Napoli’s Marek Hamsik got a double, as Slovakia confirmed their place at Euro 2016.
The Slovakians only needed to match Ukraine’s result to be sure of sealing a spot in the tournament, and secured a nervy 4-2 win. Hamsik opened the scoring following a pass from Vladimir Weiss, who later provided assists for Adam Nemec and Robert Mak.
The Repre seemed to be cruising to France, but were made to sweat by second-half goals from Mario Mutsch and Lars Gerson. However, captain Hamsik put the result beyond doubt with a fourth in injury time. Ukraine were defeated at home by Spain, meaning they will face a play-off, as they cannot now be ranked as the best third-placed side. At the moment that position is held by Hungary, whose place in Euro 2016 depends on results in Group A.
If Turkey defeat the Netherlands, coupled with a Kazakhstan victory over Latvia, Turkey would then take the spot as best third-place.
In Italy’s group, Croatia and Norway are playing for qualification, but neither can be best third-place, as results against the bottom teams are discounted. The other teams to have won all of their qualifying matches are Spain and Germany in Euro 2012 qualifying, France in the 1992 and 2004 campaigns and the Czech Republic in reaching Euro 2000.
Slovenia’s 2-0 victory over San Marino in the same group means they will enter the play-offs. Switzerland got a last minute winner in Estonia through Ragnar Klavan’s own goal, but they were already guaranteed second-place.
Euro 2016 qualified teams:
Iceland Czech Republic Belgium Wales Spain Slovakia Germany Poland England Switzerland Northern Ireland Romania Austria Russia Italy Portugal Albania Read the original article on Football Italia – The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Italian football