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Georgia makes history as it qualifies for UEFA European Championship

  • March 28, 2024
  • 2 min read
Georgia makes history as it qualifies for UEFA European Championship

Georgia has made history as it qualified for its first major international tournament. The Crusaders, as their national team is nicknamed, beat Greece in a penalty shootout in the final playoff for a spot in the European Championship in Germany later this year.

Home substitute Nika Kvekveskiri scored the winning penalty, beating Greek and Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos. Georgia won 4-2 following a tight and tense goalless draw against the 2004 champions. This led to joyous celebration in Tblisi.

Supporters ran on to the pitch to congratulate the players as the national team, which played its first ever game in 1990 after the break up of the Soviet Union, finally qualified for an international competition for the very first time. Fans climbed the crossbar of one of the goals while others kneeled on the pitch in jubilation.

Georgia will play alongside the Czech Republic, Turkey, and the 2016 Champions Portugal in Group F this summer.

A tight match saw only one shot on target within 90 minutes before it “burst into life” in extra time. Greece’s Konstantinos Mavropanos who plays for West Ham hit the bar with a powerful header but a mistake from him saw Georgia equalise not long after. Georges Mikautadze ran through before being forced wide while his cutback found Zuriko Davitashvili who saw his low shot saved by the Forest goalkeeper.

It took a penalty shootout to separate the two teams with Lech Poznan midfielder Kvekveskiri converting the decisive shot after the Giorgos Giakoumakis who plays for Atlanta United in the US sent his kick wide.

The Euro 2024 will kick off on Friday the 14thJune at the Allianz Arena in Munich with the final taking place on Sunday the 14th of  July at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

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