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France, Portugal among eight nations set for UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs

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France and Portugal are among the nations to have secured a place in the playoff round of European qualification for World Cup 2014.

France beat Finland 3-0 in its last Group game, but Spain's win over Georgia ensured Les Bleus were consigned to second, while Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates finished a point behind Fabio Capello's Russia in Group F.

The one UEFA group runner-up that will miss out on a playoff spot due to its worst record against the first-, third-, fourth- and fifth-placed sides is Denmark due to there only being eight spots up for grabs.

Group B's race for second between four teams - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Armenia and the Danes - went down to the wire, and the way the countries took points off each other worked against them in the end.

Sweden was the only team heading into the final round of matches to be guaranteed to be in the playoffs, with Germany a distant Group C winner, no teams challenging for second place and the bottom-placed team already decided.

The second team to know its playoff fate was Greece, as Bosnia and Herzegovina won to deny the Euro 2004 winner automatic entry to the World Cup. Croatia already bagged second place in Group A and was able to avoid missing out on the playoffs despite losing 2-0 to Scotland in its final game on Tuesday.

Iceland, which has never reached a major international tournament in its footballing history, will be delighted to have a crack at World Cup 2014 qualification after Slovenia was defeated 1-0 by Group E winners Switzerland, meaning the Scandinavians' 1-1 draw with Norway was enough to finish second.

Turkey's 2-0 defeat to Netherlands ensured that Romania finished ahead of its Group D runner-up challengers, and Fatih Terim's men slipped from second to fourth, with Hungary hopping into third with its 2-0 win over Andorra.

The final spot on Tuesday went to Ukraine, which hammered San Marino 8-0 but was pipped to first place in Group H by England.

The draw for the two-legged ties will take place Oct. 21 in Zurich. The seeded sides are Croatia, Portugal, Greece and Ukraine, with France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland set to be the unseeded four sides.

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