Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Quartet complete Euro 2008 line-up

Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Turkey became the last four countries to book places at the Euro 2008 finals on a dramatic final night of qualifying.

Co-hosts: Austria & Switzerland.
Group A: Poland & Portugal.
Group B: Italy & France.
Group C: Greece & Turkey.
Group D: Czech Rep & Germany.
Group E: Croatia & Russia.
Group F: Spain & Sweden.
Group G: Romania & Netherlands.

Nowhere was the drama more intense than in Group E where Russia grabbed second place off an England side who, needing just a point to qualify, went down 3-2 at home to Croatia, succumbing to Mladen Petric's late strike.

Dmitri Sychev's solitary strike gave Russia a 1-0 victory in Andorra which proved enough to lift them a point above England, while the impressive Croatians celebrated winning the section.

Portugal secured second place in Group A thanks to a goalless home draw with Finland – a result which ended the visitors' hopes of progress. Luiz Felipe Scolari's men finished a point behind first-time qualifiers Poland, who drew 2-2 at Serbia.

Turkey's 1-0 success against Bosnia-Herzegovina ensured them the runners-up slot behind Group C winners Greece, ending Norway's challenge in the process. Although the Scandinavians prevailed 4-1 in Malta, Turkey finished a point clear thanks to Nihat Kahveci's strike.

In Group F, meanwhile, Kim Kallstrom's second-half effort earned Sweden the 2-1 home victory against Latvia that they required to claim the runners-up berth behind Spain, whose 1-0 triumph over Northern Ireland extinguished the visitors' hopes in Gran Canaria.

Twelve teams were already sure of their places in the draw in Lucerne on 2 December. Switzerland and Austria had qualified automatically as co-hosts, and were joined by Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic and Romania last month. On Saturday, Poland, world champions Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Croatia also advanced.

Austria and Switzerland are both top seeds for the draw and they will be joined by holders Greece and Marco van Basten's Netherlands. The Azzurri have been placed in Pot 2.

Seedings for the draw:
[Pot 1]
Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Netherlands.
[Pot 2] Croatia, Italy, Czech Republic, Sweden.
[Pot 3] Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain.
[Pot 4] Poland, France, Turkey, Russia.

Source: UEFA

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