Euro 2012 Qualification Review: Group A

Team P W D L F A GD Pt
Germany 10 10 0 0 34 7 +27 30
Turkey 10 5 2 3 13 11 +2 17
Belgium 10 4 3 3 21 15 +6 15
Austria 10 3 3 4 16 17 -1 12
Azerbaijan 10 2 1 7 10 26 -16 7
Kazakhstan 10 1 1 8 6 24 -18 4

There was never much doubt about which team would end up triumphant in Group A - Germany were third place in last year's World Cup and beaten finalists in the 2008 European Championships. It therefore came as no surprise that they crushed their way to the top with a perfect record and a great +27 goal differential - all this in a group with no real minnows.

The Turkey-Belgium fight, on the other hand, was an fascinating one, and although Turkey ended up edging things in the end had Belgium been a little bit more careful not to, say, draw 4-4 at home to Austria, the young team may well have found themselves with a place in the playoffs. Instead, that goes to Guus Hiddink's side, who are still alive for a place in Euro 2012.

None of the rest of the teams in the group were particularly bad, but Kazakhstan were a relative disappointment after a spirited showing in qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Still, picking anyone out of Austria, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to emerge from this group with three clearly superior teams ahead of them would have gotten you a hit on the head with the ensaneing stick. Reality agreed.

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