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Added October 19th, 2015 by Ian

Euro 2016 Playoff Draw held

The playoff draw for the 2016 European Championships (EURO 2016) in France was made on October 18th. There will be four sets of two-legged series between eight of the third-place-place group teams. The eight nations will be battling it out for the final four berths in the tournament. Ukraine (Group C) will be meeting Slovenia (Group E), while Sweden (Group G) takes on Denmark (Group I), The Republic of Ireland (Group D) faces off against Bosnia and Herzegovina (Group B) and Norway (Group H) will be meeting Hungary (Group F).

The top two teams in each group qualified automatically for the event and Turkey of Group A qualified as the best third-place country. France also qualified automatically as the hosts. Each two-game playoff series will feature a home and away match for each team. The squad with the best aggregate will advance to the Euro 2016 event. If there’s a tie in the score after the second match it will be broken by the controversial away-goals rule. If it’s still even, the two teams will decide on a winner by playing 30 minutes of extra time. If things still can’t be decided, then the match will go to a penalty-kick shootout.

Norway will host Hungary on Thursday, November 12 with the second match taking place in Hungary on Sunday, November 15. Bosnia and Herzegovina will welcome the Republic of Ireland on Friday, November 13th with the second encounter taking place in Dublin on Monday, November 16th. There will be a pair of games played on Saturday, November 14th when Slovenia travels to Ukraine and Denmark makes the short trip to neighbouring Sweden. The return contest in both of those playoff series will be held in Denmark and Slovenia on Tuesday, November 17th.

Next year’s European Championships have been expanded to 24 nations from 16 for the first time and 53 teams were involved in the qualifying group stages. The other teams that have already qualified are: France, England, Czech Republic, Iceland, Austria, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Wales, Romania, Albania, Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Croatia and Turkey. All of the players’ yellow cards have been wiped clean following the qualifying stages. However, red cards will still stand.

 
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