CROATIA DEFEATS ARMENIA TO SECURE LAST DIRECT TICKET TO EURO 2024

Croatia has claimed the last “direct ticket” to next year’s European Football Championship (Euro 2024).Croatia defeated Armenia 1-0 at home in the final Group D match of the Euro 2024 qualifiers at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday (June 22).With five wins, one draw and two losses in eight qualifying matches, Croatia has accumulated 16 points to finish second in the group behind Turkuye (17 points) and ahead of Wales, who have just 12 points, to secure a direct ticket to the knockout rounds, which are awarded to the first and second place finishers in each group .Croatia has now qualified for six consecutive Euros since 2004.

A total of 24 nations will compete at Euro 2024 next year in Germany. Excluding hosts Germany, the remaining 23 places were determined through qualification, with the top two teams from each of the 10 groups of five or six teams competing in a group stage. Croatia scored the winning goal in the 43rd minute of the first half when Ante Budimir headed home a cross from Borna Sosa to secure the 1-0 victory. With 21 nations confirmed for the tournament, including Germany and the top qualifiers, a playoff based on UEFA Nations League results will determine the owners of the remaining three spots.

The playoffs, which will take place in March next year, will see the 12 nations split into three groups, with the winners of each group playing a semifinal and final. Wales, who finished third in their group after a 1-1 draw with Turkuye on Sunday, will play in the playoffs .Group B’s France, who had already qualified for the knockout stages, were denied a ‘full qualification’ by a 2-2 draw away to Greece in their eighth match .France finished first in Group B with seven wins, one draw and 22 points. France took the lead in the 42nd minute through Randal Kolo Moani, but Greece responded with back-to-back goals from Anastasios Bakacetas in the 11th minute and Porthis Ioannidis in the 16th minute.

France avoided defeat when Youssouf Fofana scored the equalizer in the 29th minute from a Kylian Mbappe pass .Similarly, the Netherlands, who had already qualified, thrashed Gibraltar 6-0 to finish second in the group behind France (18 points), while Greece, who earned a point against France, qualified for the playoffs. In Group I, Romania held on for a 1-0 win in their final match against Switzerland to finish first (22 points) after 10 matches without a defeat (six wins and four draws), followed by Switzerland (17 points). Both teams had already qualified before this match .Israel, who beat Andorra 2-0 earlier in the day, joins the playoffs in third place (15 points). Playoff groupings will be 토토 drawn on March 23, and the main draw will take place on March 2 next month.

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