Denmark and Albania have confirmed their places at UEFA EURO 2024, while Italy claimed a welcome win that boosts the holders’ hopes.
Thirteen of the 24 teams that will contest next summer’s UEFA EURO 2024 finals are now known after Albania and Denmark secured their places with a game to spare on Friday, 24 hours after Hungary and Slovakia had done the same.
UEFA.com rounds up the Matchday 9 action on the road to the finals in Germany. All the qualifying fixtures
Highlights: Denmark 2-1 Slovenia
Thomas Delaney marked his return to form with the second-half winner as Denmark sealed their finals spot with a dominant performance in Copenhagen. The home side were on top throughout against a Slovenia side they began the evening level on points with, and were good value for their lead courtesy of Joakim Mæhle’s 26th-minute tap-in. Erik Janža soon replied with a free-kick which proved to be Slovenia’s only shot on target, but the visitors had no answer to Delaney.
Key stat: Denmark’s eighth successive EURO qualifying win at home sealed their tenth finals appearance.
Group B: France vs Gibraltar, Netherlands vs Republic of Ireland
Group D: Armenia vs Wales (15:00), Latvia vs Croatia (18:00)
Group I: Belarus vs Andorra (18:00), Israel vs Romania, Switzerland vs Kosovo
Kick-offs 20:45 CET unless stated otherwise
Highlights: Moldova 1-1 Albania
Albania got the point they needed to be sure of reaching their second EURO, but their hosts kept them under sustained pressure in Chisinau. Sylvinho’s side had been on the back foot from the off but profited from a foul on the edge of the box, Sokol Çikalleshi finishing calmly from the penalty spot on 25 minutes. However, Moldova never gave up and pushed Albania all the way to the final whistle after Vladislav Baboglo smashed in a loose ball to level on 87 minutes.
Key stat: Albania are on a six-match unbeaten run in Group E (W4 D2), equalling their longest sequence without defeat in EURO qualifying set between October 2011 and September 2015.
Highlights: Italy 5-2 North Macedonia
The Azzurri need a point against Ukraine on Monday after a free-flowing attacking display in Rome. Matteo Darmian nodded in the 17th-minute opener and while Stole Dimitrievski saved Jorginho’s low penalty, the dangerous Federico Chiesa struck twice inside the final eight minutes of the first half. Substitute Jani Atanasov struck twice to set up a grandstand finale, but clinical efforts from Giacomo Raspadori with nine minutes remaining and Stephan El Shaarawy in added time gave the hosts a commanding win.
Key stat: Italy have scored in 34 successive EURO qualifying matches, since a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland in 2010.
- Czechia will go head-to-head with Moldova for a finals spot on Monday after Tomáš Souček earned a 1-1 draw in Poland that ended their hosts own ambitions of automatic qualification.
- Harry Kane struck his 25th goal of the season for club and country as England beat Malta 2-0 to secure a 14th successive home win in EURO qualifiers.
- San Marino scored for the second EURO qualifier running for the first time in their history but Kazakhstan proved too strong in Astana, with Islam Chesnokov scoring twice in a 3-1 win.
- Finland ended a three-match losing run in style, beating Northern Ireland 4-0 in Helsinki to keep alive hopes of finishing third in Group H.
Group A: Georgia 2-2 Scotland, Cyprus 1-3 Spain
Group F: Azerbaijan 3-0 Sweden, Estonia 0-2 Austria
Group G: Bulgaria 2-2 Hungary, Montenegro 2-0 Lithuania
Group J: Liechtenstein 0-2 Portugal, Luxembourg 4-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia 4-2 Iceland
Highlights: Bulgaria 2-2 Hungary
Hungary secured qualification for their third consecutive EURO finals after a dramatic added-time own goal guaranteed a place in the top two of Group G. The visitors took an early lead through Martin Ádám’s powerful header but the hosts levelled 14 minutes later, Spas Delev turning sharply and finding the net. Both teams were reduced to ten men as Valentin Antov and Miloš Kerkez were shown second yellow cards, before Bulgaria went ahead on 79 minutes through a Kiril Despodov penalty. There was to be a late twist in the tale, however, as Alex Petkov headed into his own net with practically the last touch of the game to spark delirium among the Hungary players and staff.
Key stat: Hungary are unbeaten in their last 11 matches including friendlies (W6 D5). Their last defeat was a 2-0 Nations League loss to Italy back in September 2022.
Highlights: Slovakia 4-2 Iceland
Slovakia clinched second spot in Group J and a place in Germany next summer with a convincing 4-2 win over Iceland. Orri Óskarsson headed the visitors ahead, but Juraj Kucka glanced in the leveller before Ondrej Duda’s penalty turned the match on its head. Two similar finishes after the break from Lukáš Haraslín – each one bent in after he had cut in from the left – sealed victory, with Andri Guðjohnsen’s late effort for Iceland counting for little.
Key stat: Slovakia have qualified for a third successive EURO. They reached the round of 16 at EURO 2016 but could not progress beyond the group stage at EURO 2020.
Highlights: Liechtenstein 0-2 Portugal
- Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 128th international goal of his career in Portugal’s win against Liechtenstein in Group J. Ronaldo is now joint-top scorer in qualifying with ten goals, level with Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku.
- Lamine Yamal scored again as Spain maintained their place at the top of Group A with victory in Cyprus. The 16-year-old has already become the youngest scorer in EURO qualifying history, and the Barcelona winger now has two goals in three appearances for his country.
- Khvicha Kvaratskhelia netted twice for Georgia in Group A’s other match, but Scott McTominay scored his seventh goal of qualifying and Lawrence Shankland equalised late on to earn a draw for Steve Clarke’s side.