Austria, Denmark, Italy, Russia clinch finals berths

The qualifying groups ended with Denmark, Italy, Austria and Russia claiming places in the Netherlands, while Romania and Portugal are set for a play-off in October.

Italy celebrate as they beat the Czech Republic 3-1 to qualify
Italy celebrate as they beat the Czech Republic 3-1 to qualify ©Getty Images

The UEFA Women's EURO 2017 qualifying group stage concluded in dramatic fashion as Denmark, Italy, Austria and Russia clinched finals places.

Russia pipped Romania by just one goal to finish as one of the six best runners-up, meaning Mirel Albon's side face a play-off next month against Portugal, who overtook Finland with 12 minutes left.

Qualified: Netherlands (hosts), Germany (holders), Austria* (debut), Belgium* (debut), Denmark*, England, France, Iceland, Italy*, Norway, Russia*, Scotland* (debut), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (debut)

*Six best runners-up
Play-off: Romania, Portugal

• The eight group winners and six best runners-up (not counting results against fifth-placed teams) have joined hosts the Netherlands in the final tournament from 16 July–6 August 2017.
• The other two runners-up will play off over two legs from 17–25 October for the remaining berth in the expanded 16-team finals (after a draw, at 14:00CEST on Friday, to determine who is at home in which leg).
Results
Final standings

©Anders Kjærbye/dbufoto.dk

Final best runners-up standings
1 Scotland 15pts, GD +10, scored 16
2 Denmark 13, +12, 13
3 Italy 12, +6, 13
4 Belgium 11, +11, 16
5 Austria 11, +9, 13
6 Russia 10, +3, 12
-------------------------
7 Romania 10,+3, 11
8 Portugal 7, -4, 6

Group 1: qualifiers Iceland & Scotland
Iceland and Scotland had both qualified before today's encounter to decide first place. Visitors Scotland won 2-1, but having lost 4-0 in the home match, they finished second behind Iceland, who had not conceded a goal or dropped a point before tonight.

Group 2: Spain (Portugal to play-off)
Spain topped the group with a perfect record after winning 5-0 against Finland. That result allowed Portugal – who came from two down to beat Finland 3-2 on Friday – to snatch second place with a 1-0 victory in the Republic of Ireland, Cláudia Neto scoring on the rebound from a saved penalty with 12 minutes remaining.

Group 3: France (Romania to play-off)
France, already qualified, beat Albania 6-0 in their first competitive game under their new coach Olivier Echouafni to finish with eight wins and 27 unanswered goals. Romania overcame Greece 4-0 but although they have earned a first-ever play-off, they were just pipped to an automatic finals place by Russia on goals scored.

Group 4: Sweden & Denmark
Denmark went into tonight not certain of automatic qualification but defeated Sweden 2-0 to book a finals ticket. Sweden top the group by two points having previously managed seven perfect wins.

©Getty Images

Group 5: Germany & Russia
Holders and Olympic gold-medallists Germany prevailed 1-0 in Hungary to qualify with eight wins and 35 unanswered goals. Russia, who lost 4-0 to Germany on Friday in Steffi Jones's first game at the helm of the defending champions, have just made it to the Netherlands thanks to a 5-0 victory over Croatia.

Group 6: Switzerland & Italy
Switzerland have qualified for the first time and finished with a perfect record by defeating Northern Ireland 4-0. Italy secured second position on Friday but tonight beat the Czech Republic 3-1 to preserve their record of always qualifying.

Group 7: England & Belgium
England
had qualified before these fixtures and Belgium joined them on Friday. They met tonight with Belgium knowing a win would give them first place but Nikita Parris and Karen Carney scored to earn England a 2-0 success.

©PZPN

Group 8: Norway & Austria
Two-time champions Norway have qualified as group winners and Ada Hegerberg's hat-trick in Monday's 5-0 defeat of Israel means she finishes as qualifying joint-top scorer along with Scotland's Jane Ross and Iceland's Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir. Austria still needed a point tonight in Wales and a 0-0 draw has taken them to a debut finals.

Hosts
In their first match of the new season, the Netherlands lost 3-1 to the United States in Atlanta. Sanice van de Sanden surprised the 15,652 crowd with a breakaway second-minute goal for the visitors, but the US turned the tables in the second half. Dutch captain Mandy van den Berg, who made it 2-1 with an own goal, said: "This trip was a great opportunity for us to experience the elite culture in this country. As a team we have made good progress towards the European Championship in our own country." They return to action away to Germany on 25 October.

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