Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomesportsSpain, Scotland and Turkey lock up Euro 2024 spots

Spain, Scotland and Turkey lock up Euro 2024 spots

PARIS – Spain clinched their place at Euro 2024 on Sunday after a 1-0 win away to Norway, also sending Scotland through from Group A as Turkey joined the growing ranks of qualifiers.

Barcelona midfielder Gavi scored the only goal early in the second half in Oslo, bouncing a shot into the corner to help Spain qualify for next year’s finals in Germany with two games to spare.

“We are very happy because the team has grown a lot and has a great future,” said Spain coach Luis de la Fuente. “We have worked to get to this moment.”

They moved top of Group A on goal difference, but the result ensured Scotland punched their ticket to the tournament as well, with Norway five points adrift going into their last match next month.

“When we qualified via the play-offs last time, we set ourselves a target of doing it automatically next time – so that’s the first mission accomplished,” said Scotland captain Andy Robertson.

Norway have not qualified for a major competition since Euro 2000, but a team featuring Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard still has hope of advancing to the play-offs.

Georgia thrashed Cyprus 4-0 in the other game in that group.

Turkey capped off a momentous week in which they were announced as co-hosts of Euro 2032 with Italy, by turning on the style in the closing minutes to beat Latvia 4-0 and book their place at the finals.

Yunus Akgun broke the deadlock just before the hour and former Everton forward Cenk Tosun grabbed two late goals either side of a Kerem Akturkoglu strike to complete the victory for the Group D leaders.

“I am very happy that we confirmed (qualification) tonight with this win,” Turkey coach Vincenzo Montella told UEFA.com.

“I am perhaps the happiest coach in the world right now. That’s why I’ll enjoy it first, and then we’ll continue our preparations immediately.”

– Wilson revives Wales –

Turkey sit six points clear of Wales, who leapfrogged Croatia into second as Harry Wilson got both goals in a 2-1 victory over last year’s World Cup semi-finalists in Cardiff.

Wilson outran the Croatia defence to loft in the opening goal shortly after half-time and then glanced in a Dan James cross for the second.

Mario Pasalic reduced the deficit but Wales now have control of their own destiny heading into the concluding rounds of qualifying games in November.

Croatia find themselves at risk of missing a major tournament for the first time since the 2010 World Cup after back-to-back defeats.

Switzerland needed two late goals at home to Belarus to rescue a 3-3 draw but surrendered first place in Group I to Romania.

Xherdan Shaqiri curled the Swiss ahead in St Gallen before Belarus, beaten 5-0 by the same opponents in March, levelled through Max Ebong.

Denis Polyakov nodded Belarus in front at a corner and the visitors looked on course for a shock win when Dmitri Antilevski struck a third in the 84th minute.

Manuel Akanji tapped in from a Shaqiri free-kick to spark the last-ditch comeback for the hosts as substitute Zeki Amdouni saved Switzerland’s blushes, scrambling in a 90th-minute equaliser.

Romania eased to a 4-0 victory over Andorra to move a point clear, but the Swiss have a game in hand after Thursday’s trip to Tel Aviv was postponed due to the war between Israel and Hamas.

Sunday’s match between Kosovo and Israel was also called off because of the conflict.

In Plzen, Tomas Soucek’s 76th-minute penalty earned the Czech Republic a narrow 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands, bumping his team up to second in Group E behind Albania.

Poland struggled in the absence of injured striker Robert Lewandowski and had to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Moldova in Warsaw.

The Poles are third in the section but have played a game more than the top two. They host the Czechs in a must-win game on November 17.

Seven of the 24 slots have now been filled. Germany qualified automatically as hosts while France, Portugal and Belgium all wrapped up their places on Friday.

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