Women's EURO qualifying resumes with key games

UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying resumes next Wednesday with important games for holders Germany and surprise packages Belgium and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland will move into strong contention with victory in Belgium
©Gábor Baricsa

UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying resumes for the new year next Wednesday with important matches for holders Germany and surprise packages Belgium and Northern Ireland.

The two eye-catching results when the last group games were played in November were Northern Ireland's defeat of Norway and Germany being held in Spain, throwing their respective sections wide open. Northern Ireland are in third place in Group 3, a point above Norway, and now travel to Dessel to face Belgium, three points ahead in second and able to move level with leaders Iceland if they win. Ominously, Alfie Wylie's Northern Irish charges were beaten 5-1 at home by Scotland in a friendly on Sunday.

Spain's last-gasp equaliser at home to Germany kept them top of Group 2, three points clear of the holders, who will use up their game in hand against Turkey in Izmir with the intention of starting a winning EURO run to equal the 38-match streak the Spanish ended in November.

Two other fixtures are being played and, in Group 7, Portugal will aim to put themselves back in contention after three straight defeats when Armenia visit Cartaxo. Meanwhile, Bosnia and Herzegovina will hope to build on November's 6-2 win in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia when they go to Group 1 rivals Greece.

The next full set of qualifiers begins on 31 March. The seven group winners and the runner-up with the best record against the top five teams in their section will join hosts Sweden in the final tournament; the other six runners-up enter the play-offs.

Related Items