In a surprising turn of events, Kazakhstan secured a 2-1 victory over their host Finland, maintaining their hopes of direct qualification to the UEFA European Championship for the first time in their history. The match, which took place on Tuesday as part of the eighth round of qualifying matches for the 2024 edition set to be held in Germany, witnessed a remarkable performance by Kazakhstan.
🔥 Rollercoaster Clash:
After a series of four consecutive victories, Finland suffered back-to-back defeats in their previous two matches against Denmark (0-1) and Slovenia (0-3). This setback caused them to slip to third place in Group 8, trailing the bottom two teams by four points.
🌟 Kazakhstan’s Triumph:
However, Kazakhstan seemed on course for their fifth victory. They took the lead in the 28th m inute when Robert Taylor scored from a free-kick. Kazakhstan fought back in the second half, with Baktiyor Zainutdinov equalizing from the penalty spot after a handball in the area in the 77th minute. The winning goal came in the 89th minute through a header following a corner kick.
With this win, Kazakhstan, like Finland, now has 15 points, securing at least a playoff spot through the UEFA Nations League, alongside Slovenia and Denmark. These two teams are set to play away matches against Northern Ireland and San Marino, respectively.
🏆 Euro 2024 Qualification:
Qualification for the continental finals is determined by the group winners and runners-up, along with the host nation Germany. The remaining three slots will be settled through the UEFA Nations League playoffs.
Kazakhstan will conclude their qualifying campaign by hosting San Marino, the modest opponent, on November 17th before traveling to Slovenia on November 20th.
As for Finland, aiming for their second consecutive appearance in the continental finals, they face two manageable fixtures against Northern Ireland and San Marino, both of which are no longer in contention for qualification.
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