Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 13th 2015 Contents A53
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MADRID---Russia is returning
to the European Championship
for the fourth straight time,
while Slovakia will be playing
in the tournament for the first
time as an independent nation.
Russia qualified for next year's
tournament in France with a 2-
0 win over Montenegro in
Moscow yesterday, securing sec-
ond place in Group G behind
group winner Austria. Slovakia
defeated Luxembourg 4-2 to fin-
ish second to Spain in Group C,
guaranteeing its first finals'
appearance since it played as a
member of the Czechoslovakia
Ukraine, Slovenia and Sweden
will have to try to qualify through
The top two teams from the
nine groups qualify automatically.
The best third-placed team also
advances, while the other eight
meet in a playoff.
Hungary and Turkey are fight-
ing for the final automatic spot
as a third-place team. Turkey can
qualify by beating Iceland and
having Kazakhstan defeating
England wrapped up its qual-
ification campaign with a 3-0
win at Lithuania, finishing with
the best record in qualifying with
10 straight wins.
Here's a look at the Euro 2016
Slovakia's historic qualification
for Euro 2016 came thanks to a
4-2 win at Luxembourg, which
secured the team second place in
Slovakia hadn't scored in three
games but ended the goal drought
in a six-minute span in the first
half with goals by Marek Hamsik,
Adam Nemec and Robert Mak.
Luxembourg made it interesting
with second-half goals by Mario
Mutsch and Lars Gerson, but
Hamsik sealed Slovakia's victory
in injury time at the Josy Barthel
Stadium in Luxembourg.
Spain, which had already qual-
ified in advance, finished qual-
ifying first with a 1-0 win at
Ukraine, which will have to play
in the playoffs.
Ukraine played well and had a
series of scoring chances against
in Kiev, but it was stopped by a
remarkable performance by Spain
goalkeeper David De Gea.
"Ukraine played well but David
de Gea was brilliant too," Spain
coach Vicente Del Bosque said.
"Ukraine (has) a personality that
not a lot of sides have and I wish
them all the best in the playoffs."
Spain, the defending European
champions, finished with 27
points from 10 matches, while
Slovakia ended with 22 points
and Ukraine had 19.
England will travel to France
without a single blemish against
its qualification campaign.
Goals from Ross Barkley and
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, either
side of keeper Giedrius Arlauskis'
own goal, sealed a 3-0 win in
Victory meant that Roy Hodg-
son's side becomes only the six
team ever to advance to the finals
with a 100 per cent record still
"To get ten wins out of ten is
never easy in these qualifying
groups so we've got to be satisfied
with it and take a bit of pride in
it," head coach Roy Hodgson said.
Switzerland beat Estonia 1-0 after
an own goal from defender Rag-
nar Klavan in fourth minute of
second-half stoppage time.
That meant the Swiss finished
with 21 points, nine adrift of Eng-
land but five ahead of third-
Slovenia will face a playoff after
ending its campaign with a 2-0
away win to San Marino after
second-half goals from Botjan
Cesar and substitute Nejc Pec-
Russia qualified with a 2-0 win
over Montenegro and will be
making its fourth consecutive
appearance at the European
Veteran defender Oleg Kuzmin
and striker Alexander Kokorin
scored both Russian goals in the
space of five first-half minutes
to ensure Russia the second auto-
matic qualifying place in the
group behind Austria, which had
Qualification caps a dramatic
turnaround under new coach
Leonid Slutsky, who took charge
of the team in August with the
2018 World Cup host struggling
to qualify. The team has since
won all four of its games following
"We coped with the task in
front of us. Today's game was
fairly difficult because the last
match is tricky," Slutsky said.
"You can't let yourself relax for
Austria completed its unbeaten
qualifying campaign with a
straightforward 3-0 win over
Liechtenstein, while Sweden beat
Moldova 2-0 to finish third in
the group and enter next month's
Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahi-
movic scored his eighth goal of
the qualifying campaign in the
24th, before Erkan Zengin dou-
bled the lead three minutes after
halftime. Sweden needed a set-
back by Russia to finish second
in the group. It ended with 18
points, two less than Russia and
10 behind Austria. (AP)
...Perfect ten for England
Slovakia's Marek Hamsik celebrates after scoring during a Group C Euro 2016 qualifying football
match between Luxembourg and Slovakia at the Josy Barthel stadium in Luxembourg yesterday.
Slovakia won 4-0. AP PHOTO
AMSTERDAM---Netherlands coach Danny
Blind has called up two goalkeepers and
a defender for his team's must-win final
qualifier for next year's European Cham-
The top two Dutch keepers, Jasper Cil-
lessen and Tim Krul, suffered injuries Sat-
urday in Kazakhstan. Cillessen hurt his
back in the warmup and Krul suffered a
season-ending knee injury late in the match.
Krul's club, Newcastle, says he ruptured
the cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Feyenoord goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer
and Southampton's Maarten Stekelenburg
are joining the squad. Blind also added Paris
Saint-German defender Gregory van der
Wiel, who was suspended for the 2-1 victory
in Astana. If they are to win a playoff berth,
the Dutch must beat the Czech Republic
in Amsterdam today and hope that Iceland
beats third-placed Turkey. (AP)
Russia, Slovakia qualify for
2016 Euro Championship Jurgen Klopp held his first training session
as Liverpool manager with a reduced squad
but there was some early good news for the
International duty meant just nine first-team
players, supplemented by three youth team goal-
keepers, were present at Melwood as the former
Borussia Dortmund boss began work proper yes-
terday afternoon after his appointment on Thurs-
However, it is understood one of those players
was Philippe Coutinho, who a week ago pulled
out of Brazil's squad for World Cup qualifiers
against Chile and Venezuela with a minor groin
Early indications are the 23-year-old will be
available for Klopp's first match in charge at
Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime.
Other first-teamers present for the session
which lasted just over an hour were James Milner,
Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho, Alberto
Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Kolo Toure, Dejan Lovren
and Joao Carlos Teixeira.
With the first six of those plus Coutinho all
realistically in with a good chance of starting at
White Hart Lane, Klopp at least had a decent
base on which to begin his planning for the
The remainder of Liverpool's internationals
are expected to return to Melwood by the middle
of the week, giving the German three days to
work with his full squad---minus the likes of
captain Jordan Henderson, striker Christian Ben-
teke and forward Roberto Firmino who are all
still out injured.
Klopp spoke to those assembled players present
this afternoon in a huddle for five minutes before
training commenced under him, Peter Krawietz,
Klopp's analyst and scout at Borussia Dortmund,
and existing first-team coach Pep Lijnders -
both of whom were at the club's academy with
the German on Saturday to watch Liverpool's
Under-18s beat Stoke.
Zeljko Buvac, Klopp's long-time assistant, is
yet to arrive on Merseyside.
Klopp has already spoken of his belief that
performances can improve with the current
squad and for that reason he insists he is not
interested in what money is available in the Jan-
uary transfer window.
When asked by German newspaper Bild
whether he had plans to lure any of his former
players from Dortmund he said: "That's not my
intention at all."
On what money he would have for January
transfers he added: "I'm not interested in that.
"It's already October and I don't even know
how many matches there are until winter.
"But there are a few and so we'll be looking
at our own players first."
Klopp has cautioned against expecting any
noticeable dramatic improvement in his first
match in charge when he takes the team to Tot-
tenham on Saturday, mainly because of the time
he has available with all his players.
However, that has not prevented expectation
among fans going through the roof since he was
confirmed as manager.
Klopp insists no targets have been imposed
for him apart from to rediscover what was lost
in the last 18 months under Rodgers.
"I had a long conversation with the owner
(John Henry) and the aim is simply to play football
with an identity," he said.
"I have no idea why the hype is so big. Lots
of German coaches have been successful but
not many come here. This is a big challenge for
me and my coaching team."
Blind calls up defender, goalkeepers for decisive qualifier
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