Euro 2024 round-up: Italy keep pressure on England with win over Malta

Italy secured a routine 4-0 victory over Malta to keep the pressure on England
in Group C of the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Giacomo Bonaventura opened the scoring for the Italians with his first international goal and Domenico Berardi then scored twice – either side of half-time – before Davide Frattesi struck a fourth in added time.

Ukraine picked up an important three points to boost their hopes in the group after they ran out 2-0 winners over North Macedonia.

Ukraine opened the scoring in rather fortunate fashion as an Heorhiy Sudakov effort from outside the area was heavily deflected into the net to make it 1-0.

The Ukrainians had to wait until stoppage time to rubber stamp the points when Oleksandr Karavayev spotted goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski off his line before firing home.

In Group G, Hungary put themselves in the driving seat to qualify after they defeated Serbia 2-1 at home.

Barnabas Varga put the hosts ahead after 21 minutes although they were pegged back 12 minutes later through Strahinja Pavlovic, but Hungary instantly regained their lead when the ball fell for Roland Sallai, who let fly from 25 yards to win the match.

Lithuania registered their first win of the qualifiers at the sixth attempt thanks to defender Pijus Sirvys’ double either side of half-time to beat 10-player Bulgaria 2-0.

Three minutes after Adrian Kraev was sent off for a second bookable offence, Lithuania opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time after Sirvys bundled the ball home from a corner and he doubled their advantage 10 minutes after the break to pick up their first three points of the competition.

Smyth celebrates his first international goal
Northern Ireland’s Paul Smyth celebrates his first international goal

In Group H, Northern Ireland wrapped up a 3-0 victory over lowly San Marino.

Paul Smyth opened the scoring for the home side at Windsor Park in superb fashion with his scissor-kick from inside the area and they doubled their advantage six minutes later through Josh Magennis before adding a third – nine minutes from time – when Conor McMenamin netted his first international goal from close range.

Slovenia strengthened their grip on qualifying following a 3-0 rout over Finland.

Leipzig forward Benjamin Sesko netted twice in the first half, firstly from the penalty spot before he raced through on goal and buried his second and all three points were rubber stamped in stoppage time thanks to Eric Janza’s strike.

Denmark stayed level on points with Slovenia to occupy the top two spots after they earned a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Jonas Wind opened the scoring in Parken when he bundled home from close range and Robert Skov added a second before he latched onto Christian Eriksen’s through ball to slot home Denmark’s third.

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