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Scary scenes as Belgium vs Sweden Euro 2024 qualifier abandoned after deadly terrorist attack in Brussels

(Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
17th October, 2023
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The Euro 2024 qualifier between Belgium and Sweden has been suspended at halftime and subsequently abandoned after two Swedes were shot dead in Brussels.

Belgium raised its terror alert to the highest level on Monday as a man in a video on social media claimed he was the assailant and that he was from the Islamic State.

With the score at 1-1 at halftime in the Group F game, the Swedes requested the match be abandoned.

Viktor Gyokeres had put Sweden in front, but Romelu Lukaku equalised from the penalty spot.

Unbeaten Belgium have already booked their place at the finals in Germany next year, and Austria sealed the group’s other automatic qualification place thanks to a Marcel Sabitzer penalty in a 1-0 away win over Azerbaijan.

Halftime substitute Sabitzer converted his spot kick after 48 minutes following a handball by defender Rahil Mammadov.

Austria are the eighth side to book a place at next year’s June 14-July 14 finals, along with hosts Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Turkey.

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Virgil van Dijk scored a dramatic penalty for the Netherlands three minutes into added-time to snatch a crucial 1-0 victory over Greece in Athens.

It was the second spot kick in the game for the Dutch, after striker Wout Weghorst had his earlier penalty saved by goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

The Netherlands moved into second place in Group B behind already-qualified France. The Dutch have 12 points from six games, with matches to come against lowly Ireland and Gibraltar.

Greece have the same number of points but have played a game more and meet France in their final qualifier next month.

In a battle of the group’s bottom two, Ireland cruised to a 4-0 win over Gibraltar with goals from Evan Ferguson, Michael Johnston, Matt Doherty and Callum Robinson.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Portugal, already qualified from Group I, thumped Bosnia and Herzegovina 5-0 in Zenica. 

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Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix also got on the scoresheet for Portugal.

Slovakia took a giant step towards qualifying for a third successive Euros as they beat Luxembourg 1-0 with a David Duris goal 13 minutes from time in Group J.

That win opened up a five-point gap between second-placed Slovakia and Luxembourg in third with two rounds to play.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice as fourth-placed Iceland defeated Liechtenstein 4-0 in the other match in the group. 

© AAP

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