Euro Qualifiers: France demolish 10-man Gibraltar; Dutch qualify

France recorded the biggest victory in European Championship qualifying with a 14-0 rout of 10-man Gibraltar on Saturday as Kylian Mbappe grabbed a hat-trick and Warren Zaire-Emery scored on his debut.

The French surpassed Germany’s 13-0 win over San Marino in 2006 in their biggest ever win in international football. It was also the first time a European team had scored 14 goals in a World Cup or European Championship qualifying match.

“Being down to 10, already with 11 it’s complicated for them, but it doesn’t take away the credit for us even if we could have been more efficient, it’s as much about respecting the opponent as scoring goals,” France manager Didier Deschamps said. “Fourteen is not bad.”

Marcus Thuram, Zaire-Emery, Mbappe, Jonathan Clauss, Kingsley Coman and Youssouf Fofana netted in the first half of the Group B match after France had gone ahead through a third-minute own goal.

France were already assured of top spot in the group and Deschamps handed 17-year-old Zaire-Emery his debut, making him the youngest France player since 1914.

The teenager became the youngest scorer for France since that date with his goal in the 16th minute, but he was caught on his ankle by Ethan Santos. The Gibraltar defender was sent off and Zaire-Emery’s debut came to a premature end.

With Gibraltar reduced to 10 men, France’s biggest ever win, 10-0 over Azerbaijan in 1995, was clearly within sight.

Adrien Rabiot and Coman’s second brought the record closer and Ousmane Dembele made it 10-0 before Mbappe scored twice to complete his hat-trick, his third a delightful long-range effort after he spotted the keeper off his line.

Mbappe overtook Antoine Griezmann to move into third place on France’s all-time scorers list on 46 goals and he is now only five behind Thierry Henry.

Substitute Olivier Giroud, France’s all-time top scorer, got in on the act with two late goals to complete the demolition job and move on to 56 goals for his country.

France, who have won all seven group games, will look to maintain that perfect record when they travel to Greece on Tuesday for their final game.

“We’re going to enjoy what we did tonight, we’re not going to Greece to go for a ride. It’s a new goal,” Deschamps said.

“Tonight was a perfect night aside from Warren’s injury, but it’s not a big deal, it could have been worse.”

Gibraltar, who suffered their heaviest ever loss and have yet to score in the qualifying group, end their campaign with a home game against the Netherlands who secured qualification with a 1-0 win over Ireland on Saturday.

Dutch qualify for Euro 2024 with 1-0 win over Ireland in Amsterdam

Striker Wout Weghorst’s early goal ensured the Netherlands clinched a berth at Euro 2024 as they beat Ireland 1-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday to finish second in Group B.

Weghorst broke free from just inside the Irish half and, despite options to his left, decided to steam straight towards goal and strike a rasping effort that crashed into the roof of the net after 12 minutes.

The win took the Dutch to 15 points, six behind group winners France who have a 100% record after their seven group matches but out of the reach of Greece in third place.

Ronald Koeman’s team finish their campaign on Tuesday away to Gibraltar who were thrashed 14-0 by France in Nice on Saturday.

The injury-plagued Dutch, without many of their regulars, outplayed the Irish for most of the game and created several half chances but were unable to add to their lead, despite the best efforts of an attack led by Cody Gakpo.

Tijani Reijnders had his 52nd minute shot deflected onto the upright by goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and there were some brave blocks from defenders to deny several Dutch shots at goal.

Ireland thought they had equalised when substitute Adam Idah’s shot spilt through keeper Bart Verbruggen’s hands with goal line technology confirming it had crossed the line in the 65th but VAR found Idah was offside when he received the ball.

It was the only moment of excitement for the travelling support as the Irish, who finished on six points after six defeats in eight matches, rarely conjured up any chances.

It is expected to be the last competitive outing for manager Stephen Kenny, with Ireland playing a friendly against New Zealand in Dublin on Tuesday.

The Dutch have now qualified for their 11th European Championship.

Wales’ Euro 2024 qualification hopes hit with draw in Armenia

Wales’ hopes of qualifying automatically for Euro 2024 suffered a potentially critical blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw in their penultimate Group D match on Saturday.

Robert Page’s side had recovered from a poor start to their qualifying campaign to reach a position where a win in Yerevan and at home to Turkey on Tuesday would have sent them to their fourth major tournament out of the last five.

But their fate is now out of their hands after Croatia defeated Latvia 2-0 away to take over second place and move two points clear of Wales with one round of matches remaining.

From the moment Armenia’s Lucas Zelarayan cut in and fired a shot into the bottom corner after five minutes, the Welsh never managed to exert any sort of control.

They enjoyed a huge stroke of luck in first-half stoppage time when a long throw-in by Connor Roberts went in off the head of Armenia’s Nair Tiknizyan.

It failed to inspire a second-half surge though and it was Armenia, who knew a win could keep alive their qualification hopes, who were the more likely winners.

Vahan Bichakhchyan was denied by the crossbar and Edgar Sevikyk had a chance saved in stoppage time.

Wales had opportunities too with Ethan Ampadu having a header saved but they did not do enough to warrant three points.

They are in third place with 11 points from seven games, five behind group leaders Turkey, while second-placed Croatia now have 13 points after beating the Latvians.

Early goals from Lovro Majer and Andrej Kramaric were enough to put Croatia in the driving seat for automatic qualification before the final matchday.

Fourth-placed Armenia, who have eight points, looked crestfallen at the final whistle as their Euro 2024 hopes ended — paying the price for losing to bottom side Latvia in October.

Ampadu said all Wales can do now is beat Turkey and hope for a favour elsewhere.

Switzerland qualify for Euro 2024 after 1-1 draw with Kosovo

Switzerland booked their place at Euro 2024 with a 1-1 home draw against Kosovo in European qualifying Group I on Saturday.

Kosovo were under pressure for most of the first half but the Swiss only broke the deadlock two minutes after the break through a Ruben Vargas header, before Muhamet Hyseni levelled for Kosovo eight minutes from time.

Switzerland, who are second with 17 points, secured a top-two finish to seal their third successive appearance at the Euro finals and sixth overall.

They play their final game on Tuesday against group leaders Romania — who are on 19 points and also sealed qualification with a 2-1 win over Israel — to decide top spot.

The 2024 European Championship will be held in Germany from June 14-July 14. Following are the teams who have qualified for the tournament:


Qualified as hosts

Best performance: Winners (1972*, 1980*, 1996)

Previous appearances: 13


Qualified on Oct 13.

Best performance: Runners-up (1980)

Previous appearances: 6


Qualified on Oct 13.

Best performance: Winners (1984, 2000)

Previous appearances: 10


Qualified on Oct 13.

Best performance: Winners (2016)

Previous appearances: 8


Qualified on Oct 15.

Best performance: Group stage (1992, 1996, 2020)

Previous appearances: 3


Qualified on Oct 15.

Best performance: Winners (1964, 2008, 2012)

Previous appearances: 11


Qualified on Oct 15.

Best performance: Semi-finals (2008)

Previous appearances: 5


Qualified on Oct 16.

Best performance: Round of 16 (2020)

Previous appearances: 3


Qualified on Oct 17.

Best performance: Runners-up (2020)

Previous appearances: 10


Qualified on Nov 16.

Best performance: Third place (1964)

Previous appearances: 4


Qualified on Nov 16.

Best performance: Winners (1976)**

Previous appearances: 5


Qualified on Nov 17.

Best performance: Group stage (2016)

Previous appearances: 1


Qualified on Nov 17.

Best performance: Winners (1992)

Previous appearances: 9


Qualified on Nov 18.

Best performance: Winners (1988)

Previous appearances: 10


Qualified on Nov 18.

Best performance: quarter-finals (2020)

Previous appearances: 5


Qualified on Nov 18.

Best performance: quarter-finals

Previous appearances: 5

*As West Germany** As Czechoslovakia

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