Euro 2020 Qualifying Play-Offs: Semi-Final Roundup

Scotland and Northern Ireland enjoyed penalty success unlike Republic of Ireland in an action packed night of Euro 2020 Qualifying Play-Off semi-finals across Europe, as we bring a full roundup of results. 

Iceland and Georgia were also amongst those to qualify for next month’s play-off finals across Paths A, B, C and D on a huge night which saw many dreams of reaching next summer’s finals tournament crushed whilst others are now a match away from booking their continental football ticket for next summer.

 

Path A

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson netted a first-half brace as Iceland defeated Romania to book their place in the Path A Play-Off Final, despite the Romanians threatening a comeback after Alexandru Maxim’s 63rd penalty but weren’t able to find that equalising goal to take the match to extra time.

Hungary ran riot in a 3-1 away win in Bulgaria as Vilmos Orban’s 17th minute chested down effort from a corner was followed up by second-half goals from Zsolt Kalmar and Nemanja Nikolic, despite Georgi Yomov firing in a 89th minute consolation for Bulgaria on his debut.

Hungary will therefore host Iceland in Budapest on 12 November, with the winner entering Group F in next summer’s finals tournament alongside Portugal, France and Germany.

 

Path B

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Niall McGinn rescued Northern Ireland a draw in Bosnia & Herzegovina after Rade Kruncic fired the hosts ahead from Branimir Cipetic’s pass in the 13th minute, before the Irish team went on to win 4-3 on penalties as Liam Boyce struck their winning spot kick despite a miss from George Saville whilst Haris Hajradinovic and Edin Visca missed for Bosnia to end their Euro 2020 dreams.

Slovakia held Republic of Ireland to a goalless draw in Bratislava but managed to defeat their Irish opposition 4-2 on penalties after misses from Alan Browne and Matt Doherty to deny an all Irish Play-off Path B Final next month, as well as the chance for the Republic to reach the finals and play in their own stadium which is one of the host venues of this pan-European tournament.

Northern Ireland will now face Slovakia in Belfast at Windsor Park on 12 November with the winner joining Spain, Sweden and Poland in Group E at next summer’s Euros Finals tournament.

 

Path C

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Serbia fought their way past Norway in Oslo in a tight encounter which required extra time to separate those two teams after Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s 82nd minute opener for the visitors was cancelled out by Mathias Normann six minutes later.

Milinkovic-Savic however would grab his second shortly before half-time in extra time to send Serbia through to the Play-Off Final in Path C, where they will host Scotland in Belgrade.

Scotland scrapped to a goalless draw at home to Israel in which they wasted several chances before prevailing 5-3 on penalties after scoring all their spot-kicks as Eran Zahavi missed his penalty for the Israelian team, therefore setting up a crunch away clash against Serbia next month.

The winner will join England, Croatia and Czech Republic in Group D at next summer’s Euros Finals tournament.

 

Path D

Tornike Okriashvili’s seventh minute penalty proved enough to send Georgia through to next month’s Path D Play-Off Final at Belarus’ expense in a tightly fought contest.

Darko Velkovski’s 33rd minute header sent North Macedonia through to face Georgia in next month’s crunch match after Florent Hadergjonaj had equalised for Kosovo just four minutes earlier, following the former’s opener from Kosovo’s Benjamin Kololli’s deflected own goal of Stefan Ristovski’s shot.

Georgia will now face North Macedonia in Tbilisi on 12 November with the winner joining Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria in Group C at next summer’s Euros Finals tournament.

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