3-0 success in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Northern Ireland had joined the Czechs on six points by beating Georgia 3-0 away on Saturday; their next task is facing Switzerland on Lurgan on 27 November. Four days later the Czech Republic visit Switzerland.

Italy's Elisa Bartoli takes on the Czech Republic's Lucie Voňková
Italy's Elisa Bartoli takes on the Czech Republic's Lucie Voňková©Pavel Jiřík

Group 7
Belgium and Serbia both followed opening wins in September with second victories on Tuesday ahead of their 30 November showdown in Louvain. Serbia defeated Estonia 3-0 and Belgium won 5-0 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who five days earlier had prevailed 4-0 against Estonia courtesy of Milena Nikolić's hat-trick.

England, who last month won 8-0 in Estonia, return to group action at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 29 November, were in China for a three-team tournament, losing 2-1 to the hosts but beating Australia 1-0 with Jill Scott winning her 100th cap.

Belgium celebrate scoring in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Belgium celebrate scoring in Bosnia and Herzegovina©Fedja Krvavac

Group 8
Norway, the 2013 runners-up, defeated Wales 4-0 to match their opening win in Kazakhstan, while Austria prevailed 1-0 in Israel to move on to nine points from three games. Israel and Kazakhstan got off the mark with a 0-0 draw; Wales will also look for first points when they welcome Kazakhstan on 26 November then visit Israel five days later.

The hosts
The Netherlands began life under new coach Arjan van der Laan on Friday with a 2-1 win against France in Paris, Danielle van de Donk's opener and Griedge Mbock Bathy's own goal preceding Camille Abily's consolation. Then on Tuesday, the 2017 hosts' fixture against Poland in Wroclaw was abandoned at half-time due to floodlight failure. Poland led 1-0.

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