The Czech Republic did not waste their chance, and on November 20, they crushed Moldova 3-0 at home. In the Group E table, the Czech football team surpassed Poland by four points, securing their place in next year's European Championship in Germany (this marks the eighth qualification for the Czechs in Euro history). Consequently, it is now certain that at least three out of the four Visegrád Group countries—Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary—will be represented at Euro 2024. Whether Poland will join this group will only be determined after the March playoffs.
The national team of the Czech Republic poses for a commemorative photo during the match against Moldova. Photo by Ludek Perina/PAP/CTK
The Moldovan national team started the match very boldly but failed to score. The team led by Jaroslav Šilhavý scored the first goal in the 14th minute through a shot by David Douděra (his first goal for the national team). From the 56th minute onwards, the Czech team played with a numerical advantage as Vladislav Baboglo received his second yellow card and, consequently, the referee had to show him a red card. The Czechs seized the opportunity: in the 72nd minute, Tomáš Chorý, making his debut in the national team, scored a header, and in the 90th minute, Tomáš Souček, well-known to Polish fans, sealed the final result of the match (his goal at Warsaw's National Stadium thwarted Poland's chances of advancing). After defeating Moldova, the Czechs secured the second spot in Group E, accumulating an impressive 15 points in the table, the same as the group leaders, Albania.
Following in the Group E standings were Poland (11 points), Moldova (10 points), and the Faroe Islands (1 point). The Polish national team, led by Michał Probierz, still has a chance to qualify for Euro 2024 through the March playoffs.
For the Czechs, qualifying for the European Championship is not particularly sensational. The players from this country have secured a spot in the European competition for the eighth consecutive time. In other words, since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, they have qualified for the European Championships every time.
The Hungarian national team is celebrating qualification for next year's championships. Photo by MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry
Hungary has qualified for the 2024 European Football Championship!
The undefeated Hungarian national team secured their qualification for the upcoming European Championship on November 16. Playing away, the Hungarians drew 2-2 (1-1) against Bulgaria in the 9th round of Group G. On November 19, the Hungarian footballers convincingly defeated Montenegro (3:1) in a stylish manner. During the Euro 2024 qualifying phase, Hungary did not suffer a single defeat and finished in first place in their group.
Marco Rossi's team, coached by him after officially receiving Hungarian citizenship in early October 2023, has reasons to celebrate. They secured qualification for the European Championship for the fifth time in history and the third consecutive time (2016, 2020, and now). With this achievement, Rossi has etched his name in the golden history of Hungarian football. No coach had previously led the Hungarian national team to the European Championship more than once. The Italian-born coach has surpassed even the renowned Lajos Baróti in this category. Baróti, who led Hungary from 1957 to 1966 and then from 1975 to 1978, guided Hungary to four FIFA World Cup finals (1958, 1962, 1966, and 1978). However, only once, under his management, did the Hungarian football team qualify for the UEFA European Championship in 1964.
The Hungarians not only secured their qualification but did so in a spectacular fashion. Throughout the entire qualifying campaign, they did not suffer a single defeat – winning five matches and drawing three. In Group G, Hungary outpaced Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania, and Bulgaria, accumulating a total of 18 points. Serbia secured the second position with 14 points, while Montenegro finished third with 11 points. Lithuania earned 6 points in the qualifiers, and Bulgaria managed only 4 points.
The UEFA European Football Championship is set to commence in Germany on June 14 next year. The tournament will take place across ten stadiums in ten German cities. What are Hungary's chances? In Euro 2016, the Hungarian team reached the Round of 16, while in 2020, they were eliminated in the group stage. This time, the historically powerful Hungarian national team – three-time Olympic champions and two-time World Cup runners-up – may seek to revive the tradition of the Hungarian "Golden Team" from the 1950s (featuring legends like Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, József Bozsik, and Nándor Hidegkuti). They could aim to replicate their historic victory over the English (in 1953, Hungary defeated England 7-1 at Wembley).
Photo by JAKUB GAVLAK/PAP/EPA
Success of the Slovaks
The Slovakian team, similarly, did not give Icelandic footballers any chances in Bratislava, securing a direct qualification to Euro 2024 with a 4-2 victory. They finished in second place in Group J.