Euro qualifiers round-up: Norway make Scotland wait, Spain & Italy win

Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard were on target as Norway made Scotland wait to qualify for Euro 2024 with a 2-1 victory over Georgia.

Scotland needed the Group A match to end in a draw to seal their spot for the finals in Germany, but Haaland’s header and Odegaard’s strike from the edge of the area virtually ended those hopes before half-time.

Georgia pulled a goal back in stoppage time through Budu Zivzivadze to create a tense final few seconds – but Norway hung on to keep their qualification hopes alive.

The other game in Group A saw Spain – who are Scotland’s next opponents – thrash whipping boys Cyprus 6-0 in Granada.

Spain's Ferran Torres scored twice as La Roja beat Cyprus 6-0
Spain’s Ferran Torres scored twice as La Roja beat Cyprus 6-0

Gavi and Mikel Merino scored from midfield to put La Roja 2-0 up at half-time. The remaining goals all came from substitutes as Joselu, Ferran Torres and Alex Baena stepped off the bench to find the net, with the former Manchester City striker netting a brace.

In England’s group, Italy held on to beat Ukraine 2-1 to move into second in the group behind the Three Lions.

Davide Frattesi’s brace put Luciano Spalletti’s side in control at the San Siro but Ukraine, who dropped Mykhailo Mudryk from the starting line-up, pulled one back through Andrey Yarmolenko.

Italy then go to Wembley next to face England on October 17, with the Three Lions knowing that victory will put them all but through to Germany.

North Macedonia joined Italy and Ukraine on seven points following their 2-0 win over Malta. First-half goals from Elif Elmas and Jonav Manev were enough for the Euro 2020 competitors to keep themselves in the qualification hunt.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Belgium thrashed Estonia 5-0 to put them one win away from Euro 2024 qualification.

Jan Vertonghen and Leandro Trossard gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead at half-time, before Lukaku sealed the points with two goals in two minutes just before the hour mark. Charles de Ketelaere rounded off the scoring with a fifth.

Belgium are joined on 13 points at the top of Group F by Austria, who claimed a crucial 3-1 win away at Sweden, whose qualification hopes are left in tatters.

Marco Gregoritsch’s goal and Marko Arnautovic’s brace put Ralf Rangnick’s side 3-0 up after half-time to move the Austrians seven points clear of Sweden. Austria play Belgium next and whoever wins will seal a spot at Euro 2024.

Switzerland remain in control at the top of Group I following a 3-0 win over Andorra. Goals from Cedric Itten, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri’s late penalty mean they stay three points ahead of Israel, who edged Belarus 1-0 thanks to Gavriel Kanichowsky’s late winner.

Who qualifies for Euro 2024?

Two teams – the group winners and runners-up – will qualify automatically from each of the 10 groups.

Three teams will then qualify via the play-offs.

Germany, as hosts, are the only country currently certain to be one of the 24 nations in action at next summer’s tournament.

What are the key Euro 2024 dates?

The first round of qualifiers takes place between March 23-25 2023, while the final matches are on November 19-21 2023.

However, the four Nations League finalists will not be in action on either matchday three or four as they will be competing in the finals of that tournament.

What about the play-offs?

Each country that won their Nations League group make it automatically into the play-offs, unless they progress to the tournament itself by finishing in the top two of their qualifying group.

In that situation, the next best nation in the respective league will take their play-off place, with this decided by the following criteria: position in the group, points and goal difference.

The draw for the play-offs takes place in November 2023, with the play-off semi-finals and finals being played between March 21 and 26, 2024.

When is the tournament?

The final tournament draw will take place in December 2023 at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

The teams will be seeded in accordance with the overall European Qualifiers rankings. Germany will be automatically seeded into pot 1 as hosts, and placed in position A1.

The three play-off winners will not be known at the time of the draw but will be placed into pot 4 for the draw.

The opening game of Euro 2024 is June 14 with the final taking place on July 14 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin.

Who are the Euro 2024 hosts?

Germany, the team of the Euro 2024 host association, qualify automatically for the final tournament and therefore did not take part in the qualifying draw.

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