Convincing successes for Romania in Andorra and for Scotland against Cyprus, while Switzerland made six Belarus. Even between Israel and Kosovo
March 25 – Milan
Only one big surprise on Saturday in qualifying for the 2024 European Championships. Spain struggled a lot in Malaga, but in the end they overcame Norway with Olmo’s goal and Joselu’s brace in the final, making his debut for the Spanish national team. Without the injured Haaland, Solbakken’s national team can however recriminate for a solar penalty not granted. The news is the draw between Croatia and Wales, although Dalic’s team have several opportunities to widen the gap. Convincing successes for Romania in Andorra and for Scotland against Cyprus, while Switzerland even allows itself the goleada in Belarus. The other draw of the day is the 1-1 between Israel and Kosovo.
The scoring opens with Dani Olmo who successfully corrects Balde’s cut from the left in the 13th minute. A few minutes later, Rodri mows down Odegaard in the area: it would be an impeccable penalty, but the referee Bastien does not award it and the Var does not deem it appropriate to intervene. Norway raises the pressure as time goes by, but Kepa finds himself ready both on Aursnes’ volley (28′) and on Carvajal’s deflection which nearly scores an own goal (56′). Sorloth has the biggest chance in the 80th minute but his pot volley ends wide. De La Fuente inserts Joselu, who soon becomes the man of the match. In the 84th minute, Fabian Ruiz’s cross headed into the far post, and a minute later Oyarzabal’s shot was saved by Nyland. The goalkeeper avoided a worse deficit by neutralizing a shot from Rodri.
Game in control for all ninety minutes for Croatia, which however does not close it and is punished. Ward is immediately called into question first by Modric (3′) and then by Kramaric (15′) who try us from distance. The Hoffenheim striker breaks the goalkeeper’s resistance in the 28th minute: he turns somewhat fortuitously on the trocar and nears the limit he shoots from outside, finding the corner. At the start of the second half Kovacic triangulates with the author of the goal, but in front of Ward from a few meters he misses the goal. A similar situation, as well as the only real opportunity for Wales, happened to James at game time who hit too much with his right foot and missed the target. Perisic also nearly doubled, with a cross-shot that hits the crossbar. In full stoppage time, Roberts’ very long throw-in was extended and at the far post Broadhead, in his first international appearance, equalized the score.
All smooth for Romania in Andorra. Alibec headed the post in the 29th minute, scored as the action progressed but the goal was disallowed for offside. The advantage materialized in the 34th minute with Man, good at towering over the far post on Morutan’s cross. The former Inter striker found personal satisfaction in the 49th minute: Marin was good at throwing him on the net, then Alibec made no mistake. The assistant waves the flag, the check from the Var instead assigns the goal. Andorra raises the white flag in the 61st minute, when there are ten left for Rebes to be sent off for yellow cards.
The challenge starts uphill for Turkey. In the 10th minute Kabak slips in his own goalkeeper, in an attempt to anticipate an opponent in front of goal on a cross from the right. Kokcu draws the score, who from outside the area starts a surgical diagonal that proves to be unstoppable (34′). The comeback was completed in the 64th minute: Unal was smart to quickly take a free kick, Akturkoglu took off and was cold in front of Beglaryan.
There is no match between Belarus and Switzerland, with the match having nothing more to say after half an hour. Protagonist Steffen, who scores a photocopied hat-trick: Vargas or Rodriguez who break through to the left and a scrum in the area that the attacker resolves in all three cases close to the small area. The one-two also arrives in the second half which fixes the score on the final 0-5. In the 62nd minute Xhaka finds the corner with a precise diagonal from outside the area, three minutes later Antuni takes advantage of the void on the left to present himself in front of the goalkeeper and beat him without difficulty.
Few emotions in Tel Aviv. It was the guests who took the lead with an own goal, when in the 36th minute the tense ball proposed by Rashica was deflected by Dasa into his own goal. The equalizer came at the beginning of the second half and Peretz signed it with a quick shot to cross, after being caught well in the area at the end of an enveloping action by Israel.
Despite the result, the race remains open for a long time. McGinn unlocked it in the 21st minute, placing Robertson’s deflected cross at the far post. Scotland lets itself be preferred but only in the final locks the success. In the 87th minute, Dykes’ aerial bank was perfect for McTominay’s cut, who controlled and split from close range. In full recovery it is still the Manchester United midfielder who scores, with a precise bowl on the serve of captain Robertson. A few seconds from the end, Cyprus remained in ten for the expulsion (double yellow card) of Ioannou.
March 25, 2023 (change March 25, 2023 | 23:14)
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