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Russians book ticket to Euros behind group winners Austria

Published 13/10/2015

We’re there: Russia’s Aleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev
We’re there: Russia’s Aleksandr Kokorin and Pavel Mamaev

Russia and Slovakia confirmed their places at next year's European Championship finals after victories in the final round of qualifying matches last night.

First-half goals from Oleg Kuzmin and Aleksandr Kokorin gave the Russians a 2-0 win over Montenegro in Moscow which sealed their second-place finish behind runaway Group G leaders Austria.

Sweden head into the play-offs despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Erkan Zengin giving them a 2-0 win over Moldova in Solna.

Meanwhile, Austria celebrated the end of a stunning qualifying campaign with their ninth win in 10 games.

Two goals from Marc Janko and one from Marko Arnautovic saw the Austrians ease past Liechtenstein 3-0 in Vienna.

Slovakia had to survive a late scare in Luxembourg to book their place in the finals as Group C runners-up behind winners Spain.

Starting the night knowing victory would almost certainly be enough to see them pip rivals Ukraine, Slovakia eased into a 3-0 lead inside the opening half-hour with goals from Marek Hamsik, Adam Nemec and Robert Mak, but minnows Luxembourg hit back with second-half goals from Mario Mutsch and Lars Gerson before an injury-time effort from Hamsik settled the visitors' nerves and sealed a 4-2 win.

As it happened, Slovakia's nerves were unfounded as an early Mario Gaspar goal gave Spain a 1-0 victory over the Ukrainians in Kiev, sending Mykhaylo Fomenko's men into the play-offs.

Switzerland had to wait until injury time to break the deadlock against Estonia in Tallinn, a Ragnar Klavan own goal handing the visitors victory.

And Slovenia confirmed their place in the play-offs with an underwhelming 2-0 win over San Marino in Serravalle with second-half goals from Bojan Perec and Nejc Pecnik.

Belfast Telegraph

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