Euro 2024: Croatia officially eliminated, Hungary still alive, update on the best 3rds

Euro 2024: Croatia officially eliminated, Hungary still alive, update on the best 3rds

One day before the end of the group stage of Euro 2024, we are starting to see a little more clearly regarding the best third places in the group. Four groups have delivered their verdict and two (E and F) remain to be determined on Wednesday evening. However, some conclusions can be drawn, starting with the elimination of Croatia. Joined on the wire Tuesday evening by Italy (1-1), the Croats had to count on a miracle, starting with a large defeat for Slovenia against England.

But the lackluster draw (0-0) between the two nations definitively condemned the Croatians, fifth in the ranking of the best thirds (2 points, -3 goal difference), to a first elimination in groups since 2012. With this point acquired Valorously, Slovenia, for its part, validated its qualification (3 pts, 0), just like the Netherlands.

Despite their defeat (2-3) against Austria, the Oranje (4 pts, 0) are sure to finish among the four best thirds. There are therefore two tickets left to distribute, for two candidates. Hungary (3 pts, -3) is on borrowed time but can still believe in it, after its last unexpected victory against Scotland (1-0) in group A.

In a very tight Group E (Belgium, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania all have three points), the third should, normally, be in the game. The last two matches (Slovakia-Romania and Belgium-Ukraine) would have to result in two victories by at least a three-goal difference for the third to have a worse goal difference than Hungary. Barring a cataclysm, three of the four aforementioned teams will be in the eighth.

Hungary will support Portugal and Turkey

Group F should therefore be decisive. Both in the last two places, Czechia (1 pt, -1) and Georgia (1 pt, -2) must win, respectively against Turkey and Portugal, to stay alive. The scenario is relatively simple: only a Czech victory by exactly one goal would put the Turks (2nd with 3 pts, -1) as best third ahead of Hungary. If the Czech victory turns out to be higher, then Turkey will be overtaken by Hungary on goal difference… Unless Georgia beats Portugal at the same time.

In the event of a combined victory for the Georgians and the Czechs, the two nations would have four points each and would eliminate Turkey, relegated to fourth place in the group… and Hungary, now considered one of the two worst thirds. The evening promises to be stressful for the Magyars, who will support Portugal and Turkey to avoid this stress.


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