Euro 2017 Qualifying - Group 6: Switzerland and Italy through to the finals

Euro 2017 Qualifying - Group 6: Switzerland and Italy through to the finals

The two favourites were comfortable in their passage to the Netherlands.

Jonathan Walsh

After an arduous year of qualification, both Switzerland and Italy have earned the right to be at Euro 2017 from Group 6 of the qualification period.

Switzerland cruise through

The Swiss were expected to top the group but perhaps not at the rate they managed it in the end. 34 goals scored, three conceded; it doesn't get much better than that. From start to finish the group was under their control and it is a credit to Martina Voss-Tecklenburg for not allowing their incredible level of performance to drop.

The goals were shared equally throughout the side but Ana-Maria Crnogorčević shone with seven in eight, while Fabienne Humm got six. Not even Romana Bachmann had to be at her best, which is a scary proposition for the sides they'll face next summer. Potential dark horses for the tournament? You bet.

Italy comfortable in second

Aside from the all-conquering group winners Italy fell behind just twice, once each to Northern Ireland and Georgia. They've been in control of second spot when the draw was made and duly lived up to their billing as the second best team in group six. However, sterner tests are to come in the finals.

They knew a win against the Czechs would be enough and did just that, as a 3-1 advantage going into the final 30 minutes made for comfortable reading if you're an Italian fan. Cristiana Girelli and Ilaria Mauro will be the key duo they'll count on to fire them further in the Netherlands, after bagging a combined 11 goals in qualifying.

Czechs and Northern Ireland battling but out, Georgia bottom

Despite the best efforts of both Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic, neither could get close to the two qualified nations; at least in terms of the table. Italy most certainly knew they were in a game with NI when Simone Magill spectacularly opened the scoring, but three late strikes killed off the visitors' hopes of a shock win.

In truth, the 8-1 aside, Northern Ireland have been a match for every team they've faced and that final hurdle, a missed chance or a goal at the wrong time has knocked the wind from their sails. However, there are certainly plenty of positives going forward for Alfie Wylie's young and impressive outfit.

The same can be said of the Czechs who, if they can get Lucie Vonkova in form, can perhaps begin to push on to challenge the likes of Italy for a second spot. Much like the side that finished three points below them, it was a case of looking to the future with bright eyes, bushy tails and what could be in the coming months.

In the first match of the campaign when Gulnara Gabelia gave Georgia the lead against Italy, eyebrows were certainly raised. Unfortunately for them, that was as good as it got as 34 goals conceded and just another goal scored made for a fairly miserable eight games.