Euro 2020: Belgium Qualifies After Nine Goals, Croatia Records Crucial Victory


Belgium is the first team to officially qualify for the Euro 2020 final tournament next summer as they expectedly cruised past San Marino on Thursday with a 9–0 victory. It took Belgium 28 minutes to score the first goal through Lukaku, but once that happened, the flood gates opened, and Belgium managed to score five more goals before halftime.

In other games of that group, Russia beat Scotland 4–0 to remain second and barely in reach of Cyprus, who recorded an important 2–1 win in Kazakhstan. Russians had trouble scoring in the first half, although they were clearly the more dominant team.

Finally, Dziuba scored in the 57th minute, after which the home team scored three more goals in the next 30 minutes. As for Cyprus, they had to come from 0–1 behind but managed to turn things around in the late stages of the game.

The Netherlands survived a scare against Northern Ireland on home turf, as they beat them 3–1 to take over the top position in their group. Northern Ireland scored first in the 75th minute through Magennis, but the Dutch soon equalised with Depay’s goal five minutes later. It looked like the game would end up in a draw, but the Netherlands managed to score two more goals in the added time with the help of de Jong and Depay.

They now have the same number of points as Germany and Northern Ireland, whom they will play against in November in what could be a match that decides which of these two teams goes to the final tournaments directly.

Croatia retook the number one spot in Group E with a convincing 3–0 victory against Hungary. Modrić scored the opening goal after five minutes, while Petković confirmed Croatia’s win with two goals of his own before halftime. Slovakia missed a chance to stay first in this group, as they only equalised against Wales at home.

Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in Latvia to keep Poland at the top of Group G, and Austria prevailed against Israel 3–1 at home to stay right behind leading Poland. Northern Macedonia kept their chances of qualifying for the Euro with a 2–1 win against Slovenia. Poland, Austria, Northern Macedonia, and Slovenia all have a shot at qualifying directly for the final tournament.