Euro 2012 Qualifying Standings
The latest day of Euro 2012 qualifying was loaded with drama, from canceled games to 4-4 injury time thrillers to upsets to the near upsets.
The results are below, with group standings which will largely stay unchanged between now and late March – lots of time with which to bemoan lost chances.
Group A: One of the more exciting games that actually took place was Belgium versus Austria – and controversial, too. To be honest, it’s happening this very moment and I may need some time to come down to earth. Arguably one of the best Euro qualifiers in years. (So best of the last six weeks, in other words.)
Not to be outdone by a 4-4 thriller, Azerbaijan pulled off what may be the upset of the day by beating Turkey 1-0 and ratcheting Guus Hiddink’s aura down a further few notches.
Germany, meanwhile, thumped Kazakhstan. (You saw that coming.)
Group B: A 1-0 over Macedonia probably isn’t the scoreline for which they hoped, but with two straight wins Russia appears to be back on track – and very thankful for Ireland and Slovakia sister-kissing their way to a draw.
But the surprise is Armenia, who were probably expected to beat Andorra, but did so convincingly after the win over Slovakia.
Group C: Group A & C need to be played weekly as far as I’m concerned. Earlier in the day the Faroes nabbed a shocking draw (any points are termed “shocking” for the tiny island nation) against Northern Island, fresh off a draw with Italy.
Never one to allow others the drama spotlight drift to others, Italy v Serbia was called due to general Serbian hooliganism with a decision from UEFA to come later. Should Italy be awarded the victory, Serbia’s in deep shit.
Slovenia’s 1-0 against Estonia was left in the dust, obviously.
Group D: Is France back? Victories over Luxembourg aren’t exactly definitive evidence on anything, but they’ll certainly take top spot after every single thing that’s happened since Euro 2008.
Group E: If getting to the World Cup final wasn’t enough for your lofty standards, this win over Sweden is just further reminder: this Dutch team is really a cut above their recent predecessors.
Hungary is also enjoying a mini renaissance of its own.
Group F: Greece and Croatia are going to finish 1 & 2 – not necessarily in that order – come the end of qualifying.
But you knew that already.
Group G: Tiny, plucky little Montenegro continue their astonishing run, even without the scratched Mirko Vucinic, with a nil-nil at Wembley, easily the most difficult fixture of their qualifying run.
Anyone who bet on this table after the fall qualifiers is a mighty rich person.
Group H: The post-Queiroz era appears off to a flying, not quite nostalgic start.
Group I: Scotland had fleeting dreams for roughly ten minutes after Gerard Pique put an own goal into the Spanish net, making it 2-2. However, they charitably returned the favor by missing a header in the box, leaving Fernando Llorente for the easy tap. Being good hosts will get you brownie points, not three points.
Doubly bad news, since the Czech Republic is now in the midst what most like to call a “winning streak”. Two in a row.
[Tables via Soccerway]