Euro 2024: Ukraine, Poland & Georgia complete line-up

Ukraine qualify
Ukraine's Illia Zabarnyi and Volodymyr Brazhko celebrate after qualifying for Euro 2024. Photo: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Wroclaw (Poland): Ukraine's tears of despair turned to joy after qualification for the Euro 2024 soccer tournament was achieved with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Iceland in their playoff final played in a neutral but partisan Wroclaw Stadium here on Tuesday.

Viktor Tsygankov and Mykhailo Mudryk scored second half goals as it was mission accomplished in a campaign where Ukraine have been forced to play ‘home’ fixtures in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland following Russia’s February, 2022, invasion of the country that sparked a war which still rages.

Albert Gudmundsson had put Iceland ahead in the first half but they surrendered possession and the initiative as they struggled to contain their opponents for much of the contest.

It is a fourth straight visit to the continental finals for Ukraine who take their place in Group E with Belgium, Slovakia and Romania, who they open their campaign against on June 17.

"Thank you boys! Thank you to the team! For proving once again that when Ukrainians face challenges but refuse to give up and continue the fight, they invariably win," Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a message on Telegram.

Chants of "Ukraine, Ukraine" rang around the stadium, the scenes of jubilation and yellow and blue flags waving not far removed from what might be expected if the game was in Kyiv.

Poland is home to a large number of refugees from the war, many of whom will have been in the stadium to witness one of their team’s greatest triumphs given the circumstances.

It makes up for Ukraine missing out on the last World Cup after a playoff defeat by Wales and for the second game running they had to come from behind to secure victory after snatching a 2-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Thursday's semifinal.

"I think this is a very important victory for the entire Ukrainian people, for our soldiers," coach Serhiy Rebrov told reporters.

"I am very happy for the players, because these two (playoff) games were very difficult and nerve-wracking. Both before and after the matches, we said that these victories are for our country, people, defenders who defend our freedom.

"Everyone understands how important this victory is."

Poland players thank their supportets after qualifying for Euro 2024. Photo: Reuters/Molly Darlington

Poland's Wojciech Szczesny saved a Daniel James spot kick as they dashed Wales' hopes and won a penalty shootout 5-4 to qualify for Euro 2024 as the last country through from the playoff finals.

The victory at the Cardiff City Stadium, after a cagey 90 minutes and further deadlock in extra time, secured Poland a fifth straight appearance at the continental tournament.

They will be in Group D with France, the Netherlands and Austria at the finals in Germany, which start in June.

"It wasn't easy because we knew Wales at home are dangerous. For us the most important thing was to play our own game and that's what we've done," said Poland manager Michal Probierz.

"We missed opportunities to shoot more, we are aware of that. The most important thing was qualifying and nobody cares about anything else today."

Wales went into their first ever shootout with 10 men after Chris Mepham was sent off in added time of extra time for a second yellow card but they matched Poland until James' miss.

It was the first time since 2012 that Wales, whose talismanic record scorer Gareth Bale retired after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, had failed to qualify for the Euros.

Giorgi Mamardashvili
Georgia's goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili celebrates during the penalty shootout against Greece. Photo: Reuters/Irakli Gedenidze

Georgia qualified for Euro 2024 thanks to a 4-2 shootout win over Greece after a tense playoff final ended 0-0 following extra time as they made history by reaching their first major tournament.

Georgia substitute Nika Kvekveskiri converted his spot kick after Greece's Giorgos Giakoumakis put his penalty wide to send the home crowd wild as their side edged through to the finals.

Georgia will be in Group F alongside Portugal, Turkey and Czech Republic at the Euros.

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