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Spain surge hauls back Germany

Germany's run of 36 consecutive qualifying victories came to an end as Spain came from two goals down to draw 2-2 while the Netherlands cemented their position atop Group 6.

Spain's Sandra (left) and Viola Odebrecht of Germany tussle
Spain's Sandra (left) and Viola Odebrecht of Germany tussle ©Bongarts

Spain came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Germany in the last set of UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifiers this year.

Both sides had a 100% Group 2 record ahead of their meeting in Motril but Spain preserved their three-point lead by ending Germany's run of 36 consecutive qualifying victories – a streak going back to a 4-4 draw with Italy in November 1999. Germany, who welcome Spain on 31 March, have a game in hand in Turkey on 15 February.

Germany, winners of the last five editions of the competition, were in command in the opening half and deservedly led 2-0 at the interval through Lena Goessling's header on three minutes and Ruth García's own goal shortly afterwards. However, Spain's response was remarkable as they dominated the second period and pulled one back courtesy of Verónica Boquete's superb angled 57th-minute effort. It seemed Germany would hold on but in added time Priscilla Borja found fellow substitute Willy in the box to level.

In the day's other Group 2 match, Switzerland secured an 8-1 victory against Kazakhstan, Lara Dickenmann scoring a hat-trick. Switzerland, beaten in both Germany and Spain earlier in qualifying, are four points off second place in fourth.

The Netherlands strengthened their position at the top of Group 6 thanks to a 2-0 victory against Croatia. Goals in the opening 13 minutes from Chantal de Ridder and Sherida Spitse were enough for Roger Reijners' side, who are still to concede in their five section matches. The win takes the Netherlands five points ahead of England, who beat Serbia 2-0 yesterday and have a game in hand. England go to Croatia on 31 March, five days beforer the Netherlands welcome Slovenia, with the top pair – having drawn 0-0 last month in Zwolle – to meet again in June.

Group 5 produced its latest surprise as Belarus won 1-0 in Ukraine, scoring on five minutes through Olga Aniskovtseva then withstanding a home barrage in Sevastopol. Belarus move level on seven points with the team that beat them 3-0 on Saturday, unbeaten Slovakia, who have a game in hand. Ukraine are three points back along with fellow 2009 finalists Finland, also unbeaten having played a match fewer than Slovakia.

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