Portugal win in Euro 2024 qualifying as Scotland stun Haaland’s Norway
Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Portugal won in Euro 2024 qualifying on Saturday after Scotland produced a stunning late comeback to beat Erling Haaland’s Norway in Oslo.
Portugal defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 in Lisbon to make it three wins out of three in Group J, with Manchester City star Bernardo Silva opening the scoring a minute before half-time.
Fernandes headed in the second from a Ruben Neves cross in the 77th minute and scored his second, and Portugal’s third, in added time.
Cristiano Ronaldo wore the captain’s armband and played all 90 minutes as the 38-year-old men’s international appearance record-holder won his 199th cap.
However, the forward now playing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia did not manage to add to his record 122 international goals — he found the net with a header midway through the first half only to be denied by an offside flag.
Portugal, who visit Iceland on Tuesday, are top of Group J with nine points out of a possible nine having scored 13 goals and conceded none.
They are two points clear of Slovakia, who beat Iceland 2-1 in Reykjavik with Tomas Suslov unwittingly scoring the winner 20 minutes from time after an Alfred Finnbogason penalty for the hosts cancelled out Juraj Kucka’s opener.
Luxembourg beat Liechtenstein 2-0 in the same six-team group, from which the top two sides qualify for the finals in Germany.
Scotland have three wins out of three in Group A after following a famous victory over Spain in March by coming from behind late on to beat Norway 2-1 on Saturday.
It looked as if Norway would get their first win of the campaign after Erling Haaland was fouled in the box on the hour mark by Ryan Porteous and converted the resulting penalty.
It was Haaland’s 22 goal in 24 games for Norway, and he was taken off six minutes from time by coach Stale Solbakken with the job seemingly done.
But then Scotland equalised in the 87th minute when Leo Ostigard failed to deal with a John McGinn pass, allowing Lyndon Dykes to stab home.
And Scotland were not finished as they snatched the winner with a minute left, McGinn and Dykes combining to set up Norwich City’s Kenny McLean to slot in, leaving Norway with just one point from three outings.
– Lukaku rescues Belgium –
Scotland, who went 23 years without appearing at any major tournament before going to Euro 2020, are now in a fantastic position on top of Group A, five points clear of Georgia and six ahead of Nations League finalists Spain.
They have played a game more than both of those sides, however, and welcome Georgia to Glasgow on Tuesday.
“Sometimes when it’s your moment you just have to ride the wave. The boys believe in themselves and kept going,” said Scotland boss Steve Clarke.
Georgia, coached by ex-France international Willy Sagnol, won 2-1 in Cyprus with Zuriko Davitashvili scoring the decisive goal late on.
That was after Georges Mikautadze’s opener was cancelled out by a penalty from Ioannis Pittas for Cyprus.
Belgium were held to a 1-1 draw by Austria in Brussels, with captain Romelu Lukaku turning and firing in from the edge of the box just after the hour mark for the hosts.
They had been trailing after Orel Mangala deflected a shot past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and into his own net.
“After the first goal we saw the heads go down, which is something we need to learn from because this team is young,” said Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco. “But in the end, I honestly saw good things as well.”
Eden Hazard, the former Belgium captain who quit international football after the World Cup, attended the match and did a lap of honour around the stadium at half-time.
Belgium are three points behind group leaders Austria but have a game in hand. They are back in action on Tuesday in Estonia, who drew 1-1 with Azerbaijan on Saturday.
In other action, the Czech Republic cemented their position at the top of Group E after a 3-0 win in the Faroe Islands in which Vaclav Cerny scored twice.