The qualifying group stage for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship has concluded with Romania, Italy, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Scotland sealing play-off places on Tuesday as section winners.
Switzerland, the Netherlands, Croatia, Ukraine and Greece had already booked their spots in next month's two-legged ties as group winners prior to this evening's final round of matches. The ten section winners will be joined in Friday's play-off draw by the four runners-up boasting the best records against the rest of the top five in their group, Spain, England, Belarus and Iceland.
On a dramatic final night, Scotland secured first place in Group 10 thanks to a Christopher Maguire goal in the 89th minute that earned them a 2-1 win against Austria. Belarus had looked set to win the section prior to that, but a 1-0 win against Azerbaijan was still good enough to earn them second spot and a play-off berth.
Romania drew 0-0 with Russia to finish first in Group 1, Italy defeated Wales 1-0 to advance from Group 2 and the Czech Republic confirmed top spot in Group 5 with a 3-1 victory over Iceland. However, Iceland's superior goal difference ensured they pipped Israel, Wales and Russia to the fourth runners-up slot.
Sweden clinched first place in Group 6 courtesy of a 1-0 victory in Bulgaria, Spain's 1-0 win in Poland guaranteed their progress, having already confirmed second place in Group 4 behind the Netherlands, and England, already runners-up in Group 9 behind Greece, are through after beating Lithuania 3-0.
Along with Israel, Wales and Russia, the other runners-up missing out were Turkey, Slovakia and Belgium. The play-offs will take place between 8 and 12 October, with the seven winners joining hosts Denmark in the final tournament next June.
2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs
Group 1: Romania
Group 2: Switzerland
Group 3: Italy
Group 4: Netherlands
Group 5: Czech Republic
Group 6: Sweden
Group 7: Croatia
Group 8: Ukraine
Group 9: Greece
Group 10: Scotland
Four best runners-up
Spain, England, Belarus, Iceland