Greeks and Russians qualify for Euro 2012
Euro 2004 champions Greece and Russia booked their places at Euro 2012 with wins over Georgia and Andorra respectively on Tuesday.sports Updated: Oct 12, 2011 02:06 IST
Euro 2004 champions Greece and Russia booked their places at Euro 2012 with wins over Georgia and Andorra respectively on Tuesday.
Greece edged Georgia 2-1 away while Russia as expected had no problem in disposing of Andorra 6-0 to top their respective groups.
An increasingly impressive Germany romped to a 3-1 win over a promising Belgian side, who were bidding to become the first Belgium side to win on German soil since a 1983 victory over East Germany.
Goals by Mesut Ozil, Andre Schuerrle and Mario Gomez for already qualified Germany put paid to the Belgians hopes of the win that would send them into the runners-up play-offs - Turkey's 1-0 win at home to Azerbaijan confirmed they would finish second.
Greece confirmed their place in the finals after two late goals saw them come from 1-0 down to beat Georgia - Angelos Charisteas their Euro 2004 goalscoring hero getting their winner.
Croatia have to be content with a play-off place despite beating Latvia 2-0, their 2-0 away defeat by Greece last Friday proving decisive.
Russia were never likely to succumb to an Andorran side that had not mustered a point and scored just one goal in the qualifiers and they duly cruised through.
A brace by rising 21-year-old CSKA Moscow star Alan Dzagoev the feature of the rout.
Over in Dublin a Valeri Aleksanyan own goal and a Richard Dunne strike had looked to have put the Republic of Ireland out of sight of Armenia but they had to endure a nervy last half hour after Henrik Mkhitaryan reduced the deficit.
Kevin Doyle's red card five minutes from time did not help Irish nerves but they held on to secure a second successive play-off place for a major finals.
They will hope this time round it is less controversial and a happier ending than the 2010 World Cup one against France.