The first five teams booked their places at the UEFA eEURO 2020 finals on Monday as Groups A to E concluded.
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Unbeaten Serbia went into Matchday 2 in the box seat but while England’s challenge faltered, Spain pushed them all the way for supremacy in the 'group of death'. It ultimately went down to the last match, a face-off between the pair, with the pressure further ramped up by a slight delay due to connection issues. A 2-2 draw took Serbia through; Spain will line up in the play-offs.
The biggest upset of the night was delivered by Romania. Having beaten fancied Portugal on Matchday 1, they repeated the feat on Monday in a nine-goal thriller. From there they never looked back, securing top spot with an 8-0 victory over Liechtenstein. Portugal clinched second and a place in the play-offs despite strong opposition from Slovenia.
Another one that went down to the wire. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan were a cut above the rest but who would come out on top? They went into their final round meeting separated by two points and with memories fresh after a thrilling 5-5 draw a fortnight earlier. This time it was more one-sided, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 4-0 win taking them through.
Greece built up a healthy lead on Matchday 1 and there was no let-up as they became the first team to qualify, wrapping it up with two matches to play. They won those as well, making it a perfect eight out of eight with a goal difference of +32. The fight for second place was much closer, with Finland stumbling over the line despite losing their last two games.
Israel also laid down a marker a fortnight ago but they had a tougher job maintaining their supremacy, digging deep to see off Austria 3-2 before beating Russia 4-3 with a goal from the last play. The fight for second place went down to the wire. Victory for Russia in their final match against eliminated Poland would have taken them through but they slipped up. A 5-2 loss meant Austria took the play-off spot and one of their celebrating players reacted by declaring himself “half Polish”.
The action continues!
The qualifying group stage concludes on Monday with the second set of fixtures for Groups F–J. You can watch a selection of these matches here, with commentary from Harry Channon. A number of national associations offer local streams in their own language.eEURO qualifying fixtures and results