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  Qualifying Round

  

Group 6

It seemed unlikely after the first round of matches in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying Group 6 that Greece would end up celebrating automatic qualification and Spain contemplating the play-offs. Yet one week in June turned the group on its head. 

The opening matches in September 2002 only hinted at the twists to come. Spain impressed in winning 2-0 in Greece, while Ukraine stormed into a 2-0 lead in Armenia only for the home side to mount a comeback and equalise through substitute Albert Sargsyan's penalty three minutes into added time. 

Greece's poor start continued in October as they lost 2-0 again, this time in Ukraine, while Spain cruised to a 3-0 victory at home against Northern Ireland. A 2-0 home win against Armenia finally got Greece off the mark four days later, while Northern Ireland held Ukraine 0-0 in Belfast. 

The section's most dramatic match came in Kiev on 29 March, Ukraine holding a 1-0 lead against Spain until the 83rd minute - when goals from Raúl González and Joseba Etxeberría put the visitors ahead only for Andriy Husin to volley an equaliser in added time. Armenia scored a similarly late winner to beat Northern Ireland 1-0, while four days later Greece won 2-0 in Belfast and Spain saw off Armenia 3-0. 

Spain were in firm command of the group, but on 6 June that all changed as Greece came to Zaragoza with a new sweeper system and Stylianos Giannakopoulos's 42nd-minute goal gave them victory against the run of play. Meanwhile, Ukraine needed another injury-time strike to beat Armenia 4-3. Four days later Greece went top for the first time as they overcame Ukraine 1-0 and Spain were held by Northern Ireland. 

It was a turn of events from which Spain and Ukraine never recovered. In September, Greece beat Armenia by their favoured 1-0 scoreline, while Ukraine were held 0-0 in Kiev by Northern Ireland. Four days later, Ukraine were out as they lost 2-1 in Spain, while Armenia secured fourth place by beating Northern Ireland 1-0 - the losers setting a European record with their 12th consecutive goalless game. 

As the group ended, Spain visited Armenia needing Northern Ireland to do them a favour in Greece. Spain duly won 4-0, but Vassilios Tsiartas's 69th-minute penalty secured Greece's fourth straight 1-0 victory, and booked their ticket to Portugal. Spain were left to console themselves with a place in the play-offs, where they were paired with Norway.
  - UEFA.com

 
Greece 0-2 Spain 07/09/02
  Raul 7
Valeron 76
Armenia 2-2 Ukraine 07/09/02
Petrosyan 74
Sargsyan pen 89
Serebrennikov 2
Zubov 33
Spain 3-0 Northern Ireland 12/10/02
Baraja 19, 88
Guti ??
 
Ukraine 2-1 Greece 12/10/02
Vorobey 52
Voronin 90
 
Greece 2-0 Armenia 16/10/02
Nikolaidis 2, 60  
Northern Ireland 0-0 Ukraine 16/10/02
   
Armenia 1-0 Northern Ireland 29/03/03
Petrosian 86  
Ukraine 2-2 Spain 29/03/03
Voronin 12
Gorshkov 90
Raul 84
Etxeberria 86
Northern Ireland 0-2 Greece 02/04/03
  Charisteas 3, 56
Spain 3-0 Armenia 02/04/03
Tristan 61
Helguera 67
Joaquin 90
 
Spain 0-1 Greece 07/06/03
  Giannakopoulos 42
Ukraine 4-3 Armenia 07/06/03
Gorshkov 43
Shevchenko pen 65, 73
Fedorov 90
Sargsian pen 15, 50
Petrosian 73
Northern Ireland 0-0 Spain 11/06/03
   
Greece 1-0 Ukraine 11/06/03
Charisteas 78  
Armenia 0-1 Greece 06/09/03
  Vryzas 36
Ukraine 0-0 Northern Ireland 06/09/03
   
Northern Ireland 0-1 Armenia 10/09/03
  Karamian 27
Spain 2-1 Ukraine 10/09/03
Raul 61, 72 Shevchenko 83
Greece 1-0 Northern Ireland 11/10/03
Tsartas pen 69  
Armenia 0-4 Spain 11/10/03
  Valeron 7
Raul 74
Reyes 86, 90

 

 

 

 

 

 « Group Standings »

Group 6
Greece
Spain
Ukraine
Armenia
N.Ireland

P
8
8
8
8
8

W
6
5
2
2
0

D
0
2
4
1
3

L
2
1
2
5
5

F
8
16
11
7
0

A
4
4
10
16
8

Pt
18
17
10
7
3

 

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