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Latest News England clinched its place at the 2012 European Championship




LONDON: England clinched its place at the 2012 European Championship despite Wayne Rooney’s sending-off in a 2-2 draw at Montenegro, while Croatia missed a chance to reach the finals by losing 2-0 to Greece in the penultimate round of qualifying matches on Friday.
Needing at least a draw to win Group G, England was 2-1 up thanks to goals by Ashley Young and Darren Bent when Rooney was shown a red card in the 74th minute for kicking out at defender Miodrag Dzudovic.
Andrija Delibasic’s late equalizer ensured Montenegro clinched a playoff spot while England became the fifth team to qualify for the finals, after defending champions Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Ukraine and Poland did not need to qualify as host nations.
Greece moved two points above Croatia at the top of Group F with its win in Athens while Russia’s 1-0 victory at Slovakia means it needs just a draw against Andorra – which hasn’t picked up a point in nine games – in its final match to win Group B.
France and Bosnia-Herzegovina will meet in a winner-takes-all match in Paris on Tuesday to decide which team finishes first in Group D after both comfortably won on Friday.
The French, who haven’t failed to qualify for a major tournament since missing out on the 1994 World Cup, beat Albania 3-0 at home thanks to goals by Florent Malouda, Loic Remy and Anthony Reveillere.
They are a point clear of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which thrashed Luxembourg 5-0 with striker Edin Dzeko among the scorers.
Portugal and Denmark claimed high-scoring victories over Iceland and Cyprus respectively to remain level on points in Group H ahead of a meeting in Copenhagen that decide which team finishes top.
Manchester United winger Nani grabbed a first-half double in Portugal’s 5-3 win in Porto while Dennis Rommedahl scored twice and made a third in Denmark’s 4-1 victory in Nicosia.
Portugal only needs a point in Copenhagen on Tuesday having already beaten the Danes at home in qualifying. Norway are three points behind in third.
Spain, Germany and the Netherlands all won to stay perfect at the top of their groups.
Spain, the world and European champion, claimed a seventh straight victory in Group I by beating the Czech Republic 2-0 away thanks to goals by Juan Mata and Xabi Alonso.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s strike earned the Netherlands a 1-0 win over Moldova, its ninth victory in a row clinching first place in Group E, while Germany defeated Turkey 3-1 away through goals by Thomas Mueller, Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger in Group A.
It was also the Germans’ ninth straight win.
Sweden is assured of second place behind the Dutch after a 2-1 win in Finland.
Group C winner Italy drew 1-1 at Serbia, allowing Estonia to climb above the Serbs into second place with a 2-1 victory at Northern Ireland.
Serbia can still finish runner-up if it beats Slovenia away on Tuesday.

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