Fri, Oct 14, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Bosnia again stand in Portugal’s way in Euro playoff

AFP, KRAKOW, Poland

Portugal, losing finalists in 2004, will face outsiders Bosnia in their Euro 2012 play-off, while Estonia take on the Republic of Ireland following yesterday’s draw in Krakow, Poland.

In the other ties, 1996 runners-up the Czech Republic will take on Montenegro and Turkey will meet Croatia.

The first legs will be spread between Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, with the returns all on Nov. 15.

The Bosnians will enjoy home advantage for the home leg and then have to negotiate a trip to Lisbon to face Cristiano Ronaldo and company as they attempt to reach the finals for the first time.

Portugal just edged out the same play-off opposition two years ago as they won both games 1-0 to advance to last year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

Former Polish international Zbigniew Boniek drew the names out of the hat.

The four play-off winners will join the 10 nations who went through automatically from the qualifying groups — Germany, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden (as best runners-up), Greece, England, Denmark, holders Spain and France, as well as Poland and Ukraine, who qualify as co-hosts.

The draw for the finals will be held on Dec. 2 in Kiev, with the finals starting on June 8 and running to July 1. The finals will be the last to comprise 16 teams, with the format being extended to 24 for the 2016 edition in France.

Draw:

‧ Turkey vs Croatia

‧ Estonia vs Republic of Ireland

‧ The Czech Republic vs Montenegro

‧ Bosnia vs Portugal

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