The final two rounds of Euro 2020 qualification got underway on Thursday with plenty of great goals on display. Four nations qualified directly into the tournament as well, as we get closer to the final list of 24 teams.
Portugal rout Lithuania
While the result wasn’t a surprise, it was still an impressive performance from the defending European champions.
Portugal, behind a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, thrashed Lithuania, 6-0, at the Estadio Algarve. That included this terrific strike into the corner from outside the box, bringing the crowd to their feet.
It was Ronaldo’s ninth hat-trick for Portugal, which takes him to 98 goals overall along with 12 goals for Portugal in this calendar year, an incredible strike rate. Pizzi, Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva all scored as well. With a win at Luxembourg in three days, Portugal can assure qualification back to the European Championships, where it can defend its crown.
France comes back to beat Moldova
It’s safe to say that Les Bleus fans would gladly have taken a 2-1 result over Moldova in Euro 2020 qualifying, but the journey to get there was definitely out of the ordinary.
Moldova’s Vadim Rata put the visitors up 1-0 in the 9th minute with a goal-mouth scramble after a failed clearance from by Clement Lenglet, putting France under even more pressure. France brought wave and wave of attack towards the Moldova goal, but it was a controversial goal, credited to Raphael Varane, which brought France level.
In the 41st minute, as Olivier Giroud went for a ball, it appeared Giroud motioned to control the ball with his arm, only to move it out of his way at the last second, enabling Varane to head home. Giroud made amends for missing many chances throughout the match with a penalty kick goal in the 79th minute, earned by left back Lucas Digne.
With the win, France qualified for the 2020 Euros. Also qualifying on Thursday was Turkey, England, and the Czech Republic.
Here’s a look at the rest of Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualification results.
Qualification Group A
England 7-0 Montenegro
Czech Republic 2-1 Kosovo
Qualification Group B
Portugal 6-0 Lithuania
Serbia 3-2 Luxembourg
Qualification Group H
Turkey 0-0 Iceland
Albania 2-2 Andorra
France 2-1 Moldova