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France, Belgium, Portugal qualify for Euro 2024


France, Belgium and Portugal all won their qualifying matches on Friday night to become the first teams to qualify for the Euro 2024 tournament.

Belgium led by three goals in Vienna against Austria but were reduced to 10 men in the second half. However, they held on to win 3-2 and secure a top-two finish in Group F.

France led by two Kylian Mbappe goals in Amsterdam against the Netherlands but also wobbled in the second half before winning 2-1. Mbappe’s goals took him to 42 for France, overtaking Michel Platini as the country’s fourth all-time leading scorer.

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for Portugal in a 3-2 win over Slovakia in Porto. Portugal also wobbled with a two-goal lead but managed to hold on for the win.

France coach Didier Deschamps was delighted with his team’s performance and qualification.

We mustn’t get carried away, but we must appreciate and not trivialise things,” he said.

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To qualify with two games to go, with six wins, 13 goals scored and just one conceded, I’m very proud of what the group has achieved, both in terms of spirit and on the pitch.”

Greece also won on Friday night, beating Ireland 2-0 in Dublin to eliminate them from the competition and move three points clear of the Netherlands in Group C.

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The Netherlands and Greece meet on Monday in Athens in a crucial match for both teams’ qualification chances.