The November international break saw the final round of group qualifier games for Euro 2024. Both Turkiye and England drew their final games, but remained top of their respective groups.
A lacklustre England laboured to a 2-0 win against Malta at Wembley on Friday. An own goal from Enrico Pepe put the hosts ahead before Harry Kane added a second in the 75th minute. Group C’s weakest link, Malta had failed to score a single point in all eight qualifying games and had lost the corresponding fixture to England at the Ta’ Qali National Stadium in June 0-4.
North Macedonia offered more robust opposition to England. They scored first in the 41st minute: Jordan Pickford saved a penalty from Enis Bardhi, who then coolly slotted home the rebound to give the home side the lead ahead of half time. Jack Grealish thought he’d equalised just after the break from a Saka cross but was judged offside.
Kane, who had started the game as substitute, came on in the 57th minute and seconds later led to an England goal. North Macedonia’s Jani Atanasov turned the ball into his own net as he tried to stop the England captain heading in from a corner.
The result means England end their group qualifiers on 20 points from six wins and two draws, and six points clear of runners-up Italy.
Turkiye record first away win at Germany in 72 years
For Turkiye, the euphoria of beating Germany in a thrilling 2-3 game at Berlin’s Olympiastadion in an international friendly on Saturday could not be matched in their final Euro 2024 against Wales three days later.
The Turks had last beaten Germany (then West Germany) away from home on 17 June 1951, beating their hosts 1-2. Seventy two years later, they were powered to victory by three foreign-born Turks, who condemned manager Julian Nagelsmann to his first defeat in charge of Germany.
It started badly for the visitors though, after they went behind to an early goal from Kai Havertz, who scored after just five minutes. Dutch-born Ferdi Kadioğlu replied for the Turks rifling a sweet shot past German keeper Kevin Trapp on the 38th minute. Turkiye’s second came in extra time of the first half through a stunning strike by German-born Kenan Yıldız.
Niclas Füllkrug levelled four minutes into the second half, setting up a pulsating end-to-end game as both sides chased the winner. Turkiye were awarded a penalty after handball in area, which French-born winger Yusuf Sarı powered past the goalkeeper to make it 2-3 to Turkiye on the 71st minute.
The crowd played their part in an electric atmosphere, with Turkiye’s incredible “away” support drowning out the home fans with their Turkish chants and numerous Turkish flags, giving us a taster of what to expect at next year’s finals in Germany – the home of the biggest Turkish diaspora in the world.
Vincenzo Montella’s men arrived in Cardiff on Tuesday knowing they had already qualified for the Euros and the onus was on Wales to go for the win the hope results would go their way.
Despite a dream start for the hosts going ahead through Neco Williams on the 7th minute, it was not to be, with a soft penalty awarded against captain Ben Davies, which Yusuf Yazıcı converted for Turkiye. The result leaves Croatia on 16 points and Group D runners up to Turkiye, who top the table with 17 points.
Wales now go into the play-offs in March in a bid to secure one of the three remaining places for the finals in Germany next summer.
Elsewhere, Azerbaijan recorded their second win of the qualifiers, beating Sweden 3-0 in Baku before being thumped 5-0 by group leaders Belgium at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels three days later. Azerbaijan ended their campaign in fourth place from five in Group F with seven points.
Northern Ireland had a mixed set of results, losing 4-0 away to Finland before recovering for a surprise 2-0 win at home to Group H leaders Denmark. Michael O’Neill’s men finished fourth in their six-team group.
Scotland ended their group qualifiers with a thrilling 3-3 draw with Norway at Hampden. They go through as runners-up in Group A on 17 points, while Spain top the group with 21 points.
November 2023 Results
Thursday 16 November
Azerbaijan 3 v 0 Sweden (Group F)
Friday 17 November
England 2 v 0 Malta (Group C)
Finland 4 v 0 Northern Ireland (Group H)
Saturday 18 November
Armenia 1 v 1 Wales (Group D)
Germany 2 v 3 Turkiye
Sunday 19 November
Scotland 3 v 3 Norway (Group A)
Belgium 5 v 0 Azerbaijan (Group F)
Monday 20 November
North Macedonia 1 v 1 England (Group C)
Northern Ireland 2 v 0 Denmark (Group H)
Tuesday 21 November
Wales 1 v 1 Turkiye (Group D)
Countries that have qualified for UEFA Euro 2024
The November qualifier matches marks the end of the group stages, with most of the 24 places in the finals of next summer’s UEFA Euro 2024 tournament now determined.
Germany (hosts), Spain (Group A), Scotland (Group A), France (Group B), Netherlands (Group B), England (Group C), Italy (Group C), Turkiye (Group D), Croatia (Group D), Albania (Group E), Czechia (Group E), Belgium (Group F), Austria (Group F), Hungary (Group G), Serbia (Group G), Denmark (Group H), Slovenia (Group H), Romania (Group I), Switzerland (Group I), Portugal (Group J), and Slovakia (Group J).
The remaining three places will be determined by the play-offs, which will be played on 21 and 26 March 2024.
A total of 12 teams will be entered into the play-offs based on their performances in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League.
Fixtures will be allocated/drawn following the conclusion of the European Qualifiers. There will be six semi-finals on 21 March 2024 and three finals on 26 March 2024, with the three winning teams in those games completing the 24-team Euro 2024 finals line-up.
The draw will take place at The House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland from midday Central European Time on Thursday 23 November.
Draw for Euro 2024 finals
The teams playing at next summer’s Euro 2024 final tournament will know their group opponents on Saturday, 2 December 2023.
The draw will take place at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg is one of ten UEFA Euro 2024 host cities and will stage four group games and a quarter-final.