It was an eventful two weeks of Euro 2020 qualifiers. Six countries booked their Euro 2020 ticket while giants France, England, Portugal, Netherlands and Germany will have to wait longer. Here are some of the Winners and Losers from Euro 2020 Qualifying. Bet on football here.
Nations who booked their Euro 2020 ticket
Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Spain have already booked their place for next year’s European Championship. All these teams played in the 2016 event and preparations can start as early as now, although the tournament is scheduled to start in June 2020. Spain became the first team to win back-to-back Euros when they did so in 2008 and 2012 and reached the last 16 in 2016. Italy defeated Spain in the last 16 but their journey came to a hault in the quarters against Germany, while Russia failed to get past the group stage. In the 2016 tournament, Belgium reached the quarters, Poland reached the quarter-final while Ukraine lost all their group matches.
Ronaldo’s goal during Portugal’s 2-1 defeat to Ukraine was his 700th career goal which is an incredible milestone. The Juventus striker is now only the sixth player to score 700 or more career goals for club and country, joining legendary figures such as Romario (772), Pele (767), Ferenc Puskas (746) and Gerd Muller (735) on that prestigious list. This adds to his long list of achievements including his six league titles, five Champions Leagues, as well as European Championship and UEFA Nations League winner’s medals mean Ronaldo will go down as one of the greatest ever footballers.
Turkey edged closer to Euro 2020 qualification after a hard-fought 1-1 draw with World Cup champions France. Turkey are now top of Group H level on points with the French heading into the last round of fixtures in November. Turkey face Iceland and Andorra in November, requiring a point to secure qualification
Portugal’s 2-1 defeat to Ukraine was overshadowed by Ronaldo’s 700th goal. The win meant the Ukrainians have qualified for next year’s tournament. The reigning European champions Portugal still have work to do to reach the finals. However, they will qualify if they win against Lithuania and Serbia do not beat Luxembourg next month. They are also guaranteed a play-off place if required as UEFA Nations League Group A3 winner.
Northern Ireland’s hopes of Euro 2020 qualification suffered a major blow following a gruelling last-gasp 3-1 defeat by the Netherlands in Rotterdam. They were 15 minutes away from a famous victory but Memphis Depay goal in the 80th equalised for the hosts. Two more goals from Depay and Luuk de Jong saw Ronald Koeman’s men walk away with maximum points. Michael O’Neill’s side began their campaign impressively with double victories over both Estonia and Belarus but a 2-0 home defeat by Germany last month, coupled with the painful defeat in Rotterdam, have dented their hopes of automatic qualification.
Bulgaria suffered a heavy 6-0 defeat in Sofia to England, a game which was overshadowed by racist chants by the home supporters. This was Bulgaria’s heaviest ever home defeat in a European Championship/World Cup qualifier which automatically eliminated them from automatic qualification. That loss summed up Bulgaria’s dreadful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. After seven games, they have lost four and drawn three leaving them bottom of Group A.