The visitors, who had held on for a gallant goalless draw in the first leg in Bosnia, twice narrowed the deficit to a single goal despite being hampered by the 54th minute sending-off of Senad Lucic. A thunderous eighth minute free-kick from Ronaldo and an even more powerful long-range drive from Nani on 24 minutes appeared to have settled home nerves and sent the favourites through. But Zvjezdan Misimovic slotted a penalty to halve the deficit before Ronaldo struck again on 53. The ten-man visitors scored again before two late Postiga strikes and a free-kick from Miguel Veloso gave a lopsided look to the scoreline.
Czech Republic reached their fifth straight European Championship finals by beating Montenegro 1-0 in the second-leg of their play-off last night to complete a 3-0 win on aggregate. The Czechs, who finished second in Scotland’s group, followed up their 2-0 victory in Prague on Friday with a 1-0 triumph in Podgorica as Petr Jiracek drove in an 81st minute goal from ten yards.
Croatia had entered their second-leg against Turkey in an even more comfortable position having beaten Guus Hiddink’s team 3-0 in Istanbul last Friday.
They booked their place in the finals in Poland and Ukraine by playing out a goalless draw in last night’s second leg.
Before the match had even kicked-off, it was reported in Turkey that 65-year-old Hiddink is to stand down as national coach. The former Chelsea coach has been linked to wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
EURO 2012 QUALIFIERS
Pot 1: Poland, Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain. Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia. Pot 3: Croatia, Sweden, Greece, Portugal. Pot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland.