Mbappé and Ronaldo Shine with Stunning Doubles to Secure Euro 2024 Spots
In a thrilling display of prowess, Kylian Mbappé and Cristiano Ronaldo each scored twice, ensuring that France, Portugal, and Belgium clinched their spots at the Euro 2024 with a flawless record in qualifying. The trio of European powerhouses had a single objective: win and secure their tournament berths, and their star strikers didn’t disappoint.
Kylian Mbappé’s Spectacular Double
Kylian Mbappé showcased his brilliance on the field as he netted two remarkable goals, including a long-range stunner that secured a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in Amsterdam, marking their sixth win in Group B. The young French talent opened the scoring in the seventh minute, elegantly volleying past Brighton goalkeeper Bert Verbruggen after a well-placed cross from Jonathan Clauss.
This goal marked Mbappé’s 41st international goal, placing him on par with the legendary Michel Platini, despite recent struggles with Paris Saint-Germain. France’s coach, Didier Descamps, expressed his confidence in Mbappé’s abilities, stating, “When he’s like this, obviously France has more chances to win.”
Mbappé’s brilliance didn’t stop there; he doubled the lead in the 53rd minute with a curling shot that left the Dutch goalkeeper helpless. Quilindschy Hartman managed to pull one back for the Netherlands, ending France’s perfect record in the campaign, but the victory was already secured.
Portugal’s Dynamic Duo
On the other side of the field, Cristiano Ronaldo made history by scoring his 125th international goal in his 202nd appearance. He helped Portugal secure a thrilling 3-2 victory over Slovakia. Ronaldo’s impact was evident when he converted a penalty in the 29th minute, doubling Portugal’s lead after Goncalo Ramos’ header. After David Hancko pulled one back for Slovakia, Ronaldo restored the two-goal advantage with a brilliant finish.
Portugal’s coach, Roberto Martinez, praised Ronaldo’s form and leadership: “Cristiano is in a good moment of form, he is playing a lot of minutes and scoring a lot of goals with his club.” Portugal’s impeccable record of seven straight wins with a remarkable goal difference of 27-2 is the best-ever performance in a European qualifying campaign.
Belgium’s Lukaku and Lukebakio Shine
In another electrifying match, Belgium managed to secure advancement from Group F, beating Austria 3-2 in Vienna. Romelu Lukaku, the top scorer in qualifying with nine goals, added to his tally. Dodi Lukébakio, who netted twice, was a standout performer for Belgium. Lukaku’s precise finish and Lukebakio’s brilliant goal set the stage for victory, despite a late push from Austria.
Belgium now has 16 points from six games, leading the group. Austria, following their first loss in qualifying, trails by three points. Sweden, in third place with six points, still has a slim chance of overtaking Austria.
In summary, Mbappé and Ronaldo’s extraordinary performances, along with Belgium’s tenacity, highlight the exciting journey to Euro 2024. The tournament promises to be a spectacle of talent and determination, with these star players leading the way.
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