Ukraine, Poland, and Georgia Seal Final Spots at Euro 2024

Ukraine, Poland and Georgia are the last three teams to qualify for the 24-team continental championship.

Ukraine came from behind to beat Iceland in a playoff to qualify for Euro 2024, Poland secured their place at the tournament with a penalty shootout victory over Wales and Georgia qualified for a first ever major tournament in a dramatic night for European football.

The 24-nation Euro 2024 lineup was finalised on Tuesday with three qualifying playoffs giving a stronger Eastern European flavour to the tournament that opens on June 14 in Germany.

Mykhailo Mudryk’s sweeping low shot in the 84th minute lifted Ukraine to a 2-1 victory over Iceland and a second late comeback win in the playoffs for a team representing the war-torn country.

The “home” game for Ukraine was played in neutral Poland because international games cannot be played in Kyiv for security reasons during the war against Russia, whose team has been banned from trying to qualify by UEFA.

Georgia and star forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will make their major tournament debut at Euro 2024 after beating Greece 4-2 in a penalty shootout. It had been a tense and testy 0-0 draw in a raucous atmosphere in Tbilisi.

The decisive penalty was scored by substitute Nika Kvekveskiri placed his perfect shot low into the corner to seal Georgia’s 4-2 win.

Wild celebrations saw thousands of Georgia fans in a 50,000 crowd at the national stadium pour onto the field and some climbed the goalposts to sit on the crossbar.

Georgian players have been European champions before – in the Soviet Union squad that won the inaugural title in 1960.

Now the independent republic has earned the right to make its own football history in Germany.

A Georgia fan with a flare on the pitch celebrates after his team qualified for Euro 2024 with a win over Greece at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia [Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters]Meanwhile, Poland became the last team to book their ticket to Germany, beating Wales 5-4 in a penalty shootout in Cardiff also after a 0-0 draw.

Poland captain Robert Lewandowski, who had scored the first spot-kick of the shootout, could not bear to watch the action when his goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny pushed away the final penalty taken by Dan James.

“It’s big because I probably would have finished my international career tonight had we lost the game,” Szczesny said.

Poland have played at every Euros edition since star forward Lewandowski made his national team debut in 2008, including as co-host with Ukraine at Euro 2012.

Poland will go into a tough Group D with France, the Netherlands and Austria.

Ukraine are in Group F with Belgium, Romania and Slovakia.

Georgia go into Group F to face Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

Euro 2024 will be played in 10 German cities from June 14 to July 14.

2024-03-27 05:22:14
#Ukraine #Poland #Georgia #teams #qualified #Euro #Football #News


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