Tenth straight win for Portugal
Portugal’s Ricardo Horta gestures after scoring against Iceland.
Bangkok Post Public Company Limited
PARIS: Portugal finished their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 100-percent record by beating Iceland 2-0 on Sunday, after Serbia booked their place at next year’s finals in Germany and Romelu Lukaku scored four goals for Belgium. Bruno Fernandes and Ricardo Horta netted the goals for Roberto Martinez’s Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo not on the scoresheet, to end with 10 wins from 10 matches in Group J. The 2016 winners will be among the favourites for the title in what could be the 38-year-old Ronaldo’s l ast major tournament. Slovakia finished eight points behind Portugal in the second qualifying place after a 2-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica. Luxembourg, who will head into the play-offs, were a further five points adrift after closing out an impressive group-stage showing with a 1-0 success in Leichtenstein. Earlier on Sunday, Serbia qualified for the first time as an independent nation, after four previous failures to get to the main event, with a 2-2 draw against Bulgaria. The Serbs finish second in Group G behind Hungary who snuffed out any hopes Montenegro had of progressing by beating them 3-1 in Budapest. “The players showed a mentality of not giving up, believing in themselves,” said Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic. “It’s a big day for Serbian football. Serbia is finally at the European Championship. “I congratulate my boys, who fought until the end and believed. We are happy and satisfied.” Lukaku scored four goals as Belgium finished with a 5-0 thrashing of Azerbaijan. Roma striker Lukaku extended his record tally of international goals for Belgium to 83, with all of his goals coming in a remarkable first half in Brussels. Belgium finished top of Group F, one point clear of Austria, with both having wrapped up qualification with matches to spare. Barcelona star Gavi limped off with a nasty knee injury in Spain’s 3-1 victory against Georgia which secured top spot in Group A above Scotland.