Former Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck and Iceland made history this qualification round for the European Football Championships in France 2016. For the first time in the country’s history they have reached a major soccer tournament. After defeating Netherlands in the first match of the round, all Iceland needed was one point in the last three games. The first chance was at home, against Kazakstan. After playing a goalless tie, the point was secured and also a spot in the Euro 2016. Netherlands at the other side, continue to struggle in the qualifiers with another loss (3-0) against Turkey. This places Netherlands in fourth place in the group and if the results doesn’t go their way they can miss the play offs.
Sweden struggles after another defeat
While Lagerbäck is enjoying succés with his Iceland, his countrymen in the Swedish national team under coach Erik Hamrén is struggling after two straight defeats. Before this qualification round they had a second place in group G, with Russia chasing four points behind. After losses against Russia away (0-1) and Austria at home (1-4), Sweden is now in fourth place, two points after Russia, one point before Montenegro. With just two matches to go, they probably have to aim for the play off in November where eight third placed teams of the groups will battle for four spots in the Euro 2016. All the group winners, second placed teams and the best third placed team will directly qualify to join France for the Euro 2016.
Wayne Rooney celebrates 50 goals for Three Lions
After England’s victory over San Marino, Wayne Rooney was in shared lead with Sir Bobby Charlton (and Own Goals!) as Britains all time top scorer with 49 goals. In the last match of this qualification round, he is now alone in top with 50 goals after a penalty kick goal. England defeated Switzerland 2-0.
Qualified teams so far
After this round’s qualification matches we have a number of teams that will join the host nation France in 2016: Iceland, England, Czech Republic and Austria. The next set of qualifiers are played October 8 – 13. The play offs are played November 12-17.