England and France have become two of the latest teams to book their spots at Euro 2020, joining eight other nations who had already qualified for next summer’s continental showdown.
After today’s qualifiers, 10 of the 24 teams are now known: Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Turkey, France, England, and the Czech Republic.
There was little doubt about either England or France making it, but England certainly did it in considerable style, putting seven (7!) past hapless Montenegro without reply, including a first senior international goal for Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham (assisted by future Chelsea signing Jadon Sancho).
Before that, Harry Kane hit a first-half hat-trick, while Chelsea transfer target left back Ben Chilwell collected a hat-trick of first-half assists. Mason Mount was the only Chelsea player to start; neither Fikayo Tomori nor Callum Hudson-Odoi played.
This was England’s 1000th international match, and it was one for the record books indeed.
France were made to work a little harder by lowly Moldova, who took a surprise lead inside the first ten minutes — it was just their third goal of the entire qualification campaign! — held on to the lead for most of the first half, and did not fall behind until the final ten minutes, when Olivier Giroud converted a penalty to earn France all three points and the tickets to Euro 2020.
This was Giroud’s 39th France goal, which puts him now just two (2!) behind Michel Platini for second all-time.
N’Golo Kante also started and like Giroud, played the full 90. Kurt Zouma was on the bench.