Hungary and Slovakia both qualified for Euro 2024 on Thursday. Spain already qualified, and 16-year-old star Lamine Yamal scored again for them.
At the very end of extra time, Bulgaria’s Alex Petkov scored an own goal, which tied the game 2-2 in Sofia and sent the Hungarians to the finals in Germany.
The guests only needed a point to make it, but they were behind 2-1 when, in the 97th minute, Petkov let a cross skid off the top of his head and into his own net. It was the most dramatic ending possible.
Fans of the Hungarian team were afraid that protests against the head of the Bulgarian football federation would happen, so the stadium was empty at the end of the game.
Instead, Bulgarian fans blocked the pitch with complaints.
Ten fans and five police officers were hurt in fights, and police also used water cannons to break up groups of fans who were mad that their national team wasn’t making progress.
With the tie, Hungary had 15 points from seven games in Group G of the European qualifying round, two more than Serbia.
Asking for a double
Slovakia easily beat Iceland 4-0 in Bratislava. Lukas Haraslin scored two goals to help Slovakia make it to the finals for the third year in a row.
Germany, Austria, Belgium, England, France, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, and Turkey are the other teams that have already qualified. Hungary and Slovakia will join them.
Also in other games, Spain easily beat Cyprus 3-1; young talent Yamal scored the first goal in the fifth minute to give Spain a 3-0 win.
In September, Yamal got the first goal for Spain in a 7-1 playoff win over Georgia. On Thursday, he beat the custodian and scored with a strong finish.
Already a candidate Lawrence Shankland scored an equaliser in the 93rd minute to score a comeback goal that tied the game 2-2 in Tbilisi.
Serbia will have to wait to see if they can make it out of Group G because Montenegro beat Lithuania 2-0 to keep their dreams alive.
Portugal beat Liechtenstein 2-0 in Vaduz, giving them an eight-point lead over Slovakia in Group J. Cristiano Ronaldo scored both goals, making it his 128th international goal and breaking Joao Cancelo’s world record.
Diogo Jota’s perfectly weighted pass through the defence set up Ronaldo’s chance, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Luxembourg beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-1 and will now try to qualify for the next round after a season that didn’t go as planned.
Azerbaijan easily beat a bad Sweden team 3-0 in Baku in Group F. Austria and Belgium have already made it out of the group. The bottom team, Estonia, lost to Austria 2-0.