We got to know the next Euro finalists. Two powerhouses with wins. Luxembourg’s surprise
Portugal probably won against Iceland, but the Spaniards struggled a bit against the Georgians, and to make matters worse, Gavi from Barcelona suffered an injury. It is also worth praising Luxembourg, which aspires to become a European medium-sized country. And what else happened in Sunday’s qualifying matches for next year’s Euro?
After seven rounds, the Spaniards had six wins, one defeat and were promoted from first place. And since Georgia no longer had a chance to take second place, Sunday’s match had no major significance. And what happened on the pitch? The Spaniards took the lead in the 4th minute when Ferran Torres, Robert Lewandowski’s replacement in Barcelona, played to Robin Le Normand, and the Real Sociedad player put the ball into the net.
A few minutes later, Chwicza Kwaracchelia, a brilliant Napoli winger, who had scored two goals in the match against Scotland (2-2) a few days earlier, equalized the score.
Interestingly: before the match, Willy Sagnol, the Georgian coach, said that Kwaradona was interested in, among others, Real Madrid and Barcelona. But let’s get back to the stadium in Valladolid. Before the Spanish took the lead again, Gavi, a talented Barcelona midfielder, had to leave the pitch injured .
Just after the change of sides, Spain scored another goal. Jose Gaya crossed the ball into the penalty area, and Ferran Torres scored from close range, and then, rejoicing, showed Gavi’s shirt to the fans.
In the 76th minute it was 3-1, because after a cross by the brilliant 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, Georgian Luka Lochoshvili unluckyly directed the ball into his own goal. With the victory, Spain gained 24 points out of a possible 24. Second place in the group was taken by the Scots (17 points), who drew 3-3 with the Norwegians on Sunday, although they played without Erling Haaland. And it was the Scots, alongside the Spaniards, who advanced to Euro 2024.
- Spain – 8 games, 21 points
- Scotland – 8 games, 17 points
- Norway – 8 matches, 11 points
- Georgia – 8 games, 8 points
- Cyprus – 8 matches, 0 points
What was happening in Group J?
Portugal also played on Sunday and easily defeated Iceland 2-0. In the first half, Bruno Fernandes from Manchester United scored a beautiful, technical shot, and after the break, Braga striker Ricardo Horta increased the lead, passed by Cristiano Ronaldo, the author of 10 goals in these qualifiers.
We should also mention Luxembourg, which defeated Liechtenstein 1-0 and finished the qualifying round with 17 points and lost only three games out of 10 (five wins and two draws).
Group J table
- Portugal – 10 matches, 30 points
- Slovakia – 10 matches, 22 points
- Luxembourg – 10 matches, 17 points
- Iceland – 10 matches, 10 points
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – 10 matches, 9 points
- Liechtenstein – 10 matches, 0 points
The Serbs drew 2-2 with the Bulgarians, thanks to which they took second place in Group G, just behind Hungary. The Serbs will play at the European Championships for the first time. That is: they played once in 2000 as representatives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and reached the quarterfinals. In the 21st century, Serbia has played in the World Cup four times.
In 2006 as Serbia and Montenegro, and as Serbia they competed in 2010, 2018 and 2022. Each time, experts predicted that Serbia might turn out to be the tournament’s dark horse, but although their squad had plenty of renowned players, they often formed a patchwork of individuals and lacked a team. There were also frequent complaints about the atmosphere in the team. Ultimately, they never left the group.
Group G table: :
- Hungary – 18 points, goals 15:7
- Serbia – 14 points, goals 15:9
- Montenegro – 11 points, goals 9:10
- Lithuania – 6 points, goals 8:14
- Bulgaria – 4 points, goals 7:14