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Euro 2020 qualifying winners and losers

4:35 AM GMT 10/09/2019
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Sportsbet's Ed Wyatt talks up the positives and negatives from the past couple days of international action

Winners

Gareth Bale: It wasn’t the prettiest of goals – in fact it was downright scrappy – but Bale’s 80th minute winner against Azerbaijan kept Wales in the qualifying hunt. It’s been a bizarre year for Bale, but there’s no doubt he’s a big stage performer (note: home v Azerbaijan may or may not be a ‘big stage’ but I stand by my assertion).

Russia: A 2-1 win over Scotland in Glasgow and a 1-0  home win over Kazakhstan has all but locked up second place in Group I and gives them a slight shot at winning it.

Teemu Pukki: The goals keep coming for the Finn, whose country is in a remarkable position to finish second in Group J behind Italy. A Pukki penalty gave Finland a 1-0 win over Greece at home and he did the same in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Italy.

Kosovo: A stunning 2-1 win over the Czech Republic has Kosovo in second place in Group A with a real shot at qualifying for the first time ever. Their next game is a crucial one against group leaders England.

Harry Kane: After a relatively slow start in the Premier League, the Spurs’ striker notched a hat-trick in a comprehensive 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

Spain and Italy: Runaway points leaders in Groups F and J, both on 18 points, with massive goal differences - their fans can start booking Euro accommodation now.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Scored twice and claimed an assist as Armenia leapfrogged Bosnia-Herzogovina into third in Group J after a 4-2 win.

Losers

Albania: Imagine lining up for your national anthem only to hear Andorra’s blaring from the PA. The Albanians refused to take the field until the proper anthem was played. France won the match 4-1 and later apologised for the mistake.

Scotland: They’re in big trouble in Group I after home losses to Russia and Belgium.

Greece:  Greece have plummeted to fifth place in Group J after a 1-0 loss to Finland and a stunning 1-1 draw with Liechtenstein. The Greeks are currently seven points behind Finland, four behind Armenia and two behind Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Denmark:  Needing to keep pace with Group D leaders Ireland and in a tight battle with Switzerland for second place, the Danes drew 0-0 with Georgia. The Swiss also have a game in hand.

Jury's Out

Germany: The knives were initially being sharpened for manager Joachim Low after a 4-2 home loss to the Netherlands, but they may go back in the drawer after a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland. Germany and Northern Ireland are tied atop Group C, with the Dutch three points behind.

Portugal: The Portuguese came up with a big win away from home – 4-2 over Serbia – but still trail Group B leaders Ukraine by eight points (with two games in hand) and lead Serbia and Luxembourg by just one point.

John van’t Schip:  The former Melbourne Heart/Melbourne City boss is now in charge of Greece. He’s got a big, big job ahead of him.

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