Netherlands, Switzerland, Romania qualify for Euro 2024
THE NETHERLANDS, Switzerland and Romania all secured places at Euro 2024 yesterday, and France racked up the biggest-ever win in European Championship qualifying by beating Gibraltar 14-0.
The Netherlands needed a win over Ireland to be sure of qualifying and Wout Weghorst gave his team the lead in the 12th minute, blasting a shot into the top-right corner. The goal was awarded despite Weghorst appearing to pull on Ireland defender Nathan Collins’ jersey just before he received the ball.
The Netherlands had 18 shots to Ireland’s three but couldn’t score again.
“We can be proud of ourselves and we certainly are now that we’re going to the European Championship,” Netherlands captain Virgil Van Dijk told Dutch broadcaster NOS.
“With all the problems, injuries we’ve had, we’ve still managed it. Now we can start preparing.”
Switzerland drew 1-1 with Kosovo to make sure of qualifying and continue a run of not missing any major tournament since Euro 2012. But the game continued a troubling Swiss trend to let leads slip.
Switzerland dominated possession but couldn’t get through the Kosovo defence until Ruben Vargas headed in a deflected ball in the 47th. Kosovo’s Muhamet Hyseni levelled the score in the 82nd with a shot in off the post. It was Switzerland’s fifth draw in six games, and in all of those draws Switzerland conceded at least one goal after the 80th minute.
A draw was enough for Switzerland to qualify because Romania won 2-1 against third-place Israel.
Romania recovered from Israel’s Eran Zahavi scoring in the second minute, responding with goals from George Puscas and Ianis Hagi. Israel were the official hosts Saturday’s game was played in Hungary because of the Israel-Hamas war.
Romania qualified for their first major tournament since 2016 after missing the last European Championship despite being one of the host nations. Israel missed out on an automatic qualifying spot but go into the playoffs because of their Nations League record. That means Norway and star striker Erling Haaland can no longer reach the playoffs and will not play at Euro 2024.
Belarus beat Andorra 1-0 in the other game in the group.
France’s 14 goals against Gibraltar broke their record for biggest-ever win and also set a record for the competition.
Kylian Mbappe had a hat-trick as nine different French players scored goals, with one own-goal for Gibraltar. France’s previous biggest win was a 10-0 victory over Azerbaijan in 1995. The previous record in European Championship qualifying was Germany’s 13-0 win over San Marino in 2006. France had already qualified for next year’s tournament.
Roland 1-1 Chech Republic
Denmark 2-1 Slovenia
Armenia 1-1 Wales
Belarus 1-0 Andorra
Latvia 0-2 Croatia
Netherlands 1-0 Ireland
France 14-0 Gibralter
Switzerland 1-1 Kosovo
Israel 1-2 Romania