How every Euro 2020 qualified teams clinched their spot (part 1)

In March, UEFA announced that their largest European Championship men’s soccer tournament was postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. The most glorious 24-team tournament, which was being held across Europe to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary, will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021. Here is a look back on how every Euro 2020 qualified teams clinched their spot in the tournament:

Belgium (Group I winners)

Roberto Martinez’s Belgium became the first side to confirm their qualification for Euro 2020 after thrashing San Marino 9-0in Brussels last year. Romelu Lukaku took his record international tally past 50 goals as Belgium opened up an unassailable 11-point lead over third-placed Cyprus. Their victory at the King Badouin Stadium matched their record winning margin of nine goals in 1994 and 2017 respectively.

Italy (Group J winners)

Wearing the “Renaissance Kit”, a nod to the number of young players now in the rejuvenated national side, Roberto Mancini’s Italy have qualified for Euro 2020 with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Greece courtesy of Chelsea’s Jorginho Federico Bernardeschi last year. The only other occasion Italy wore green came in 1954 in a 2-0 win against Argentina at Rome’s StadioOlimpico.

Poland (Group G winners)

Jerzy Brzęczek’s Poland faced off against North Macedonia and won 2-0 courtesy of goals from substitutes PrzemyslawFrankowski and Arkadiusz Milik, both set up by Bayern star Robert Lewandowski to clinch their spot in the tournament. Poland finished finished on top of Group G with 25 points. They have never qualified for the Euro finals until 2008, it will be their fourth appearance in a row.

Russia (Group I runners-up)

Russia booked its place in finals of the Euro 2020 after thrashing 10-man Cyprus 5-0 on their own soil in Nicosia last year. Stanislav Cherchesov’s side needed only draw to ensure a top-two finish and qualification, but an early strike scored by Denis Cheryshev in the ninth minute secured them an initial qualification to the tournament.

Ukraine (Group B winners)

Ukraine won six of their eight qualifiers, only drawing their away matches in Portugal and Serbia, to secure their place. They booked their place in the tournament with victory over Portugal despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s 700th goal. Andriy Shevchenko’s side was a part of six top seeds for the Euro 2020 finals draw, leaving world champions France and holders Portugal unseeded.