Euro Cup 2012 qualifiers are well underway with today’s play off draw renewing old Euro Cup rivalries.
This mornings draw placed Turkey v. Croatia, reminding us of one of 2008′s most memorable quarterfinal match-ups. Croatia were on the verge of a semi-final place after Ivan Klasnić struck in the 119th minute only for Semih Şentürk to score a dramatic equalizer in the dying seconds. Turkey went on to win the shoot-out and face Germany in the semis.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina and Portugal draw also feature a repeat feat. Portugal’s 2010 World Cup qualifying game was courtesy of a playoff success against Bosnia & Herzegovina, a feat Portugal will have to repeat if they hope to make it to Poland and Ukraine.
The Estonia v. Republic of Ireland and Czech Republic v. Montenegro draws bring some new challengers to the Euro Cup. Newcomers Estonia will be fighting for a chance at their first major soccer championship while the Republic of Ireland hope to return to world competition after missing out on the 2010 World Cup after a controversial hand ball against France. Newly independent Montenegro will be bidding for the chance to participate in their first tournament while Euro 1996 runner-ups Czech Republic hope to return to their glory days.
Tune in November 11th and 12th for the first leg of these exciting qualifiers!