Cristano Ronaldo’s Portugal And Kylian Mbappe’s France Become The First Teams To Qualify For 2024 European Championship

Kylian Mbappé and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored twice to help France and Portugal secure a spot at next year’s European Championship 2024 with a perfect record in qualifying, with Belgium also clinching a berth in Germany on Friday. The three European powerhouses all needed a win to qualify for the tournament and their star strikers made sure they got them.

Mbappé’s two goals — including a long-range strike for the second — helped secure a 2-1 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam for a perfect sixth win in Group B. Mbappé opened the scoring in just the seventh minute when he beat Lutsharel Geertruida to a cross from the right by Jonathan Clauss to volley past Brighton goalkeeper Bert Verbruggen, who was making his debut for the Netherlands.

It was Mbappé’s 41st international goal, drawing him level with France great Michel Platini. Mbappé doubled the lead in the 53rd minute when he exchanged passes with Adrien Rabiot on the edge of the Netherlands’ penalty area before curling a shot over Verbruggen.

Feyenoord midfielder Quilindschy Hartman, in his first full international appearance, made it 2-1 with 10 minutes to go. It was the first goal France has conceded in the campaign. Greece moved up to the second place with 12 points after Giakoumakis and Giorgos Masouras scored a goal a piece to beat Ireland 2-0 in Dublin.

The Netherlands remains on nine in third with a game in hand. The top two teams in each group directly qualify.

Ronaldo’s double improved his record tally of international goals to 125 in 202 appearances and led Portugal to a 3-2 win over Slovakia. Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot in the 29th minute, sending Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka the wrong way to double the lead to 2-0.

Forward Gonçalo Ramos had given the hosts the lead with a header 11 minutes earlier. After David Hancko pulled one back for Slovakia in the second half, Ronaldo restored a two-goal advantage off a low cross from Bruno Fernandes that found him at the far post.

He jumped high in his trademark celebration in front of the roaring fans in Porto after his seventh goal in six qualifying games. Stanislav Lobotka scored the second for Slovakia in the 80th.

With three games to go, Portugal has 100% record after seven straight wins with a 27-2 goal difference, the best-ever performance in a European qualifying campaign. Slovakia was the first team to score against Portugal. “The objective has been achieved, the first half was extraordinary and in the second we could have scored more goals,” Fernandes said. “Being in the European finals is the fulfilment of another dream.”

Slovakia remains on 13 points in second with Luxembourg trailing by two in third after holding Iceland to a 1-1 draw in Reykjavik. Bosnia won 2-0 at pointless Lichtenstein and is fourth on nine with Iceland another two back.