Serbia qualifies for Euro 2024 with draw over Bulgaria, Belgium and Spain finish in style

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BERLIN, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Srdjan Babic's dramatic late 2-2 equalizer against Bulgaria secured Serbia a berth in the European Championship in Germany following the 10th matchday of the qualifying round on Sunday.

In front of a home crowd, the hosts started strongly as Bulgaria's Daniel Naumov tipped Nemanja Gudelj's shot onto the bar before Milos Veljkovic headed in the rebound to score his first goal for Serbia, 17 minutes into the game.

Aleksandar Mitrovic had a chance to double the lead four minutes later, but the striker missed the target.

With a comfortable lead, Serbia reduced offensive efforts while Bulgaria gained momentum, with Kiril Despodov's shot from the edge of the box hitting the woodwork at the half-hour mark.

After halftime, Bulgaria remained assertive, with Ilia Gruev testing Serbia's goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic 53 minutes into the match.

Bulgaria's persistence paid off at the hour mark when Serbia's defence failed to clear the ball, allowing Georgi Rusev to find the back of the net, bringing the score to 1-1.

The Serbian side was visibly shaken, and Bulgaria capitalized, taking the lead nine minutes later as Filip Krastev intercepted a pass and set up Kiril Despodov, who outplayed Milinkovic-Savic in a one-on-one, making it 2-1.

Needing only a draw to qualify, Serbia responded in the 82nd minute when Babic headed in a corner from Dusan Tadic, securing its spot in Euro 2024.

Following these results in Group G, Serbia maintained second place, while Bulgaria remained fifth. Group leader Hungary concluded the qualifying round unbeaten after a 3-1 victory over Montenegro.

In Group F, Belgium took the top spot with a dominant 5-0 win over Azerbaijan, while Sweden secured a 2-0 victory against Estonia.

Spain continued to lead Group A after a 3-1 win over Georgia, with runner-up Scotland ending in a draw with Norway in a six-goal thriller.

In Group J, Portugal defeated Iceland 2-0, Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered a 2-1 loss to Slovakia, and ten-man Luxembourg overcame Liechtenstein 1-0. Enditem

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