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European Qualifiers: England held, Italy pegged back

England lost their perfect record with a draw in Ukraine while Italy were frustrated by North Macedonia again.

Kyle Walker rescues a point for England against Ukraine
Kyle Walker rescues a point for England against Ukraine Getty Images

England remain in control of Group C despite dropping their first points of the European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2024 by drawing away to Ukraine, while Luciano Spalletti's reign as Italy coach began with a frustrating draw against the team that knocked them out of World Cup qualifying, North Macedonia.

On Friday, Álvaro Morata scored a hat-trick and Lamine Yamal made history as Spain showed their class, while Portugal and Scotland maintained their perfect records. A day earlier, France made it five wins and five clean sheets from as many qualifiers, with the Netherlands and Hungary both securing morale-boosting wins.

UEFA.com rounds up the Matchday 5 fixtures on the road to the finals in Germany.

All the qualifying fixtures

Saturday's results

Group C: Ukraine 1-1 England, North Macedonia 1-1 Italy
Group F: Azerbaijan 0-1 Belgium, Estonia 0-5 Sweden
Group I
: Andorra 0-0 Belarus, Kosovo 2-2 Switzerland, Romania 1-1 Israel

Latest standings

Ukraine 1-1 England

Ukraine became the first team in Group C to prevent England from winning as the second-placed hosts remained six points behind the leaders with a draw in Wroclaw. Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko gave Serhiy Rebrov's side a 26th-minute lead, meeting Yukhym Konoplia's pass to fire in from close range and complete a slick move with the game's first shot on target.

Fellow full-back Kyle Walker replied four minutes before the break, controlling Harry Kane's perceptive angled delivery and prodding in to ensure the Three Lions remain in the driving seat in the standings.

Key stat: Walker's goal was his first in 77 international appearances.

Highlights: Ukraine 1-1 England


  • Yannick Carrasco's goal was enough for Belgium to move alongside Austria on ten points at the top of Group F. Sweden are four points adrift of the pair in third after their victory in Estonia.
  • Luciano Spalletti's first game as Italy coach was going well when Ciro Immobile opened the scoring but a fine free-kick from Enis Bardhi ensured North Macedonia shared the spoils.
  • Switzerland and Romania remain in the top two berths in Group I after all three matches in that section ended in draws.

Friday's results

Group A: Georgia 1-7 Spain, Cyprus 0-3 Scotland
Group D: Croatia 5-0 Latvia, Türkiye 1-1 Armenia
Group J
: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 Liechtenstein, Luxembourg 3-1 Iceland, Slovakia 0-1 Portugal

Georgia 1-7 Spain

Spain captain Morata grabbed a hat-trick but it was Barcelona's Yamal who stole the headlines with a debut goal as he became the country's youngest-ever men's player and scorer.

Morata struck first and a Solomon Kvirkvelia own goal, Dani Olmo's low finish and Morata's second made it 4-0 at half-time. After Giorgi Chakvetadze pulled one back and another Morata strike, substitutes Nico Williams and Yamal – with a composed left-footed finished – rounded off an emphatic victory.

Key stat: Yamal's goal made him the youngest-ever scorer in EURO qualifying at 16 years and 57 days. The previous youngest had been Gareth Bale, a scorer for Wales in a 5-1 loss to Slovakia when he was 17 years and 83 days old in October 2006.

Highlights: Georgia 1-7 Spain

Slovakia 0-1 Portugal

Two key moments within a minute of each other were the difference between the sides as Portugal kept up their 100 per cent start. First, Lukáš Haraslín struck the outside of the post for the home team and then Bruno Fernandes responded by going on a weaving run into the penalty area before drilling home the only goal.

Milan Škriniar headed Slovakia's best chance of a leveller over and Cristiano Ronaldo – on his 201st international appearance – was then denied by Martin Dúbravka.

Key stat: Portugal's win means they have started a EURO qualifying campaign with five successive victories for the first time and they have now won ten of their last 11 preliminary matches away from home in the competition.


Highlights: Türkiye 1-1 Armenia
  • Scotland maintained their 100 per cent record after five matches as they saw off Cyprus 3-0. Steve Clarke's side have a remarkable nine-point advantage on Spain, who have two games in hand, and 11 on the other sides in their section.
  • Croatia were the happiest of the teams in Group D, Bruno Petković scoring twice in their commanding win while the nations directly above and below them, Türkiye and Armenia, drew with each other.
  • Luxembourg's victory against Iceland moved them on to ten points at the halfway stage in Group J, equalling their best ever haul in EURO or World Cup qualifying already.

Thursday's results

Group B: France 2-0 Republic of Ireland, Netherlands 3-0 Greece
Group E: Czechia 1-1 Albania, Poland 2-0 Faroe Islands
Group G
: Lithuania 2-2 Montenegro, Serbia 1-2 Hungary
Group H: Kazakhstan 0-1 Finland, Denmark 4-0 San Marino, Slovenia 4-2 Northern Ireland 

France 2-0 Republic of Ireland

France maintained their 100% start in Group B with a routine victory in Paris. Aurélien Tchouameni broke the deadlock in the 19th minute at Parc des Princes with a magnificent 20-metre strike, though Les Bleus suffered a setback when Olivier Giroud was withdrawn with an injury soon afterwards.

The Milan striker's replacement Marcus Thuram doubled their lead, hitting his first international goal early in the second half. Chiedozie Ogbene headed the visitors' best chance straight at Mike Maignan, who ensured Didier Deschamps' side kept a fifth clean sheet in as many Group B matches.

Key stat: Kylian Mbappé set up the opener and has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 11 starts for France (12 goals, four assists).

Highlights: France 2-0 Republic of Ireland

Netherlands 3-0 Greece

The Netherlands cruised to victory thanks to a dominant first-half display in Eindhoven. Marten de Roon scored his first international goal to give the hosts the lead in the 17th minute, before strikes from Cody Gakpo and Wout Weghorst gave the hosts a three-goal cushion heading in the interval.

A controlled performance in the second half ensured Ronald Koeman's side secured the three points as well as a clean sheet, moving up into in second place in Group B.

Key stat: The Netherlands have only failed to score in one of their last 19 EURO qualifying matches at home.

Serbia 1-2 Hungary

Hungary maintained their unbeaten start in Group G as Barnabás Varga and Willi Orbán helped them come from behind to win in Belgrade. The hosts took the lead when Attila Szalai put into his own net in the tenth minute but Hungary responded with two goals in as many minutes.

Varga equalised before Ádám Lang's whipped cross was converted by Orbán in the 36th minute. Serbia went in search of a leveller in the second half but Hungary goalkeeper Dénes Dibusz saved well from Dušan Vlahović and Miloš Veljković to preserve a win that takes his points three points clear in the section.

Key stat: Hungary have lost only one of their last 11 matches (W7 D3).


Highlights: Poland 2-0 Faroe Islands
  • Having earlier struck the woodwork, Robert Lewandowski took his international tally to 81 goals, a 73rd-minute penalty and a finish from open play ten minutes later helping Poland to subdue an obdurate Faroe Islands side.
  • Poland's Group E rivals Czechia remain unbeaten after four games, but are just a point clear at the top of a fiercely competitive section. Václav Černý put them ahead against Albania, but their guests levelled through Nedim Bajrami.
  • Oliver Antman scored the first goal of the September qualifiers to earn Finland a 1-0 win against their main Group H rivals Kazakhstan; the team's triumphant journey back to Helsinki is around 3,000km.
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