Croatia’s convincing 3-0 win over Bulgaria last night has kept Ante Čačić’s side in the hunt for direct qualification to Euro 2016 in France next year. Remember it is the top two teams from each group who qualify automatically, with the 3rd placed team going into a play-off…
With one round remaining and Croatia currently sitting in third spot, these are the scenarios.
Final Round, Tuesday, 13 October
Italy v Norway
Malta V Croatia
1. Norway draw with Italy – Croatia beat Malta
If Norway draw with Italy away and Croatia claim all three points in Malta, which is expected, then Croatia will finish the group in second place on equal points with Norway, however Croatia would advance as they have both a better goal difference.
2. Norway lose to Italy – Croatia beat Malta
If Italy beat Norway and Croatia beat Malta then Croatia would overtake Norway and finish 1 point ahead of them in second spot, meaning automatic qualification.
3. Norway beat Italy – Croatia beat Malta
If Norway beat Italy then it does not matter what Croatia does in Malta as mathematically there is no chance to overtake them in second place. Croatia would face a play-off in November with the other sides that finished 3rd in their groups. There is some hope however as the best third placed team also qualifies automatically. Croatia would need other results to go their way in other groups.
4. Croatia lose in Malta
Then they don’t deserve to go to France. But in this case it would not matter what happened in Italy as Croatia would go into the playoffs.