MILAN (AP) — Italy earned some redemption by qualifying for next year’s European Championship on Monday, while Slovenia and the Czech Republic also secured their spots.
Italy needed just a point against Ukraine to claim second spot in Group C and avoid the dreaded playoffs, and it managed a 0-0 draw in Germany. However, there were some nervy moments for the Azzurri, who rode their luck.
Italy failed to qualify for the past two World Cups after losing playoffs — to Sweden and North Macedonia. After the Azzurri missed out on the 2018 World Cup, they went on to win the following European Championship.
Ukraine would have sneaked past Italy with a win but will now head into the playoffs. England was already assured of top spot in the group and it drew at North Macedonia 1-1 to finish the campaign unbeaten.
A point would also have been enough for Slovenia and the Czech Republic to advance to Euro 2024 and they beat Kazakhstan and Moldova respectively to end their opponents’ hopes of qualifying automatically for a first major international tournament.