New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Italy, Czechia and Slovenia became the latest teams to secure their places at UEFA EURO 2024 as 20 of the 24 teams that will be playing at the EURO 2024 finals are confirmed.
EURO holders Italy reached the finals ahead of Ukraine by sealing second spot in Group C with a point in Leverkusen.
Luciano Spalletti’s side had the majority of the chances during an end-to-end opening period, Federico Chiesa and Nicolò Barella among those going close, while Davide Frattesi was denied by goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin after breaking clear inside the area.
Ukraine repeatedly threatened from counterattacks, Georgiy Sudakov seeing his drive tipped away by Azzurri No1 Gianluigi Donnarumma.
In an intense but less frenetic second half, Donnarumma’s vital save prevented Mykhailo Mudryk from changing the course of qualification. Ukraine now enter the play-offs.
Notably, Ukraine became the first side since Northern Ireland in 2010 to stop Italy from scoring in EURO qualifying – a run of 34 matches.
On the other hand, Czechia claimed second place in Group E after a comprehensive 3-0 victory over ten-man Moldova and qualified for their eighth successive EURO finals.
David Doudera put the hosts ahead with a deft close-range finish after just 14 minutes, having collected Tomas Chory’s pinpoint pass.
Moldova’s hopes of a comeback were dented when Vladislav Baboglo was sent off in the 55th minute for a second bookable offence. Czechia took full advantage in the closing stages, adding further goals via Chorý’s emphatic near-post header and Tomas Souček’s precise effort.
Slovenia defeated Kazakhstan 2-1 to qualify for the UEFA EURO finals for just the second time, previously doing so in 2000.
Slovenia needed a draw to secure second place in Group H, and after dominating possession in the first half they grabbed the lead from the spot when Benjamin Sesko coolly slotted home.
Kazakhstan gave themselves hope as Ramazan Orazov netted his first international goal early in the second half, but Slovenia weathered the storm and substitute Verbic curled home late on to send his nation to Germany, while the battling visitors now head for the play-offs.