After the final matchday of Euro 2016 qualification on Tuesday, we take a look at who has made it to next year’s tournament in France.
Czech Republic confirmed their status as group winners and completed a humiliating campaign for Netherlands with a 3-2 win in Amsterdam. The Dutch limped to fourth place on 13 points – five behind Turkey, who secured automatic qualification as the best third-placed team thanks to Selcuk Inan’s ‘Beckham moment’. His 89th-minute free-kick saw off runners-up Iceland 1-0, providing high drama in the final round of fixtures.
Belgium’s 3-1 victory at home to Israel secured top spot and elevated Marc Wilmots’ side to number one in the FIFA rankings, while Gareth Bale’s seventh goal of the campaign helped second-place Wales close with a 2-0 win over minnows Andorra. Bosnia-Herzegovina came from 2-1 down to beat Cyprus 3-2 and snatch the play-off berth.
Spain comfortably finished on top of Group C, with their 1-0 win over Ukraine meaning they picked up 27 points from a possible 30 in the campaign. Slovakia – the only team to beat Spain in the qualifiers – came second despite winning only one of their last four qualifiers, with their good start proving decisive. The Ukrainians finished comfortably in third to make the play-offs.
World champions Germany had to wait until the final matchday to be certain of their place at Euro 2016, eventually doing so with a nervous 2-1 victory over Georgia that sealed top spot in the group. Poland’s 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland meant they finished in second place, with Martin O’Neill’s team having to settle for third place – three points above Scotland.
England were the only team across Euro 2016 qualifying to record a perfect 100 per cent record and only the third team ever to do so. Switzerland were second and Slovenia won the battle to finish third and enter the play-offs, with Estonia’s defeats to the top two in the group during the final matchdays costing them.
Following a nervous two-day wait after they had lost 4-3 to Greece on Sunday, results on the final matchday meant Hungary did not qualify automatically as the best-performing third-placed finishers. They will cast envious glances towards Northern Ireland and Romania as automatic qualifiers, with Michael O’Neill’s men coming out on top of the group after a 1-1 draw with Finland in their final qualifier.
Austria romped to first place in the group after an excellent campaign that saw them win nine and draw one of their 10 matches. Leonid Slutsky led an impressive turnaround from Russia, who won their final four qualifiers to go through in second place. That meant Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden had to settle for the play-offs despite recording two straight wins to round off their campaign.
Norway headed into the final matchday with designs on usurping Italy as group winners, but the Scandinavian nation lost 2-1 in Rome and must now contest the play-offs as Croatia’s 1-0 win in Malta dropped them down to third place on 19 points – one shy of a place in France.
Portugal topped the pile with a rampant run of seven straight victories since they lost their first qualifier to Albania, who go through in second place to qualify for their first major tournament. Denmark finished two points further back in third and will have try their luck in the play-offs.