It all started with Hungary securing its place at the European championship, after winning both legs against Norway. They were credited with a second chance in that matchup, which makes it even more impressive that they managed to win both legs and scored a combined three goals.
Hungary will have a difficult time surviving the group stage, but so far everything is going according to the plan. Republic of Ireland was the one to join them the very next day, but for that and everything was on the line in the second leg. They were the only team to finish the first match undecided, but the goals scored on the road.
Make a difference at the end of the day. The home side won the match relatively easy scoring twice and keeping a clean sheet against a team that didn’t put much of a fight.
The playoffs concluded with two games being played on the same day and in both cases, the visiting team had the advantage of winning the first leg. Ukraine had won the first leg and kept a clean sheet, so they could afford to lose by the old goal. This is exactly how things work playing out, and Slovenia scored the first goal and then kept pushing for the second, but they failed to create real scoring opportunities.
Ukraine managed to level the score in the final minute of overtime, when the hosts were already throwing everything they’ve got. It can make much of a difference and the fact that the visiting team avoided defeat matters only for punters. Far more exciting was the other game in which Sweden and Denmark played in Copenhagen, given the fact that the home side only needed a narrow margin victory.
It was Sweden who scored first and Ibrahimovic extended their lead in the second half, to secure qualification. The home side never gave up and in the final minutes of the game they managed to score twice to secure a point in front of their fans.
It had no impact whatsoever on their qualification bid and out of the two Scandinavian countries, it is Sweden that will play in the leading European tournament.