Portugal finished their UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 100 percent record by beating Iceland 2-0 on Sunday, after Serbia booked their place at next year’s finals in Germany and Romelu Lukaku scored four goals for Belgium.
Bruno Fernandes and Ricardo Horta netted the goals for Roberto Martinez’s Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo not on the scoresheet, to end with 10 wins from 10 matches in Group J.
The 2016 winners are among the favorites for the title in what could be the 38-year-old Ronaldo’s last major tournament.
Slovakia finished eight points behind Portugal in the second qualifying place after a 2-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica.
Luxembourg, who are to head into the playoffs, were a further five points adrift after closing out an impressive group-stage showing with a 1-0 success in Leichtenstein.
Earlier in the day, Serbia qualified for the first time as an independent nation, after four previous failures to get to the main event, with a 2-2 draw against Bulgaria.
The Serbs finish second in Group G behind Hungary who snuffed out any hopes Montenegro had of progressing by beating them 3-1 in Budapest.
“The players showed a mentality of not giving up, believing in themselves,” Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic said. “It’s a big day for Serbian football. Serbia is finally at the European Championship.”
“I congratulate my boys, who fought until the end and believed,” he added.
Centreback Milos Veljkovic put Serbia ahead in the 17th minute before substitute Georgi Rusev levelled for Bulgaria in the 59th.
Lukaku scored four goals as Belgium finished with a 5-0 thrashing of Azerbaijan.
Roma striker Lukaku extended his record tally of international goals for Belgium to 83, with all of his goals coming in a remarkable first half in Brussels.
The Belgians took their foot off the gas in the second period but Leandro Trossard added a fifth in the 90th minute from a Jeremy Doku assist.
Belgium finished top of Group F, one point clear of Austria, with both having wrapped up qualification with matches to spare.
Sweden ended a miserable campaign, in which they failed to qualify for a European Championship for the first time since 1996, with a 2-0 win over Estonia in the other game in the group.
Barcelona star Gavi limped off with a nasty knee injury in Spain’s 3-1 victory against Georgia which secured top spot in Group A above Scotland.
The 19-year-old was tackled from behind in the first half, buckling the knee that had his weight on it, before leaving the pitch in tears.
“This is a very tough and very difficult moment,” Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said. “For the [Spanish soccer] federation, for me, for his friends, but above all for him and for his club. We’re destroyed.”
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