Euro review: Cazorla sends Spain to France

Matt Stead

Spain and Switzerland became the latest countries to book their tickets to Euro 2016 in France after victories in the penultimate round of qualifying games.

Spain, the 2012 champions, began the night five points clear of third-placed Ukraine in Group C and that was also how they ended it, a 4-0 win over Luxembourg putting the finishing touches to qualification.

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla scored two of the goals, with the other two coming from Paco Alcacer of Valencia.

Ukraine’s 2-0 win over Macedonia, with goals from Yevhen Seleznyov and Artem Kravets, brought them level on points with second-placed Slovakia.

Jan Kozak’s side lost 1-0 at home to Belarus after Stanislav Dragun’s first-half strike, despite the dismissal of Alyaksandr Martynovich.

They hold the head-to-head tie-break over Ukraine, though, and face Luxembourg on Monday while Ukraine host Spain.

Group E leaders England had already qualified and as they extended their perfect record into a ninth game, Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling scoring in a 2-0 win over Estonia, the interest was in the battle behind them.

Switzerland held a three-point lead over Slovenia and took care of business against perennial whipping boys San Marino, a second-half onslaught bringing them a 7-0 win with the aid of three penalties.

Michael Lang opened the scoring in the first half and after the interval, spot-kicks from Gokhan Inler, Johan Djourou and the impressive Breel Embolo were added to by Admir Mehmedi, Pajtim Kasami and Eren Derdiyok.

That meant Slovenia would need to match their win to remain in contention for automatic qualification, but they could only draw with Lithuania as Arvydas Novikovas’ late strike cancelled out Valter Birsa’s opener – both goals coming from the penalty spot.

The point takes Slovenia three clear of Estonia in the race for the play-off spot. The head-to-head is level after a 1-0 home win apiece, but Slovenia have much the better goal difference and play San Marino on Monday.

In Group G, goals in the final 10 minutes from Austria’s Marko Arnautovic and Marcel Sabitzer ended Montenegro’s qualifying hopes as Sweden and Russia took their battle for second place down to the final game.

Russia have a two-point advantage after beating Moldova 2-1, Sergei Ignashevich and Artem Dzyuba with the goals before Eugeniu Cebotaru pulled one back late on.

Sweden remained in contention with a 2-0 win in Liechtenstein, Marcus Berg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring either side of half-time.

They play Moldova in their final game while Russia host Montenegro, who harboured hopes of a play-off place until the closing stages against already-qualified Austria.

Mirko Vucinic’s goal was cancelled out by Marc Janko but Fatos Beciraj restored their lead, only for the visitors’ late salvo and Vucinic’s dismissal to see them eliminated after a 3-2 defeat.