Euro 2017 Qualifying - Group 5: Germany and Russia head to the Netherlands

Euro 2017 Qualifying - Group 5: Germany and Russia head to the Netherlands

Can anyone stop Germany when the finals roll round?

Jonathan Walsh

Russia and Germany will be the two sides from Group Five that will be Netherlands-bound next summer, after they secured qualification to the Euro 2017 finals.

As expected for reigning champions

Immaculate. Superb. Perfect, even. All words that could be used to describe Germany's qualifying campaign that went by without a single hiccup. The Gold medal winners from Rio scored 35 and didn't concede once in their eight games; quite the feat, with a change of head coach having no effect on their ability to win comfortably.

Whether it be Silvia Neid or Steffi Jones, Germany still won to-nil and even when most of their squad were off on holiday. There were no stand-out goalscorers - Alexandra Popp top-scored with five - as the squad shared them around, another sign of their strengths. It'll take something very special to dethrone the Germans this coming summer.

Russia through by the skin of their teeth

The Russians were almost down to drawing lots in order to find out if they'd secured an automatic place in the finals. A first-half blitz saw them grab the four goals they needed to be level with Romania, but it was only when Ekaterina Sochneva scored the fifth against Croatia that meant they edged out Romania on goals scored to reach the Euros.

Aside from the defeats to Germany, Russia were only held twice and kept clean sheets in five of their eight games. They'll be no easy match come 2017 and will be setting their stall out to make things difficult before springing into attack. With goals coming throughout the team, it'll be hard for teams to shut them down completely.

Hungary, Croatia and Turkey fail to get going

As for the rest, it was a case of defensive frailties and failing to find the net on a regular basis that proved costly. Hungary's chances took a major blow when they were beaten by Tukey, and outside of Zsanett Jakabfi the team struggled. It was a similar story for the Croatians, while Turkey will be delighted to have taken points of Hungary and Russia.