Portugal qualify; Belgium seal first win; Georgia earn draw

Portugal qualify; Belgium seal first win; Georgia earn draw

It’s a second EURO 2024 Saturday with three more fascinating games.

Here’s how it all unfolded.

Belgium beat Romania 2-0

A late goal from Kevin de Bruyne ensured that Belgium belatedly got their EURO 2024 campaign up and running with a hard-fought win over Romania.

Scorers: Tielemans 2′, De Bruyne 80′

Belgium flew into the lead after just 90 seconds when Romelu Lukaku laid the ball off to Youri Tielemans, who promptly fired the ball home from the edge of the penalty area.

Romania almost levelled inside five minutes, with Koen Casteels called into action to tip over a header from Radu Drăgușin to keep his side’s lead intact.

Dominic Tedesco’s side grew back into the encounter, with Romelu Lukaku firing wide and the wingers for Belgium causing plenty of concern for the Romanian fullbacks.

Despite their domination though, they could not find a second goal before the interval, with Kevin de Bruyne firing tamely at Florin Nita with their most clearcut opportunity.

The second half began in much the same fashion, with Belgium having all the running without being able to make it count.

Just after the hour, Romelu Lukaku thought that he had doubled his side’s lead after being slipped in by De Bruyne, coolly sliding the ball past Nita, only for VAR to adjudge him offside.

At the other end, Marius Man was denied by Casteels as Romania reminded Belgium that they weren’t out of proceedings.

But eventually, Belgium did find a second goal as De Bruyne raced onto a long ball from Casteels, past the Romania defence, to seal the win for the Red Devils.

They threatened a third, with Romelu Lukaku firing at Nita when well placed, but ultimately ran out 2-0 winners.

It means that all four sides in Group B sit level on three points, with Belgium moving to share top spot with Romania courtesy of their goal difference.

Portugal book last-16 spot with ease

Scorers: Bernardo 21′, Akaydin OG 29′, Fernandes 56′

Portugal confirmed their place in the last-16 as Group F winners with a comprehensive win over Türkiye.

Kerem Aktürkoğlu went close to a potential opener in the sixth minute but was unable to connect properly with only Diogo Costa to beat.

They were soon made to rue that miss as Bernardo Silva swept home a left-footed opener inside the penalty area on 21 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Vincenzo Montella’s side as Samet Akaydin turned the ball into his own net after a mix-up with Altay Bayındır.

A Seleção continued to pile the misery on in the second half when Cristiano Ronaldo teed up Bruno Fernandes to beat Manchester United teammate Bayındır.

Ronaldo spurned a chance to score in his own right when Bernardo’s cross sat up perfectly for him but failed to guide it goalward from close range.

Roberto Martínez’s side saw out the victory, and ensured qualification with a game still to spare.

Georgia 1-1 Czech Republic

Scorers: Mikautadze (PEN) 45+2′; Schick 59′

Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili was the hero was his shot-stopping saw Georgia draw 1-1 with Czech Republic to claim their first ever European Championship point.

Hamburg was the venue for two sides in need of a win in Group F. Georgia had lost to Türkiye in their tournament bow whilst Czech Republic went down to a late Portugal winner.

It was the Czech Republic who flew out of the blocks as Adam Hlozek forced a smart save from Mamardashvili down to his right.

Georgia were no slouches though and thought they had a penalty on 10 minutes. Zuriko Davitashvili raced down the right and went down under a challenge, but his protestations were waved away.

The Czechs did have the ball in the back of the net at the midway point of the first half but Hlozek’s bundled effort was ruled out by VAR for a handball.

The first half looked to be petering out after a blistering start but with almost the last kick, Georgia had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock. Guram Kashia found space inside the area from a cross, but fired his effort at the goalkeeper.

There was some resulting panic after the effort and in the melee, Czech Republic conceded a penalty. Robin Hranáč’s hand touched the ball and in the resulting spot kick, Georges Mikautadze tucked away.

Unbelievably, the half wasn’t done there as Patrik Schick got the ball from kick off and fired in a low effort that was saved well.

Into the second half and once again Schick was looking dangerous and got his goal on the hour mark, tapping in at the far post from a corner.

The Czechs were pushing for a winner now but were hamstrung with 20 minutes to go as Schick pulled up with a muscle injury and had to go off.

As the match entered the home straight, Georgian goalkeeper Mamardashvili continued to have the game of his life, producing save after save after save.

Georgia had an astonishing chance right at the end to steal all the points but Saba Lobjanidze couldn’t finish an easy one-on-one.

Sunday sees Group A come to an end as Scotland face Hungary and Switzerland take on Germany.