1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Sports

World Cup finalists Spain, the Netherlands win Euro 2012 qualifiers

In the first qualifying matches of the 2012 European Championship since November of last year, both teams from World Cup final in South Africa secured wins and remain at the top of their groups.

Spain's David Villa reacts after scoring against Czech Republic

Villa secured the win for Spain

Forty minutes after Czech Republic scored a goal in its qualifying match against Spain for the 2012 European Championship, it was beginning to look like they might have a chance at upsetting the defending world and European champions and pulling even with Spain in Group I.

But all hopes of an upset were dashed in less than five minutes thanks to two goals by Spanish superstar David Villa.

Villa slotted Spain's first goal of the match in the 69th minute to even the score and struck again on a penalty four minutes later to secure the 2-1 win for Spain.

A Netherlands' soccer fan supports his team

The Dutch easily defeated Hungary

The goals for Villa put him ahead of former Real Madrid star Raul on Spain's all-time goal-scorers list. He is now two ahead of Raul with 46 international goals for Spain.

Spain remain undefeated in qualifying for Euro 2012 on 12 points. Czech Republic is in second place in Group I with six points.

Spotless Orajne

Meanwhile, the Netherlands had an easier time defending their perfect qualifying record, handily beating Hungary 4-0.

Dutch captain Rafael van der Vaart got the Oranje started in the eighth minute with a goal, and Ibrahim Afellay scored just before halftime to make it 2-0.

Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie put the game out of reach early in the second half, scoring in the 54th and 62nd minutes respectively.

The Netherlands are now six points clear of Hungary in Group E on 15 points.

Axel Witsel, left, of Belgium scores past Austria's Juergen Macho

Witsel (left) helped lead Belgium to a win over Austria

Key win for Belgium

Belgium gained a critical 2-0 win over Austria in Vienna. That puts them even with the Austrians on points with seven and moves them into second place in the Group A table. Germany is at the top of that group with 13 points.

Joachim Löw's squad takes on Kazakhstan on Saturday night in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The two teams met up in October of last year in Kazakhstan, with Germany coming away with a 3-0 win.

Two matches were contested in Group C on Friday, with Italy beating Slovenia 1-0 and Serbia topping Northern Ireland 2-1. Italy leads that group with 13 points, followed by Slovenia and Serbia, who are tied on points with seven each. Northern Ireland is fifth in the six-team group with five points.

Rounding out Friday's Euro 2012 qualifying matches was a match-up between the best team in Group D and the worst. France struggled a little more than expected but still managed to get the anticipated win, 2-0 over Luxembourg.

Author: Matt Zuvela
Editor: Chuck Penfold

DW recommends