Gavi’s winning goal for Spain against Norway in a European Championship qualifier on Sunday will likely have been cheered as wildly in Glasgow as it was in Madrid.
The Barcelona midfielder’s strike at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo secured a 1-0 win that means both Spain and Scotland have qualified for Euro 2024.
Gavi’s goal came in the 49th minute and ensured the three-time European champions will be at next year’s tournament in Germany when they will be among the favorites to lift the trophy for the first time since 2012.
Scotland might not harbor realistic ambitions of winning Euro 2024, but it has arguably exceeded expectations by qualifying from Group A. Indeed, until losing to Spain on Thursday, the Scots had made a 100% start to qualifying.
Scotland has now qualified for back-to-back Euros, having failed to reach the finals from 2000-2016. In Germany it will be aiming to advance from the group stages for the first time in its history.
Turkey also qualified with a 4-0 win against Latvia at the Konya Metropolitan Municipality Stadium, while Croatia made it back-to-back losses in Group D after a surprise 2-1 defeat to Wales.
Less than a year after a third-place finish at the World Cup in Qatar, Croatia is making hard work of qualification for the European Championship.
The Croatians went into this latest batch of qualifiers atop Group D, with the chance to put daylight between them and Turkey. But a 1-0 loss to Turkey on Thursday has now been followed by defeat to Wales.
Even with stars like Luka Modric, Josko Gvardiol and Marcelo Brozovic in the team, Croatia was trailing 2-0 to goals from Harry Wilson in each half. Mario Pasalic halved the deficit, but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback.
Wales moved up to second in the group ahead of Croatia in third, with both teams on 10 points.
Yunus Akgun set Turkey on course for victory against Latvia, with substitute Cenk Tosun scoring two and Kerem Akturkoglu also grabbing a goal.
Four teams are separated by four points in Group E as results on Sunday meant Albania was left waiting to seal qualification.
Czech Republic’s 1-0 win against Faroe Islands leaves it two points behind leader Albania in second place.
Poland drew 1-1 with Moldova to leave those teams three points and four points off the top respectively.
Romania is top of Group I after a 4-0 win against Andorra — ahead of second-place Switzerland, which needed goals in the 89th and 90th minutes to draw 3-3 with Belarus.
In Group A, Georgia beat Cyprus 4-0.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer