Russia and Slovakia secure spots at Euro 2016 in France | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 12.10.2015
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Russia and Slovakia secure spots at Euro 2016 in France

Russia and Slovakia have each booked a place the Euro 2016 football finals, with victories over Montenegro and Luxembourg respectively. England notched up the overall best qualifying record, with a tenth straight win.

Fußball EM Qualifikation Russland vs. Montenegro

Russia forward Kokorin netted to help his country clinch a place for the fourth consecutive time

Russia qualified for the tournament in France next year with a 2-0 win over Montenegro, securing second spot in Group G, behind Austria.

It is the fourth consecutive time that Russia will be appearing in the European soccer championships, with the goals coming from stalwart defender Oleg Kuzmin and striker Alexander Kokorin in the space of five first-half minutes.

Russia's qualification campaign had appeared to be faltering, but was turned around with the appointment of coach Leonid Slutsky in August. Since then, the national team has won all four of its games.

"We coped with the task in front of us," Slutsky said. "Today's game was fairly difficult because the last match is tricky. You can't let yourself relax for a second."

Group G table toppers Austria completed their unbeaten qualifying campaign, with a straightforward 3-0 win over Liechtenstein.

A first for Slovakia

Slovakia's historic qualification for Euro 2016 - for the first time in its history - was thanks to a 4-2 win at Luxembourg. That secured the team second place in Group C.

Fußball EM Qualifikation Luxemburg vs. Slowakei

It's the first time in Slovakia's history that the national team will be going to the Euros

Although Slovakia hadn't scored in three games, the goal drought came to an end with three in six minutes - from Marek Hamsik, Adam Nemec and Robert Mak.

Luxembourg tried to peg Slovakia peg, with goals from Mario Mutsch and Lars Gerson, but it was Hamsik who secured victory for the Slovakians with a goal in injury time.

Top of the group Spain finished by grabbing a 1-0 win at Ukraine, who along with Slovenia and Sweden will have to try to qualify through the playoffs.

England through with full marks

In Group E action on Monday night, England made it 10 out of 10 - being the only team to win all of its qualification games in the run up to France. The side beat Lithuania 3-0 in Vilnius, with goals coming from Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as well as an own goal from keeper Giedrius Arlauskis.

Elsewhere, second-placed Switzerland beat Estonia 1-0, after an own goal from defender Ragnar Klavin.

On Sunday, Germany left it late to ensure it has a berth in France, securing top spot in Group D - but only after a host of missed chances in its 2-1 victory over Georgia.

rc/jr (AP Reuters)

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