As qualification for Euro 2020 comes to an end, Sunday’s games have given us no shortage of discussion points.
There wasn’t a great lot at stake – unless you’re a Portugal or Serbia fan – but records were broken, goals were scored, and momentum was gained as we gear up for what should be a scintillating summer.
Look no further for a breakdown of all of Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers.
There was little to play for in Group A, with both England and the Czech Republic safe in the knowledge that their qualification was under no threat whatsoever. The Three Lions started the night well clear at the top, while
Still, there was work to be done yet, as both sides looked to go out with a bang and take some momentum with them into the finals.
For England, they travelled to Southeastern Europe to take on a Kosovo side buzzing off the back of a strong, if ultimately unsuccessful, campaign. They had given their visitors a bloody nose on their jaunt to the UK, losing 5-3 in the end, and had designs on doing the same again to sign off with a bang.
On home turf, once again they held their own, matching Gareth Southgate’s men for long spells. They found themselves worn down over 90 minutes, however, succumbing to a 4-0 defeat, with Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount adding to Harry Winks’ first half opener inside the last ten minutes.
Kane’s goal ensured he became the first-ever England player to score in every single match of a qualifying campaign, and put his side well on their way to another comprehensive, if hard-fought, victory.
There was less to write home about in Bulgaria, meanwhile, as the Czech Republic stumbled, Vasil Bozhikov’s first-half strike the only goal in a smash-and-grab victory for the home side.
With Ukraine already through, attentions in Group B turned to the battle for the second qualifying spot, as a single point separated European champions Portugal and Serbia, who took on the group leaders looking to rein Cristiano Ronaldo and co back in.
A win would have been required to ask the question, but in the end a draw was the best that could be mustered, with Artem Biesiedin’s 90th-minute equaliser pegging them back for the second time after Dusan Tadic, and later Aleksandar Mitrovic, had given them the lead.
Even if they had escaped with all three points, however, it wouldn’t quite have been enough, since Portugal did enough (just) to see off Luxembourg.
A tighter encounter than it had any right to be in Luxembourg City saw Bruno Fernandes open the scoring in the first half, before Ronaldo tapped home late on – his 99th international goal – to put the game to bed.
Ukraine and Portugal advance ultimately, with Serbia missing out by three points.
World champions France made their qualification harder than it had to be, but got there with a squeaky 2-1 victory over Moldova on Thursday, and had the chance to go through as group winners in their trip to Albania to round things out.
They knew Turkey, starting the round two points behind them, would be hot on their tails, but wasted no time in brushing their hosts aside, with Corentin Tolisso and Antoine Griezmann putting the 2-0 win to bed inside half an hour.
Turkey did do their part, running out dominant 2-0 victors over Andorra. A double from Enes Unal was enough, but the emphatic nature of the victory was highlighted in the 80% possession they amassed over the 90 minutes.
There was also a win for Iceland, who missed out despite their 19-point haul, as strikes from Birkir Bjranason and Gylfi Sigurdsson put bottom side Moldova to bed.
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