EURO 2024 play-off final round-up: Poland, Ukraine and Georgia qualify | European Qualifiers

by 24britishtvMarch 27, 2024, 9 a.m. 23
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Poland, Ukraine and Georgia have secured a place at the EURO 2024 finals after winning their play-off final matches on an evening of high tension and drama.

UEFA.com rounds up all the action from Tuesday night.

Wojciech Szczęsny saved the final penalty of a shoot-out as Poland reached a fifth consecutive EURO finals in a gripping decider in Cardiff.

Kieffer Moore went closest during normal time, powering in a header for the hosts shortly after the break which the springing Szczęsny expertly tipped behind with an outstretched hand.

Jakub Piotrowski bent a fierce drive narrowly wide during the first half of extra time and Chris Mepham was dismissed for a second booking with seconds remaining. The first nine kicks of the shoot-out were all converted before Szczęsny palmed away Daniel James' spot kick to send Michal Probierz's side through by the narrowest of margins.

Key stat: Poland have gone ten matches without defeat against Wales (W7 D3) since losing the first edition of the fixture in the Welsh capital in 1973.

Ukraine produced a rousing second-half comeback in Wroclaw as they overcame a deficit once again – just as they did in Bosnia and Herzegovina last Thursday – to beat Iceland and take their place in Group E.

A stunning opener on the half-hour from Albert Gudmundsson had the visitors in control at the break after Roman Yaremchuk's effort was disallowed for offside. Undeterred, Ukraine rallied and, following a sweet strike from Viktor Tsygankov, Mykhailo Mudryk sealed victory five minutes from the end.

Key stat: Ukraine have lost only two of their last 20 EURO qualifying matches (W13 D5).

Georgia qualified for their first major tournament after a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out triumph against EURO 2004 winners Greece in Tbilisi.

Nika Kvekveskiri hit the winning spot kick, somehow squeezing his effort past Odysseas Vlachodimos. Greece captain Tasos Bakasetas had his penalty saved by Giorgi Mamardashvili and Giorgos Giakoumakis sent his low effort wide, either side of Georges Mikautadze rolling his kick the wrong side of the upright for the home side.

Both teams went close to snatching victory in extra time, with Konstantinos Mavropanos' header cannoning against the Georgia crossbar and Vlachodimos denying Giorgi Tsitaishvili at his near post.

Key stat: Georgia avoided defeat in a home fixture against Greece for the very first time.

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