Veljkovic helps Serbia secure spot at EURO 2024

International round-up

Veljkovic on the ball.
Milos Veljkovic opened the scoring for Serbia against Bulgaria (Photo: WERDER.DE)
First Team
Monday, 20.11.2023 / 16:30

Milos Veljkovic scored his first-ever goal for Serbia in the 16th minute of their match against Bulgaria, and the fast start helped his side secure the point they needed to seal qualification for next year’s European Championship. Romano Schmid (Austria) and Olivier Deman (Belgium) will also be on the plane to Germany with their national teams next year. Marvin Ducksch made his debut for Germany, who qualify automatically as hosts. While the last round of EURO qualifiers takes place tonight, Nick Woltemade and Germany U21s are still playing to secure their spot at next year’s U21 European Championship. Antonio Di Salvo’s side are yet to drop a point so far from their three games.

Serbia have qualified for the European Championship for the first time in 24 years. Their last outing was as part of the Yugoslavia side that took part in the tournament when it was hosted in Belgium and the Netherlands at the start of the millennium. After a back-and-forth tussle with Montenegro to finish second, a point was enough for Veljkovic and Co. to book their place at next year’s tournament in Germany, after they drew 2-2 with Bulgaria. Earlier in the international break, Werder’s number 13 went head-to-head with his teammate Olivier Deman when Serbia played a friendly against Belgium, with the latter winning 1-0.

Deman and Werder teammate Schmid’s spots at EURO 2024 were confirmed before their final qualifying games. Belgium and Austria are way ahead of the pack in Group F, occupying first and second place respectively. Austria beat Estonia 2-0 on Thursday, with Schmid coming on in the 63rd minute. Deman was an unused substitute in Belgium’s 5-0 victory over Azerbaijan.

When dreams became reality

Marvin Ducksch fulfilled his childhood dream on Saturday evening by making his debut for the Germany national team, after being brought on in the 82nd minute of the friendly fixture against Turkey. The dream duo of Ducksch and former Green-White Niclas Füllkrug was reunited on the pitch for the 3-2 defeat. If anyone had mentioned the possibility of this happening two years ago when Werder were still in the 2. Bundesliga, they would have just been laughed at. Frank Baumann was full of praise about the pair’s development at yesterday's general meeting. “No one ever thought it would be possible for two ‘ugly caterpillars’ to transform into two beautiful butterflies.” The forwards will likely make another appearance together in Germany’s upcoming friendly against Austria on Tuesday (20:45 CET).

Nick Woltemade had an equally successful week with the Germany U21s. After being substituted on in the 64th minute, the attacker was able to help his side secure a 4-1 win over Estonia. In order to earn their spot at the U21s EURO in 2024, Germany will have to beat current group leaders Poland on Tuesday.

Rafael Borré was able to help Colombia come out on top in an emotional 2-1 win over Brazil in their battle for World Cup qualification as he played 68 minutes. As a result, his side overtook Brazil and Venezuela in the table and are currently sat in third place. The final fixture of the current international break will see Colombia face Paraguay on Wednesday. If Uruguay and Argentina both lose, Colombia could be in with a chance of climbing to the top of the table.

 

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