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England in the European Championship 2000
Preliminary Competition


European Championship 2000 Preliminary Competition

Group 5 Table
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Sweden 8 7 1 0 10 1 +9 22
England 8 3 4 1 14 4 +10 13
Poland 8 4 1 3 12 8 +4 13
Bulgaria 8 2 2 4 6 8 -2 8
Luxembourg 8 0 0 8 2 23 -21 0


Group 5 Matches
Date Match Score H.T. Venue Att.
05-Sep-1998 Sweden 2 England 1 [2-1] Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna kommun, Stockholms län. 35,394
06-Sep-1998 Bulgaria 0 Poland 3 [0-2] Neftochimik Stadion, Bourgas. 18,000
10-Oct-1998 England 0 Bulgaria 0 [0-0] Empire Stadium, Wembley, London. 72,794
10-Oct-1998 Poland 3 Luxembourg 0 [2-0] Stadion Wojska Polskiego, Warszawa. 8,000
14-Oct-1998 Bulgaria 0 Sweden 1 [0-0] Neftochimik Stadion, Bourgas. 15,000
14-Oct-1998 Luxembourg 0 England 3 [0-2] Stade Josy Barthel, Stad Lëtzebuerg. 8,054
27-Mar-1999 England 3 Poland 1 [2-1] Empire Stadium, Wembley, London. 73,836
27-Mar-1999 Sweden 2 Luxembourg 0 [1-0] Nya Ullevi Stadion, Heden, Göteborg. 37,728
31-Mar-1999 Luxembourg 0 Bulgaria 2 [0-2] Stade Josy Barthel, Stad Lëtzebuerg. 3,004
31-Mar-1999 Poland 0 Sweden 1 [0-1] Stadion Śląski, Katowicka, Chorzów. 28,860
04-Jun-1999 Poland 2 Bulgaria 0 [1-0] Stadion Wojska Polskiego, Warszawa. 6,200
05-Jun-1999 England 0 Sweden 0 [0-0] Empire Stadium, Wembley, London. 75,824
09-Jun-1999 Bulgaria 1 England 1 [1-1] Stadion Balgarska Armia, Sofiya. 25,000
09-Jun-1999 Luxembourg 2 Poland 3 [0-2] Stade Josy Barthel, Stad Lëtzebuerg. 2,806
04-Sep-1999 England 6 Luxembourg 0 [5-0] Empire Stadium, Wembley, London. 68,772
04-Sep-1999 Sweden 1 Bulgaria 0  [0-0] Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna kommun, Stockholms län. 35,640
08-Sep-1999 Luxembourg 0 Sweden 1  [0-1] Stade Josy Barthel, Stad Lëtzebuerg. 4,228
08-Sep-1999 Poland 0 England 0  [0-0] Stadion Wojska Polskiego, Warszawa. 14,025
09-Oct-1999 Sweden 2 Poland 0 [0-0] Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna kommun, Stockholms län. 35,375
10-Oct-1999 Bulgaria 3 Luxembourg 0 [1-0] Stadion Balgarska Armia, Sofiya.  3,000


Playoff Matches
Date Match Score H.T. Venue Att.
13-Nov-1999 Scotland 0 England 2 [0-2] Hampden Park, Glasgow. 50,132
17-Nov-1999 England 0 Scotland 1 [0-1] Empire Stadium, Wembley, London. 75,848


Immediately following the preliminary draw, bookmakers installed England as favourites to win one of the most difficult qualifying groups.  England did, indeed, qualify for the finals, but they had to do it the hard way.

By way of Sweden's victory over Poland in the qualifying competition's last round, England finished with the same number of points as Poland and gained second place in the qualifying group under UEFA regulations for the competition.  Those regulations specified that points deadlocks would be broken by looking first at the points earned in the two qualifying matches between the deadlocked teams.  England beat Poland at Wembley Stadium, 3-1, and played them to a scoreless draw in Warsaw.  While first place Sweden earned a spot in the Euro 2000 finals, England, as a second place team, had to win a home and away playoff series to advance.  

Twelve of the 16 berths in the finals were filled at the end of qualifying group play:  the two automatically qualified host nations, Belgium and Netherlands; the nine qualifying group winners, Italy, Norway, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Romania, Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic; and the second place team with the best record, Portugal. 

The remaining second place teams from the eight other qualifying groups, including England, were paired for home and away playoff games in a draw held Wednesday, October 13, 1999 in Aachen, Germany.  The eight teams in the draw were not seeded, and so England's opponent could have been any one of the seven other teams.  But the luck of the draw paired England with Scotland, thus renewing the oldest rivalry in international football. 

England beat Scotland in the away leg, 2-0, lost the home leg, 1-0, and advanced on aggregate score, 2-1.  In the three other playoff pairings, Turkey advanced over the Republic of Ireland, Denmark over Israel and Slovenia over Ukraine.  The four teams winning the playoffs joined the other 12 qualifying teams in the Euro 2000 finals staged from June 10 to July 2.


UEFA divided the 49 teams seeking to qualify for the 2000 European Championship finals into nine groups at the preliminary draw held in Ghent, Belgium on January 18, 1998.  Before the draw, UEFA seeded the teams into five tiers using its late 1997 European national team ranking table, which assigned each team a coefficient calculated from results in the qualifying competitions for the 1996 European Championship and the 1998 World Cup. 

Because Netherlands, ranked 11th, and Belgium, ranked 18th, qualified for the final tournament automatically as hosts, they were not included in the seedings list, and so all teams ranked below them had seedings one or two places higher than their rankings.  Moreover, UEFA made Germany the No. 1 seed although it was ranked 5th, presumably because of its fine record in the European Championship, and thus all teams with rankings higher than Germany were seeded a place lower than their ranking. 

Since England, as the host nation, did not participate in qualifying for the 1996 European Championship, their coefficient was calculated only on the basis of qualifying results for the 1998 World Cup.  England were one of the nine top-seeded teams.  

The draw assigned to qualifying Group 2 Luxembourg, ranked 44th and seeded 42nd, from the fifth tier of teams, Poland, ranked 30th and seeded 28th, from the fourth tier, Sweden, ranked 23rd and seeded 21st, from the third tier, Bulgaria, ranked 10th and seeded 10th, from the second, and England, ranked 4th and seeded 5th, from the first.  

Further Information

UEFA's Euro 2000 official website has the results, tables and match reports, including goal scorers and times but not lineups, for all qualifying groups and playoffs.  Full match summaries, including lineups, may be found in the Rec.Sports.Soccer Statistical Foundation Archive.