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Armenia aiming to secure play-off spot

ARMENIAN hero Yura Movsisyan has promised that his side have every intention of sneaking a second-place finish in the Euro 2012 qualifiers and earning a spot in the play-offs at Ireland's expense.

The Armenians are the form team in Group B right now, and should they win their next game, at home to Macedonia in front of a sell-out crowd on Friday, they will come to Dublin for the final matchday in the group next Tuesday just a point behind Ireland -- presuming Ireland win away to Andorra on Friday, of course.

Fans at home in Armenia, and their large diaspora, are on a high after Vardan Minasyan's side recovered from a poor start to the group -- they lost their opening game at home to Ireland -- and have wondered if they can even win the group.

But their star forward Movsisyan, who was raised in the USA but is now playing for Russian side Krasnodar, says that second place is their aim.

"It is possible for us to win the group if we win our last two games and if Russia lose their two, but although it is possible it is unlikely," said Movsisyan.

"I can't see Russia dropping points in their last two games, and I have to be realistic.

"Russia have been lucky so far in some games, but they have got the results they needed and that's what is important too. But we can finish in second place and that is our aim," he added.

"It's hard for me to say too much about Ireland, I've only played against them once. But they have great players in their team, they all play with good English clubs.

"So it's hard to know how all of the matches over the next week will work out but I believe we can win our games," he added.

Armenia welcomed a crowd of only 8,000 for their first home game of the group, against Ireland last September, but last month the Armenian FA announced that Friday's game with Macedonia was a 20,000 sell-out.