Wales v Poland: Euro 2024 playoff final – live | Euro 2024 qualifying

Key events

112 min: Georgia 0-0 Greece Still goalless in Tbilisi, though both teams have come buttock-clenchingly close in extra-time. If it goes to penalties, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia won’t be taking one: he’s just limped off with what looks like a calf injury.

Oi! Stop what you’re doing and read this terrific piece on one of the greater kits of our/my lifetime.

(I’m still a 1984-86 man, full disclosure and all that, but this unique beauty would be second on the list.)

100 min: Georgia 0-0 Greece Still goalless in Tbilisi, although West Ham’s Konstantinos Mavropanos has just thumped a header against the crossbar from a corner.

“This will actually be on tv here in the States!” cheers Joe Pearson. “Will wonders never cease?”

Not on my watch.

‘I’d be an extremely proud man if we get the job done’

Wales have already reached the Euros today: their under-17s won 2-1 in Bulgaria ad will be off to the finals in Cyprus.

England are also in action tonight, playing Belgium (remember them?) in a friendly at Wembley. Simon Burnton is watching that one.

Full time: Georgia 0-0 Greece

The playoff in Tbilisi is going to extra-time. It looks pretty lively, more in the bar-room brawl sense admittedly, and as I type somebody is pointing a laser at the referee Szymon Marciniak, who snaps his head round angrily. How did he know? Maybe he really does have eyes in the back of his head.

Harry Wilson had a ball against Finland and will be a key man tonight. ‘Man’ being the operative word; that fresh-faced mischief-maker is now 27 years old.


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“I thought Wales looked so much better with a nimble front three of Johnson, Brooks and Wilson,” says David Bowen. “I’m a bit disappointed that big Keith-A has got the nod to start. If we were away then Chwarae Teg (fair play). Page has reverted to type. Although it does provide an entertaining side game when guessing the minute he gets his bandaged. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.”

You’ll know better than me but is there a chance Page is playing the long game? I’m always a bit surprised, given how much games tend to open up towards the end, that there isn’t more focus on specialist subs in football.

The other playoffs

Ukraine v Iceland also kicks off in just over an hour. Georgia v Greece is 83 minutes old: it’s goalless but Georgia are down to 11 substitutes. Giorgi Loria, one of their sub keepers, was sent off at half-time after a rumble involving both benches.

“A Final with an edge – it has been furious, it has been frantic!” 🗣️

Tensions boil over at the half-time whistle in this heated #EURO2024 Play-Off Final between Georgia and Greece 😡

— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) March 26, 2024


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There are three playoffs tonight, which will complete the line-up for Euro 2024. You want a reminder of the groups, don’t you?

Group A Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland.

Group B Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

Group C Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England

Group D Poland/Wales, Netherlands, Austria, France

Group E Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine/Iceland

Group F Turkey, Georgia/Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic

Team news: Moore starts for Wales

Rob Page makes one change from the win over Finland in the semi-final: Kieffer Moore in, David Brooks out. That could mean a switch to 3-4-1-2, or Johnson may become one of the roaming No10s.

Poland are unchanged from their defenestration of Estonia.

Wales (possible 3-4-2-1) Ward; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, J James, Ampadu, Williams; Wilson, Johnson; Moore.
Substitutes: Hennessey, King, Fox, Brooks, Ramsey, Matondo, Savage, Cullen, Dasilva, D James, Sheehan, Broadhead.

Poland (possible 3-5-2) Szczesny; Bednarek, Dawidowicz, Kiwior; Frankowski, Zielinski, Slisz, Piotrowski, Zalewski; Swiderski, Lewandowski.
Substitutes: Skorupski, Bulka, Walukiewicz, Puchacz, Grosicki, Romanchuk, Buksa, D Szymanski, Salamon, Bereszynski, S Szymanski, K Piatek.

Referee Daniele Orsato (Italy)


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So: 2016, 2021, 2022 and now, potentially, 2024. Don’t worry, this isn’t a celebration of new, unelected prime minsters*. These are the years in which Wales have played at major tournaments, having previously not done so since 1958. Tonight – and imagine the confused expression if you had pitched this to a Wales fan, let’s say our own beloved MBM regular Matt Dony, when Wales started their Euro 2016 campaign with a scruffy 2-1 win in Andorra – they could reach their fourth major tournament in eight years.

This is a golden age of Welsh football, no ifs and buts. And while the expansion of tournaments has helped, no doubt, four in five attempts would brook no argument – especially as they got to the semi-finals of one of them.

Tonight’s game is too close to call. The Fifa rankings have Wales 29th, Poland 30th, and the two teams had almost identical records in qualification.

They then romped to victory in their semi-finals. Wales beat Finland 4-1, Poland stuffed Estonia 5-1. Robert Lewandowski scored none of their five goals which, depending on your perspective, is either good news for Wales or unbelievably ominous.

Home advantage gives Wales a slight where’sthatthesaurusnow, especially given record on big nights in Cardiff, but this could be a long night of the nervous system. And that’s just for the neutrals.

Kick off 7.45pm.

*That was 2019, not 2021.


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