Race to UEFA EURO 2016 hotting up

Significant wins for Iceland, Wales and Austria, among others, were the highlights of the latest round of qualifying while England, Slovakia and Portugal closed in on the finals.

Gary Cahill celebrates England's win in Slovenia
Gary Cahill celebrates England's win in Slovenia ©Getty Images

UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying is a step closer to producing the 23 finalists to join France next summer after June's raft of qualifiers helped clear the picture. UEFA.com looks at how the nine groups are shaping up; click on the video boxes for highlights of the key game so far in each section.

• The groups conclude with September and October double-headers.

• The nine group winners, the nine group runners-up and the best third-placed side will qualify directly for the final tournament in France.

• The eight remaining third-placed teams will contest play-offs in November to determine the last four qualifiers for the finals.

If qualifying were to end now ...
Qualified: France (hosts), Iceland, Czech Republic, Wales, Belgium, Slovakia, Spain (holders), Poland, Germany, England, Switzerland, Romania, Northern Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Albania (either Denmark or Albania are best third-placed)

Play-offs: Netherlands, Israel/Cyprus, Ukraine, Scotland, Slovenia, Hungary, Russia, Norway

Standings are provisional until all group matches have been played

FULL STANDINGS

Iceland 2-1 Czech Republic
Iceland 2-1 Czech Republic

Group A
Top two: Iceland, Czech Republic
Third: Netherlands

Kazakhstan 0-1 Turkey, Iceland 2-1 Czech Republic, Latvia 0-2 Netherlands

Iceland are a step closer to a maiden finals after overtaking the Czech Republic to go top.
• The Netherlands are within two points of second place and three ahead of Turkey.
• The Netherlands still have home games against Iceland and the Czech Republic but must also visit Turkey.

3 September: Czech Republic v Kazakhstan, Netherlands v Iceland, Turkey v Latvia

Wales 1-0 Belgium
Wales 1-0 Belgium

Group B
Top two: Wales, Belgium
Third: Israel/Cyprus

Andorra 1-3 Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 Israel, Wales 1-0 Belgium

Wales went top as Gareth Bale's goal beat Belgium, and have a five-point cushion over Israel and Cyprus.
• Belgium are only two points clear of Israel and Cyprus with Bosnia and Herzegovina one further back.
Mathematically any of the top five could lead after September's matches, or Wales could be qualified.

3 September: Belgium v Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus v Wales, Israel v Andorra

Slovakia 2-1 FYR Macedonia
Slovakia 2-1 FYR Macedonia

Group C
Top two: Slovakia, Spain
Third: Ukraine

Ukraine 3-0 Luxembourg, Belarus 0-1 Spain, Slovakia 2-1 FYR Macedonia (20.45)

Slovakia maintained their three-point lead with a sixth win from six games by edging FYR Macedonia; they will definitely finish in the top three.
• Holders Spain remain poised behind the pacesetters and host Ján Kozák's men next time out.
Ukraine can virtually assure themselves of a play-off berth at least by beating Belarus in September.

5 September: Luxembourg v FYR Macedonia, Ukraine v Belarus, Spain v Slovakia

Poland 4-0 Georgia
Poland 4-0 Georgia

Group D
Top two: Poland, Germany
Third: Scotland

Poland 4-0 Georgia, Republic of Ireland 1-1 ScotlandGibraltar 0-7 Germany 

Poland remain a point above Germany, who leapt two ahead of Scotland, who preserved their advantage over the Republic of Ireland.
• Germany against Poland will be crucial, with both teams still to visit Scotland.
• If it is a draw in Berlin, Ireland would climb to within three points of the lead with victory against Gibraltar in Faro.

4 September: Georgia v Scotland, Germany v Poland, Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland

Slovenia 2-3 England
Slovenia 2-3 England

Group E
Top two: England, Switzerland
Third: Slovenia

Estonia 2-0 San Marino, Slovenia 2-3 England, Lithuania 1-2 Switzerland

England continued their march to the finals by maintaining their 100% record in Slovenia. They have secured a top-three finish.
• That result enabled Switzerland to rise into second place ahead of their crunch meeting with Slovenia next time out.
• Fourth and fifth respectively, Estonia and Lithuania are mathematically still in the running for a top-two berth.

5 September: Estonia v Lithuania, San Marino v England, Switzerland v Slovenia

Faroe Islands 2-1 Greece
Faroe Islands 2-1 Greece

Group F
Top two: Romania, Northern Ireland
Third: Hungary

Finland 0-1 Hungary, Faroe Islands 2-1 Greece, Northern Ireland 0-0 Romania

• While the Faroe Islands were making headlines by beating Greece again, Romania stayed top by a point.
Hungary's win lifted them to within two points of Romania and one of Northern Ireland; the Faroes are above Finland but five points off third.
• Hungary host Romania then travel to Northern Ireland in September's key matches so the top three's fate is in each of their own hands.

4 September: Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland, Greece v Finland, Hungary v Romania

Russia 0-1 Austria
Russia 0-1 Austria

Group G
Top two: Austria, Sweden
Third: Russia

Liechtenstein 1-1 Moldova, Russia 0-1 Austria, Sweden 3-1 Montenegro

• Four points clear, frontrunners Austria took a major step towards the finals with their success in Moscow.
• In second, Sweden now enjoy a four-point gap following that defeat for third-placed Russia.
• Fabio Capello's men welcome Sweden in their next, vital qualifier, knowing both Montenegro and Liechtenstein are just three points back.

5 September: Russia v Sweden, Austria v Moldova, Montenegro v Liechtenstein

Croatia 1-1 Italy
Croatia 1-1 Italy

Group H
Top two: Croatia, Italy
Third: Norway

Croatia 1-1 Italy, Malta 0-1 Bulgaria, Norway 0-0 Azerbaijan

After a one-point deduction subject to appeal, Croatia are one ahead of Italy and three clear of Norway, who missed an opportunity to close the gap.
Bulgaria are within two points of Norway and can overtake them when they meet.
• Italy have two home games in September while Croatia visit Azerbaijan and Norway.

3 September: Azerbaijan v Croatia, Bulgaria v Norway, Italy v Malta

Group I
Top two: Portugal, Denmark/Albania (joint second)

Highlights: See Ronaldo hat-trick
Highlights: See Ronaldo hat-trick

Armenia 2-3 Portugal, Denmark 2-0 Serbia

• In the sole five-team group, Portugal (who are assured of a top-three finish) are two points superior to Denmark and Albania.
• Denmark drew level with Albania as they were beating France 1-0 in a friendly; both are still comfortably clear of Armenia and Serbia (the only nation who cannot mathematically qualify).
• Denmark entertain Albania next with Portugal not in action; Denmark's visit to Portugal on 8 October has the look of a decider if they can defeat Albania.

4 September: Denmark v Albania, Serbia v Armenia

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