In the final round of the qualifying series for the 2024 European Football Championship, the European champion Italian national team played a goalless draw against Ukraine, thus advancing directly to the continental tournament in Germany.
The stakes were huge in the Ukrainian-Italian match
The Italians won the European Championship, which was postponed to 2021, and after that, to a huge surprise, they did not make it to last year’s World Championship in Qatar. The stakes were high for the match against the Ukrainians, because in the event of a defeat, Luciano Spalletti’s team would have been forced into the play-offs, but a draw was enough for the Italian national team to qualify in the straight leg.
In the first half of the match in Leverkusen, the Italians created a lot of chances, but the finishes were inaccurate, and the goalkeeper of the Ukrainians, Anatoly Trubin, also made a great save. The team of the former Fradi coach, Sergej Rebrov, had less possession of the ball, but they defended tightly and had dangerous counterattacks.
The Italian national team survived and made it to the European Championship
Led by Federico Chiesa, the Italians remained on the attack, but they still couldn’t score Trubin’s goal, and the Ukrainians mainly relied on Mihajlo Mudrik’s speed on counterattacks. In the 65th minute, Gianluigi Donnarumma made a huge mistake, then made a big save on Mudrik’s close shot.
In the start, Rebrov brought in several attackers so that the Ukrainians could fight for victory and straight away, because this result was more favorable for the Italians. In the continuation, Ukraine fought with great energy, but still no goals were scored, so Italy went straight from Group C behind England to the 2024 European Football Championship in Germany. The Ukrainian national team is among the best third in the group, so it can still make it to next year’s continental tournament in an additional qualifier.
On Monday’s game day, two more teams, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, ensured their participation in the continental competition. Both teams also played one-on-one matches: the former won a three-goal victory over the visiting Moldova, while the latter beat Kazakhstan 2-1 at home.
European Championship qualifiers, 10th (last) round:
North Macedonia – England 1-1 (1-0)
Final result of the group: 1. (and qualified) England 20 points, 2. (and qualified) Italy 14, 3. Ukraine 14, 4. North Macedonia 8, 5. Malta 0
Czech Republic-Moldova 3-0 (1-0)
Albania – Faroe Islands 0-0
Final result of the group: 1. (and eliminated) Albania 15 points, 2. (and eliminated) Czech Republic 15, 3. Poland 11, 4. Moldova 10, 5. Faroe Islands 2
Northern Ireland – Denmark 2-0 (0-0)
San Marino-Finland 1-2 (0-0)
Slovenia-Kazakhstan 2-1 (1-0)
Final result of the group: 1. (and eliminated) Denmark 22 points, 2. (and eliminated) Slovenia 22, 3. Finland 18 (18-10), 4. Kazakhstan 18 (16-12), 5. Northern Ireland 9, 6. San Marino 0
In case of the same score, the results against each other will decide first, then the goal difference.