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  Qualifying Round

  

Group 8

A watertight defence and flourishing attack proved the perfect combination as Bulgaria qualified for UEFA EURO 2004 with a game to spare from Group 8, winning five and drawing two of their opening seven games, taking them beyond the reach of Croatia, who pipped Belgium to second place. 

Bulgaria conceded just three goals in the unbeaten run which secured their place in the 16-team tournament and scored at least two goals in all but one encounter, the goalless draw with fourth-placed Estonia. Andorra finished bottom of the five-team group after losing all eight matches. 

Bulgaria established a lead they would never relinquish by winning their opening game in September 2002 against Belgium in Brussels, thanks to goals from Zoran Jankovic and Stilian Petrov, while Croatia and Estonia played out a 0-0 draw. They went on to record a second 2-0 victory, at home against Croatia a month later, with Petrov and Dimitar Berbatov on the scoresheet. 

The same day, Belgium recorded the first of two Wesley Sonck-inspired 1-0 victories - the second coming four days later in Estonia, while Bulgaria extended their perfect start by beating Andorra. Georgi Chilikov and Krassimir Balakov scored the goals that seemed to put Baric's side on course for a third 2-0 win, but Antonio Lima pulled one back it was Andorra's only goal of their campaign. 

After a stuttering start, Croatia brushed aside Belgium with a sparkling 4-0 home victory at the end of March and followed that up by collecting their second win in five days, 2-0 against Andorra, as Estonia held Bulgaria 0-0. Back-to-back 2-0 triumphs against Andorra briefly lifted Estonia into second place and gave them hope, the latter in June while Belgium were drawing 2-2 in Bulgaria. Four days later, though, Estonia were beaten 1-0 by Croatia while Belgium beat Andorra 3-0. 

In September, Croatia also overcame Andorra 3-0 while Estonia's hopes faded as they lost 2-0 in Bulgaria, whose 3-0 win in Andorra four days later secured them first place as Belgium kept their hopes alive by beating Croatia 2-1. Croatia still had the head-to-head advantage, though, and their 1-0 win the next month against Buglaria took them to play-offs despite Belgium's 2-0 victory against Estonia.
  - UEFA.com

 
Belgium 0-2 Bulgaria 07/09/02
  Yankovich 23
Petrov  65
Croatia 0-0 Estonia 07/09/02
   
Andorra 0-1 Belgium 12/10/02
  Sonck 62
Bulgaria 2-0 Croatia 12/10/02
Petrov 21
Berbatov 37
 
Estonia 0-1 Belgium 16/10/02
  Sonck 2
Bulgaria 2-1 Andorra 16/10/02
Chilikov 37
Balakoc 58
Lima 80
Croatia 4-0 Belgium 29/03/03
Srna 9
Prso 53
Maric 68
Leko 76
 
Estonia 0-0 Bulgaria 02/04/03
   
Croatia 2-0 Andorra 02/04/03
n/a  
Andorra 2-0 Estonia 30/04/03
  Zelinski 27, 75
Bulgaria 2-2 Belgium 07/06/03
Berbatov 53
Todorov pen 72
Kirilov og 31
Clement 56
Estonia 2-0 Andorra 07/06/03
Allas 23
Viikmae 32
 
Estonia 0-1 Croatia 11/06/03
  Kovac 77
Belgium 3-0 Andorra 11/06/03
Goor 25, 68
Sonck 44
 
Bulgaria 2-0 Estonia 06/09/03
Petrov 16
Berbatov 67
 
Andorra 0-3 Croatia 06/09/03
  Kovac 5
Simunic 16
Rosso 71
Belgium 2-1 Croatia 10/09/03
Sonck 34, 42 Simic 35 
Andorra 0-3 Bulgaria 10/09/03
  Berbatov 11, 22
Hristov 58
Croatia 1-0 Bulgaria 11/10/03
Olic 48  
Belgium 2-0 Estonia 11/10/03
Reinumae og 44
Buffel 60
 

 

 

 

 

  Group Standings

Group 8
Bulgaria
Croatia
Belgium
Estonia
Andorra

P
8
8
8
8
8

W
5
5
5
2
0

D
2
1
1
2
0

L
1
2
2
4
8

F
13
12
11

4
1

A
4
4
9
6
18

Pt
17
16
16
8
0

 

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