Euro 2024 roundup: Slovakia edge Luxembourg in key clash, Netherlands snatch win in Greece


Euro 2024 roundup: Slovakia edge Luxembourg in key clash, Netherlands snatch win in Greece

Peter Pekarik in action for Slovakia
Peter Pekarik in action for SlovakiaAFP
Slovakia opened up a five-point lead over Luxembourg and asserted a firm grip on the second automatic qualification spot in Group J with a decisive 1-0 victory away at the Stade de Luxembourg in UEFA European Championship Qualifiers (ECQ).

Despite not conceding, Slovakia had only themselves to blame for their poor start. Misplaced passes, the lack of physicality and indecisive finishing all contributed to a shaky start by the Falcons, as the hosts threatened them, with Mathias Olesen coming the closest with a header from point-blank range that whizzed inches past the woodwork.

It was only minutes later that Luxembourg thought they had won a penalty, after a high boot by Denis Vavro seemed to have struck Leandro Barreiro in the area. Fortunately for the Falcons, referee Jose María Sanchez overturned the decision following a VAR review, drawing echoes of jeers from the Stade de Luxembourg faithful.

The incident perhaps motivated the hosts, as they increased their intensity in the final-third, yet failed to convert chances time and again.

However, with their last nine victories all arriving with a first-half clean sheet, Luc Holtz’s men went into the break with hope, but realising very well that any lapse of concentration would only hurt their chances of securing a historic inaugural European Championship appearance.

Tomáš Suslov first saw his freekick miss the goal by mere inches, before Rodrigues forced Martin Dubravka into a strong save at the other end, as both sides treaded a fine line in this potentially decisive encounter going deep into the second-half.

However, Francesco Calzona’s outfit came into the clash after becoming the first team this ECQ cycle to score against Portugal, and soon inspired themselves to draw first blood with just 15 minutes on the clock.

David Hancko’s perfect cross from the left flank found David Duris loitering at the far post, as the 24-year-old forward volleyed his first-time shot into the roof of the net to register his maiden goal for Slovakia.

Holtz’s men might be the surpeise package this ECQ campaign, but one strike was all Slovakia needed to derail the hosts’ chances of making it to Germany next year despite this being their best-ever points return in terms of a qualification campaign for a European Championship.

The victory puts the Falcons in an excellent spot ahead of their final two games against Iceland and Bosnia & Herzegovina, as they bid to qualify for a third straight Euro tournament.

Flashscore Man of the Match: David Duris (Slovakia)

Luxembourg - Slovakia player ratings
Luxembourg - Slovakia player ratingsFlashscore

Check out all the match stats from the game with Flashscore.

Other Euro 2024 results

Make sure to click on the link to read the full report from the game.

Group B

Greece 0 Netherlands 1

Gibraltar 0 Republic of Ireland 4

Group J

Bosnia & Herzegovina 0 Portugal 5

Iceland 4 Liechtenstein 0


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