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France And Belgium Survive Late Scares To Reach Euro 2024

France and Belgium secure one-goal victories to become the first teams to qualify for Euro 2024, while Portugal maintains a perfect record.

France and Belgium both secured their places in the Euro 2024 tournament with hard-fought victories on Friday night. Belgium, despite being reduced to 10 men, managed to hold on to a 3-2 win over Austria, securing a top-two finish in Group F. Meanwhile, France emerged victorious with a 2-1 win over the Netherlands, thanks to two goals from Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe's performance was particularly noteworthy, as he surpassed French legend Michel Platini with his 42nd international goal, placing him fourth on the all-time list. Although Quilindschy Hartman managed to score for the Netherlands, Mbappe came close to securing a hat-trick with a late shot that hit the crossbar.

France coach Didier Deschamps expressed his pride in the team's achievements, highlighting their qualification with two games to spare, six wins, 13 goals scored, and only one conceded. He emphasized the importance of appreciating their success without getting carried away.

Greece also had a successful night, winning 2-0 against Ireland and eliminating them from the competition. Giorgos Giakoumakis and Giorgos Masouras scored in the first half, securing a three-point lead over the Netherlands.

In Vienna, Belgium faced a tough fight against Austria but managed to come out on top. Dodi Lukebakio and Romelu Lukaku scored to give Belgium a 3-0 lead, but Austria fought back with goals from Konrad Laimer and Marcel Sabitzer. Despite Belgium being reduced to 10 men, they held on to secure their third consecutive trip to the Euros.

Portugal continued their winning streak in Group J, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his 125th international goal. Portugal defeated Slovakia 3-2, with Goncalo Ramos opening the scoring and Ronaldo converting a penalty. David Hancko and Stanislav Lobotka scored for Slovakia, but Portugal held on for the win.

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez praised Ronaldo's performance, highlighting his experience and goal-scoring abilities. Slovakia remains in second place in the group, while Luxembourg closed the gap to just two points with a 1-1 draw against Iceland.

In other matches, Bosnia and Herzegovina secured a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein, with goals from Amar Rahmanovic and Miroslav Stevanovic. They remain two points behind Slovakia in the group standings.

Overall, it was an eventful night of Euro 2024 qualifying matches, with France, Belgium, and Portugal securing their places in the tournament. The competition is set to be an exciting one, with these teams showcasing their skills and determination on the pitch.

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