UEFA Euro 2024 Matchday 3 Roundup: Georgia & Slovenia Through, Croatia Eliminated

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Georgia defeated Portugal 2-0

The last matchday of the 2024 UEFA Euro produced many exciting matches, some of which went right down the wire, as we now know which sixteen teams will compete in the next stage of the tournament.

Let us have a look at the roundup of the third matchday:

Group A

The scenario in the match between Germany and Switzerland was such that the Germans had already qualified after two wins in their first two games while the Swiss were also safe after picking up 4 points against Hungary and Scotland, although not officially.

But the match that was on offer was spectacular, with no team showing one bit of complacency and giving it their all. The mighty Germans did have the better start, as they have always had in this tournament, but totally against the run of play, Bologna striker Dan Ndoye made a run parallel to Antonio Rudiger before launching a bullet of a strike past Manuel Neuer.

Over the next stages, Julian Nagelsmann’s men threw the kitchen sink at Murat Yakin’s team but most of their attacks were dealt with by the Swiss defense, led by Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar. However, super-sub Niclas Fullkrug came up trumps and scored his second goal of the tournament in the 92nd minute to salvage a 1-1 draw. Group winners Germany will have Denmark in the round of 16, while Switzerland will face Italy.

As for the other match between Hungary and Scotland, a win did not prove to be enough for the latter as they were eventually knocked out. This was a do-or-die fixture for both teams and it resulted in an engaging fixture, with both teams playing attacking football.

But the lack of lethal edge in the final third was visible, more so among the Hungarians as they squandered quite a few glorious chances. But in the 10th minute of the additional time, Ujpest striker Kevin Csoboth scored to ensure Hungary remained in the hunt at that time but they were ultimately headed home. 

Group B

A late Mattia Zaccagni strike eliminated the Croatians

Like the Germans, Spain had already finalised a Round of 16 spot after winning their first two matches against Croatia and Italy, but they still produced yet another superb performance against the Albanians.

Luis de la Fuente’s men completely outplayed Sylvinho’s boys in all departments and it took them all but 13 minutes to open the scoring. Ferran Torres, who has not always been a star performer for Spain and has copped criticism for lack of goals in a Barcelona shirt, scored his first goal of the tournament. 

Spain continued to create chances after taking the lead but ended up being wasteful as only 3 of their 16 shots were on target. A much more thrilling encounter was the other game of Group B, where Italy and Croatia played out a 1-1 draw. After losing against Spain and drawing against Albania, the Croatians needed a win to advance to the next round.

They had a penalty in the second half where Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a Luka Modric shot, but the Real Madrid midfielder redeemed himself by scoring just a few minutes later. It seemed Zlatko Dalic’s men would enter the knockouts once again, but an excellent Riccardo Calafiori run followed by an even more beautiful Mattia Zaccagni strike in the 98th minute ended their hopes. Italy will now face Switzerland while Spain’s next match is against Georgia.

Group C

Group C of the tournament was unusually uneventful, as the first four matches produced only 7 goals and the last matchday saw two 0-0 draws. England, whose round of 16 qualification was virtually sealed after beating Serbia and drawing against Denmark, was held to a draw by the Slovenians.

Gareth Southgate’s team had 74% ball possession in this match, but for all the highly talented players they had, England had only four attempts on target as Matjaz Kek’s defense was solid throughout.

In the other fixture, Serbia needed a win against Denmark to qualify, but they ended up looking quite flat. Strangely enough, Dragan Stojkovic’s team had only 5 attempts in a must-win game and only one of those was on target. England will now face Slovakia in the round of 16, while Denmark will face Germany. 

Group D

When the draws were announced for this tournament, it was assumed that Austria and Poland would fight for the third place in Group D as it had two heavyweights in France and the Netherlands. But thanks to their inspiring performances, Austria ended up topping the group.

Their last match against the Netherlands was an absolute thriller. Ralf Rangnick’s team took an early lead through a Donyell Malen own goal, but a Cody Gakpo strike brought the Dutch back in the game.

Werder Bremen midfielder Romano Schmid then restored Austria’s one-goal cushion, before veteran Memphis Depay equalized for Ronald Koeman’s team in a spectacular manner. It seemed the game was headed to a 2-2 stalemate when Marcel Sabitzer scored a late goal and clinched a 3-2 win for his team.

The other game between France and Poland was not as entertaining and ended up being a 1-1 draw. France had plenty of chances but failed to score for the third game running, although a Kylian Mbappe penalty earned them the lead. In response, Poland launched a few attacks of their own and eventually got a penalty too, which Robert Lewandowski converted at the second time of asking. France will now face Belgium, Austria will face Turkey while the Netherlands will be up against Romania.

Group E

A 0-0 draw against Belgium was not enough for Ukraine

Without any doubt, Group E of the tournament was the most exciting as four teams were tied on 3 points after matchweek 2 and they are tied on 4 points after matchweek 3.

In the match between Slovakia and Romania, Edward Iordanescu’s team took an early lead through Razvan Marin, but it did not take Slovakia long to find an equalizer through Hellas Verona attacker Ondrej Duda. The second half did not produce any further goals as the match ended 1-1.

Because this game ended in a tie, Ukraine needed to win their last fixture against Belgium but they could not do so. The match started with Belgian attacks, but after news came in that both Slovakia and Romania were going to qualify, the Ukrainians launched fierce attacks.

But Roberto Martinez’s backline, led by the hugely experienced Jan Vertonghen, could not be breached. Belgium will now face France, Romania will take on the Netherlands while Slovakia will face England.

Group F

Group F changed the scenario of the round of 16 draws as against all odds, Georgia managed to pull off a major upset against Portugal. After losing to Turkey and drawing against Czechia, they needed to beat Portugal, which they did by a 2-0 margin.

Georgia’s star winger Kvicha Kvaratskhelia took less than 2 minutes to score the opener, while in the second half, Metz striker Georges Mikautadze beat Diogo Costa from the spot to make it 2-0.

In the other match, Czechia lost 1-2 to Turkey and crashed out of the tournament. Antonin Barak was sent off early and Turkey capitalized on it through a Hakan Calhanoglu goal, but despite playing with 10 men, Czechia came back with a Tomas Soucek strike. However, Vincenzo Montella’s men scored again in additional time through Cenk Tosun.

Portugal will face Slovenia in the round of 16, while Turkey will face Austria and Georgia will take on Spain.