In Group C of the Euro Cup 2024 qualifiers, Ukraine made a significant move by surging past Italy into the second position. Their remarkable turnaround in Malta showcased their determination and prowess. Initially, the underdogs, Malta, stunned everyone by taking an early lead, courtesy of Paul Moong marking only their second goal in the entire qualifying campaign.
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However, fate swung in favour of Ukraine when Ryan Camenzuli, unfortunately, scored their own goal, levelling the playing field. The game’s turning point came when Artem Dovbyk calmly converted a penalty, and a late strike from Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk sealed a triumphant 3-1 victory for Ukraine. This result, coupled with another significant victory, as England defeated Italy 3-1 at Wembley, allowed Ukraine to widen the gap to three points ahead of their Italian rivals for the coveted second place.
It’s important to note that Italy still has a game in hand and will soon face North Macedonia at home. This sets the stage for a crucial showdown between Ukraine and Italy in Leverkusen next month, which may ultimately determine who secures the ticket to the Euro Cup 2024. The competition is heating up, and football fans are in for an exciting and nail-biting finish in Group C as these teams battle for their spot in the prestigious tournament.
Euro Cup 2024 with a comeback win over Malta
In Group G, Hungary was on the brink of securing qualification for a prestigious Euro Cup 2024 tournament alongside England, but a surprising 2-2 draw in Lithuania dashed their hopes. The hosts took everyone by surprise by establishing a 2-0 lead at halftime, with Fedor Cernych and Pijus Sirvys finding the net. Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai managed to narrow the deficit with a penalty, and the late equalizer from Barnabas Varga salvaged a point for Hungary.
Despite the setback, Hungary maintains its position at the top of Group G. Serbia, sitting just one point behind in second place, secured a 3-1 victory over their neighbours, Montenegro, who currently occupy the third position and trail by five points. Serbia’s prolific scorer, Aleksandar Mitrovic, added two more goals to his impressive tally, and Dusan Tadic sealed the win late in the match.
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In Group H, Slovenia and Denmark continued their strong performances to solidify their positions at the summit. Slovenia claimed a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland, with Adam Cerin’s early free-kick proving decisive. The home team’s chances of mounting a comeback were hindered by a red card shown to Shea Charles in the 58th minute for a second bookable offense. Meanwhile, Denmark avoided an upset with a 2-1 win against San Marino, thanks to goals from Rasmus Højlund and Yussuf Poulsen.
Ukraine’s National Team Clinches Spot with an Away Victory over Malta
In the lead-up to this game, Serhii Rebrov’s team had already chalked up a victory against North Macedonia in Prague, taking a significant step towards their October objectives with a 2-0 win. As they touched down in Malta, the Ukrainian national team had three crucial points in their pocket. Unfortunately, for this encounter, the Euro Cup 2024 squad faced a few setbacks, with Kryvtsov sidelined due to injury and Malinovskyi missing due to accumulated cards.
Additionally, Stepanenko wasn’t included in the matchday Euro Cup 2024 squad. The coaching staff also implemented some minor rotations to keep the team fresh. The first-half performance from the Ukrainian guests was a mixed bag. They maintained possession of the ball but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities, making several mistakes in the process. In the 12th minute, the Maltese surprised everyone by taking the lead, as Paul Mbong managed to break free from defenders during a central attack and slotted the ball between Trubin’s legs.
For a significant part of the first half, the blue and yellow couldn’t quite breach Bonello’s goal, until a bit of assistance from the islanders came in the 38th minute. Sudakov’s shot led to Kamenzuli comically putting the ball into his own net at the far Euro Cup 2024 post. Not long after, Ukraine seized the lead, with Mudryk converting a penalty awarded after Dovbyk was fouled. Just before half-time, Malta came close to equalizing, as Guillaume’s effort struck the crossbar and he tested Trubin with a free-kick.
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