Belgium through to last 16 as Ukraine exit following draw

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Belgium reached the knockout stages of Euro 2024 as group runners-up – but Ukraine exited the competition following their goalless draw in Stuttgart.
All four teams in Group E started the evening level on points and with a chance of progression.
But an inferior goal difference meant Ukraine knew their fate also depended on the outcome of Slovakia’s tie with Romania, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

They were unable to make an impact in Stuttgart – limiting Belgium to few chances but lacking a consistent attacking threat of their own until late on.
Leicester City’s Wout Faes was a standout performer in Belgium’s defence, making two crucial blocks late on to stop Artem Dovbyk testing goalkeeper Koen Casteels.
Roman Yaremchuk was also a sporadic outlet for Ukraine in the absence of injured Chelsea forward Mykhailo Mudryk, while Ruslan Malinovskyi almost curled a corner past Casteels and inside the near post.
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne provided a sprinkling of much-needed quality as he curled a free-kick just wide in the first half.
Belgium, though, came closest to scoring when Romelu Lukaku scuffed a shot straight at goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin from close range, before substitute Yannick Carrasco tested Trubin too.
In the end, Domenico Tedesco’s side progressed having lost one, drawn one and won one of their three group matches. But they will need to improve with World Cup finalists France up next in the last 16.
“We go to win,” said the Belgium boss. “We will face a top team and this is the reason why we qualified – otherwise we could have stayed at home.
“These are the games we are looking for, we can challenge everybody. I think we are ready, we are really ready.”
The result was a disappointing blow for Ukraine, who became the first team to win as many as four points yet finish bottom of their group at the Euros.

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