In Group G of the European Qualifiers, Montenegro and Serbia continued to exert pressure on the leading team, Hungary, in a three-way battle for qualification.
Montenegro secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Bulgaria in Podgorica, thanks to Stevan Jovetic’s last-minute goal, even though they played with only 10 players for over 30 minutes. Igor Vujacic received a red card just before the one-hour mark after Stefan Savic had given the hosts the lead just before halftime. However, Preslav Borukov equalized for Bulgaria in the 79th minute before Jovetic’s late heroics.
Meanwhile, Serbia dominated Lithuania with a first-half hat-trick from Aleksandar Mitrovic, leading to a 3-1 victory, despite Gytis Paulauskas scoring a goal for the home side. This result dashed Lithuania’s slim hopes of qualifying.
Greece strengthened their position in the race for the second qualifying spot by defeating Gibraltar 5-0 in Athens. Dimitrios Pelkas opened the scoring in the ninth minute, and Konstantinos Mavropanos added two goals in the first half. Giorgos Masouras scored after the break, and both Masouras and Mavropanos netted again, securing a comfortable victory for Greece. This result leveled them with the Netherlands at nine points, although Greece had played an extra game.
In Group H, Denmark took the lead thanks to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 86th-minute goal, securing a 1-0 away win against Finland. Although Denmark briefly topped the group, they were pushed into second place on goal difference after Slovenia secured a convincing 4-0 win against San Marino. Zan Vipotnik, Jan Mlakar, Sandi Lovric, and Zan Karnicnik were the goal-scorers against the bottom-placed team, San Marino, who remained without a single point.
Poland’s hopes of reaching the finals suffered a significant setback as they suffered their third defeat in five games in Group E, losing 2-0 to Albania. Jasir Asani and Mirlind Daku scored on either side of halftime in Tirana, propelling Albania two points clear of the Czech Republic at the top of the group.
Moldova, currently tied on points with the Czech Republic, remained in contention for a surprise qualification as they secured a 1-0 win against the Faroe Islands. Vadim Rata scored early in the second half in Torshavn, taking Moldova’s point tally to eight, while the Faroe Islands remained at the bottom of the group with just one point.
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