In-depth guide to the UEFA EURO play-offs

UEFA.com crunches the numbers ahead of the play-offs, looking back at the 14 previous such ties since the Netherlands faced the Republic of Ireland at Anfield in 1995.

Robbie Keane aided Ireland past Estonia to reach the 2012 finals after two previous play-off failures
Robbie Keane aided Ireland past Estonia to reach the 2012 finals after two previous play-off failures ©Getty Images
  • Play-offs were introduced with single-game tie at Anfield for EURO '96
  • There have been two-legged play-offs every edition since, except 2008
  • Ukraine against Slovenia is a rematch of a UEFA EURO 2000 play-off
  • Croatia and the Netherlands are the only teams to win two play-off ties
  • The Netherlands in 2004 and Portugal in 2012 advanced to the semi-finals
  • Nine out of 14 play-off winners have fallen in the group stage
  • This year's play-offs run from Thursday to next Tuesday
Coaches Guus Hiddink and Jack Charlton ahead of the first play-off at Anfield
Coaches Guus Hiddink and Jack Charlton ahead of the first play-off at Anfield©Getty Images

EURO '96
Republic of Ireland 0–2 Netherlands (one-off tie at Anfield)
Final tournament: Quarter-finals

UEFA EURO 2000
Republic of Ireland 1–1, 0-0 Turkey (agg: 1-1, Turkey win on away goals)
Final tournament: Quarter-finals

Scotland 0-2, 1-0 England (agg: 1-2)
Final tournament: Group stage

Israel 0–5, 0-3 Denmark (agg: 0-8)
Final tournament: Group stage

Latvia celebrate their 2004 qualification
Latvia celebrate their 2004 qualification©Getty Images

Slovenia 2-1, 1-1 Ukraine (agg: 3-2)
Final tournament: Group stage

UEFA EURO 2004
Scotland 1–0, 0-6 Netherlands (agg: 1-6)
Final tournament: Semi-finals

Croatia 1–1, 1-0 Slovenia (agg: 2-1)
Final tournament: Group stage

Russia 0-0, 1–0 Wales (agg: 1-0)
Final tournament: Group stage

Latvia 1-0, 2-2 Turkey
Final tournament: Group stage

Bosnia and Herzegovina missed out against Portugal
Bosnia and Herzegovina missed out against Portugal©Getty Images

Spain 2–1, 3-0 Norway (agg: 5-1)
Final tournament: Group stage

UEFA EURO 2012
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-0, 2-6 Portugal (agg: 2-6)
Final tournament: Semi-finals

Czech Republic 2-0, 1-0 Montenegro (agg: 3-0)
Final tournament: Quarter-finals

Turkey 0-3, 0-0 Croatia (agg: 0-3)
Final tournament: Group stage

Estonia 0-4, 1-1 Republic of Ireland (agg: 1-5)
Final tournament: Group stage

Croatia won their second play-off to reach the 2012 finals
Croatia won their second play-off to reach the 2012 finals©Getty Images

Play-off record
Bosnia and Herzegovina: W0 L1
Croatia: W2 L0
Czech Republic: W1 L0
Denmark: W1 L0
England: W1 L0
Estonia: W0 L1
Israel: W0 L1
Latvia: W1 L0
Montenegro: W0 L1
Netherlands: W2 L0
Norway: W0 L1
Portugal: W1 L0
Republic of Ireland: W1 L2
Russia: W1 L0
Scotland: W0 L2
Slovenia: W1 L1
Spain: W1 L0
Turkey: W1 L2
Ukraine: W0 L1
Wales: W0 L1

Teams in bold involved in 2016 play-offs: Hungary and Sweden are in a EURO play-off for the first time

Trivia
• Of the 20 teams that have competed in play-offs, eight have never lost a tie and six are yet to win.

• Only one team has ever lost the first leg and advanced, the Netherlands to reach the 2004 finals.

Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrates his hat-trick
Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrates his hat-trick©Getty Images

• The only two teams to score six in a play-off tie, the Netherlands (2004) and Portugal (2012), were the sole qualifiers ever to reach the semi-finals.

• On both occasions the Netherlands have come through a play-off they went on to reach the knockout stages.

• The Netherlands and Croatia have won both their play-off ties. Scotland are the only team to have competed twice and lost both times.

Slovenia (2000) and Latvia (2004) earned their UEFA EURO final tournament debuts via the play-offs. Slovenia beat Ukraine in 2000; they meet again this time.

Ruud van Nistelrooy is the only player to score a play-off hat-trick, in the Netherlands' 6-0 second-leg win against Scotland.

Robbie Keane and Jon Dahl Tomasson are the only other players with a career tally of three play-off goals.

Milenko Ačimovič (Slovenia), Mladen Dabanovič (Slovenia), Damien Duff (Republic of Ireland), Barry Ferguson (Scotland), Amir Karič (Slovenia), Miran Pavlin (Slovenia), Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia), Darijo Srna (Croatia) and Zlatko Zahovič (Slovenia) have all played in a record four play-off matches.

Ukraine (2000), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2012), Estonia (2012) and Montenegro (2012) all missed out on debut final tournaments in play-offs.

• Only three teams have won both legs of a play-off tie: Denmark (v Israel, 2000), Spain (v Norway, 2004), Czech Republic (v Montenegro, 2012).

Top