Guernsey Press

Euro 2024 day nine: Portugal reach knockout stages and Belgium pick up first win

The Portuguese were given a helping hand in their win over Turkey thanks to an embarrassing own goal.

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Portugal beat Turkey 3-0 in Dortmund to clinch top spot in Group F with a match to spare, while Belgium saw off Romania to get their Group E campaign back on track.

Minnows Georgia claimed their first point at a major tournament after drawing 1-1 with the Czech Republic in Hamburg, but both teams face a battle to qualify for the knockout stage.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at day nine of Euro 2024.

Akaydin’s howler helps Portugal progress

Turkey defender Samet Akaydin scored a calamitous own goal as Portugal qualified for the knockout stages by clinching top spot in Group F with a comfortable 3-0 victory in Dortmund.

The Fenerbahce centre-back inexplicably passed the ball beyond goalkeeper Altay Bayindir and into the unguarded net under little pressure after an attack involving Joao Cancelo and Cristiano Ronaldo broke down.

Bernardo Silva had earlier opened the scoring with his first goal at a major international tournament and Ronaldo later set up Bruno Fernandes to tap in a third – registering a record eighth assist in the European Championship finals.

Portugal can now afford to make plenty of changes for their final group match against Georgia next week in Gelsenkirchen, while the Czechs have to beat Turkey to stand a chance of progressing.

Red Devils up and running

Belgium were in need of a response from a surprise loss to Slovakia in their Group E opener – and provided just that to see off a determined Romania 2-0 in Cologne.

Youri Tielemans had fired the Red Devils in front after only 73 seconds, but Romania – who beat Ukraine 3-0 in their first match – refused to be overrun.

Romelu Lukaku looked to have got a crucial second just after the hour mark, only for VAR to rule out a third goal for the Belgian forward at the tournament for a marginal offside as he sprinted clear.

Kevin de Bruyne, though, ensured there would be no late drama when he slotted in with 10 minutes left after latching onto a long ball up field.

Belgium’s win leaves the group in the balance, with all four teams on three points heading into the final fixtures.

Czechs can’t bounce Georgia

Georgia’s Saba Lobjanidze reacts after a missed chance to score
Saba Lobjanidze could not believe he had missed a chance to score a dramatic late winner for Georgia against the Czech Republic (Petr David Josek/AP)

The Czechs, beaten by Portugal in their opening game, saw a first-half goal from Adam Hlozek ruled out for handball following a VAR review.

Another spot by the video referee saw Georgia awarded a penalty in first-half stoppage time for handball by Robin Hranac following a free-kick into a crowded box, and Georges Mikautadze slotted in from the spot.

Patrik Schick equalised with a record sixth European Championship goal for the Czech Republic just before the hour.

Georgia, though, should have won the match with the very last kick, but Saba Objanidze blazed over from 10 yards after a three-on-one counter attack.

England shut out background noise

England's Jarrod Bowen poses for a portrait sitting on a bench during a media day
West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen came off the bench for both of England’s opening group games (Adam Davy/PA)

Despite pressure increasing after labouring through a 1-1 draw with Denmark, England sit top of the table heading into Tuesday’s final Group C match against Slovenia in Cologne.

As the England squad aim to block out the background noise, Bowen intends to keep everything in perspective.

“The mood’s really high and you try not to get involved in the outside world because what we’ve got is a real tight group, a real togetherness,” the West Ham forward said.

“We’re sat here with four points and it’s probably the standards that we’ve set that, you know, it’s not two wins, but it’s still four points, we’re still top of the group and we’re still in control of our own destiny.”

Picture of the day

A pitch invader attempts to get a photo with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo before security intervene
Cristiano Ronaldo again found himself a man in demand after Portugal’s win over Turkey in Dortmund (Nick Potts/PA)

Who’s up next?

Scotland v Hungary – 8pm, BBC One

Switzerland v Germany – 8pm, BBC Two

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