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HomefootballGavi strike sends Spain to Euro 2024, Turkey and Scotland also qualify

Gavi strike sends Spain to Euro 2024, Turkey and Scotland also qualify

Spain secured a place at Euro 2024 after Gavi’s second-half goal was enough to beat Norway 1-0 away on Sunday and they will be joined by Group A rivals Scotland and Turkey from Group D following an eventful night in qualifying.

Spain and the Scots both secured spots in the top two with 15 points from six games, with Norway third on 10 points having played a game more, while Turkey thrashed Latvia 4-0 to make sure they will finish among the qualifying places.

On a chilly night in Oslo, Spain dominated possession but struggled to break down a resolute home defence, and it looked like VAR might prevent them from booking their Euro berth when Alvaro Morata had a first-half goal ruled out for offside.

The Spain striker was the centre of attention again when midfielder Gavi fired home four minutes after the break and another VAR offside check ensued, but this time he was in the clear and the goal was allowed to stand.

Norway set up to hit Spain on the break but struggled to create much in attack as the visitors kept striker Erling Haaland shackled to reach the finals with two games to spare.

A brilliant volley from Yunus Akgun just before the hour put Turkey on course for a comprehensive win against Latvia that ensured they will take their place at next year’s tournament.

The visitors tried valiantly to equalise but instead they collapsed, with two late goals from Cenk Tosun and one from Kerem Akturkoglu sealing Turkey’s participation in Germany.

The Turks top their group with 16 points, six points ahead of Wales and Croatia after the Welsh beat the Croats 2-1 in Cardiff to keep their qualifying hopes alive.

In Group I Switzerland had to come from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at home to Belarus, while Romania top the standings with 16 points following their 4-0 victory at home to Andorra, one point ahead of the Swiss having played a game more.

Fourth-placed Kosovo’s home game against Israel, who are third in Group I on 11 points, was postponed due to the security situation in the Middle East which prevented the Israeli squad from travelling to Pristina.

Poland’s hopes of qualifying from Group E suffered a blow as they came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at home to Moldova and remain third on 10 points, three adrift of leaders Albania and one behind Czech Republic, who both have a game in hand.

With striker Robert Lewandowski missing through injury, the Poles had 21 attempts on goal compared to four by the visitors who took the lead in the 26th minute through Ion Nicolaescu, with Karol Swiderski netting a second-half equaliser.

(Published 16 October 2023, 01:13 IST)

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