EURO 2012: Malta drawn with Croatia, Greece and Israel

Malta was drawn with Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia and Georgia in Group F of the qualifying round of the UEFA EURO 2012. The draw was held in Warsaw on Sunday.

There were fifty-one teams in the draw as co-hosts Poland and Ukraine qualify automatically. Six groups are made up of six teams and three are made up of five. The nine winners and the runner-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their group qualify directly for the final tournament. The eight remaining runners-up contest play-off matches in November 2011.

Teams will play one another on a home-and-away basis, with qualifiers scheduled according to the international match calendar between September 2010 and October 2011. The associations in a group have 30 days in which to agree on the order of their matches. The following 12 dates are reserved for group matches in qualifying:
a) 3/4 and 7 September 2010
b) 8/9 and 12 October 2010
c) 25/26 and 29 March 2011
d) 3/4 and 7 June 2011
e) 2/3 and 6 September 2011
f) 7/8 and 11 October 2011

CROATIA Malta met Croatia four times – twice in the EURO 2000 qualifiers and twice in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. Croatia won three of the games with the other – played in September 2005 – ending in a 1-1 draw.

GREECE Malta met Greece eight times – a win for Malta, a draw and five wins for Greece in the qualifiers for the 1972, 1976, 1992 and 2008 European Championships. In the last two matches between the two countries, Greece registered a narrow 1-0 win at Ta’ Qali in March 2007 but then won 5-0 at home in November 2007.

ISRAEL Malta met Israel six times – four friendly matches and twice in the EURO 2004 qualifiers. In the last two matches, Israel won 2-0 at Ta’ Qali in October 2002 but the other clash ended in a 2-2 draw at the neutral ground in Antalya, Turkey.

LATVIA Malta and Latvia met three times – twice in friendly matches and another in the Rothmans Tournament. Malta won 1-0 at Ta’ Qali in May 1992, Latvia won 2-0 at home in June 1994 but Malta won once again 2-1 in the tournament in February 1998.

GEORGIA Malta and Georgia met five times – twice in friendly matches and three times in the Malta tournament. Malta registered one win, Georgia three and the other match ended in a draw. Malta obtained the only win over Georgia last August when a brace by Michael Mifsud gave John Buttigieg’s side a 2-0 win.

The draws were as follows:
Group A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan.
Group B: Russia, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra.
Group C: Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands.
Group D: France, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania, Luxembourg.
Group E: Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, San Marino.
Group F: Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, MALTA.
Group G: England, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro.
Group H: Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Iceland.
Group I: Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein.