France, Belgium, and Portugal all blinked with a place in Euro 2024 in their grasps, but they all fought on for one-goal triumphs on Friday night, which made them the first teams to qualify for the tournament that will take place the following year.
In Vienna, Belgium had a three-goal lead going into the second half, and they were able to hold on for a 3-2 victory to secure a top-two finish in Group F and a spot in the finals in Germany.
In Amsterdam, France prevailed over the decimated Dutch 2-1 thanks to two goals scored by Kylian Mbappe.
Another player to score twice for Portugal was Cristiano Ronaldo, although the team struggled with a two-goal advantage until pulling off a 3-2 victory over Slovakia in Porto in Group J.
Mbappe jumped to hook home a volley after seven minutes in Amsterdam, and then added a second goal eight minutes into the second half with a superb curler. Both goals were scored in the second half.
He now sits in fourth place on the all-time list after scoring his 42nd goal for his national team, moving him beyond the legendary French player Michel Platini.
Mbappe came close to completing the hat trick with a late shot that hit the crossbar, but Quilindschy Hartman scored the equaliser in his first game for the Netherlands.
Didier Deschamps, the head coach of France, was quoted as saying, “We must not get carried away, but we must appreciate and not trivialise things.”
“To qualify with two games to go, with six wins, 13 goals scored and just one conceded, I’m very proud of what the group has achieved, both in terms of spirit and on the pitch.”
“We got the result we wanted, we achieved our objective.”
Greece’s victory in Dublin, by a score of 2-0, eliminated Ireland from the competition and moved them ahead of the Dutch.
Giorgos Giakoumakis and Giorgos Masouras scored for the 2004 European winners in the first half, which allowed them to move three points ahead of the Dutch in the standings.
On Monday, representatives from both countries will meet in Athens.
Two goals by Ronaldo, still undefeated. In Vienna, Belgium was able to survive an Austrian counterattack.
After 58 minutes, Belgium was up 3-0 with to goals from Dodi Lukebakio, who scored his first two goals for his country, and Romelu Lukaku, who scored his ninth of the season. Belgium’s captain.
The long-range drive was Konrad Laimer’s response to the question. Arthur Theate committed a handball in his own penalty area with six minutes remaining after Belgium had been reduced to 10 men when Amadou Onana was sent a second yellow card.
After Marcel Sabitzer’s successful conversion of the penalty, the remaining time for the Belgians was filled with tense anticipation.
However, they were able to keep their composure and win qualification for a third consecutive trip at the Euros. The Red Devils’ most recent setback in Euro qualification came in June 2015, when they were defeated 1-0 in Wales.
The gap between Austria and Sweden, who are currently scoreless but have a game in hand, stands at seven points.
As Portugal made it seven victories out of seven matches in Group J, Cristiano Ronaldo moved above the 125 goal mark for his career in international competition.
They are guaranteed to finish in the top two thanks to their 21 points.
Goncalo Ramos had been the one to get Portugal on the board first. After that, Ronaldo made good on a penalty kick.
David Hancko’s shot that was deflected gave Slovakia hope; it was the first goal that Portugal had given up in qualifying; nevertheless, Ronaldo quickly scored by tapping in a cross from Bruno Fernandes. Stanislav Lobotka’s goal from long range made for a tense finish, but Portugal was able to hold on to win.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is having a great time, playing a lot of minutes and scoring a lot of goals for his club,” said Roberto Martinez, the coach of Portugal. “He’s having a great time.”
“He has a lot of experience with the national team and he’s a reference point for young players.”
Although they maintained their second place in the group, their pursuers moved closer.
A 1-1 draw in Iceland moved Luxembourg into third position, close to two points behind Slovakia, who will be playing in the Duchy of Luxembourg on Monday.
After defeating Liechtenstein by a score of 2-0 with goals from Amar Rahmanovic and Miroslav Stevanovic in the first half, Bosnia and Herzegovina have fallen farther behind by two points.