Shortly after the conclusion of the European leagues, that had been extended due to the winter World Cup, the battle for places in Euro 2024 continued. Armenia hit back from a goal down, with a double from Grant-Leon Mamedova to record an impressive 4-2 victory in Wales, while Poland took a 2-goal lead in Moldova but were humiliated 3-2 with a brace from Ion Nicolaescu and Luxembourg triumphed 2-0 in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Kazakhstan struck a late stunner in Northern Ireland while Kosovo lost 2-1 in Belarus and Austria picked up a 1-1 draw in Belgium. Valentin Mihaila scored twice at the death to give Romania a 2-2 draw in Switzerland after Zeki Amdouni’s double had given the hosts a 2-goal advantage while Slovakia were 2-1 winners in Iceland and Albania did one better away to the Faroe Islands. Meanwhile Spain defeated Croatia in a penalty shootout in Spain to win the European League of Nations.
In the African qualifiers for the Cup of Nations, Moroccan World Cup heroes lost 2-1 in South Africa while Ivory Coast were brushed aside 3-0 in Zambia and Tunisia were beaten 1-0 in Equatorial Guinea. DR Congo won 2-0 in Gabon while Mozambique enjoyed the same result with goals at the end of each half in Rwanda and there was a 2-0 win for Togo over Eswatini in South Africa. Burundi defeated Namibia 3-2 with an early flurry in Tanzania while Mauritania eased past Sudan 3-0 in Morocco and Ghana were held to a goalless draw away to Madagascar while African champions Senegal could only draw 1-1 in Benin.Guadeloupe hammered Antigua and Barbuda 5-0 in America on route to qualifying for the Gold Cup were they drew 2-2 with co-hosts Canada before battering Cuba 4-1 with a double from Matthias Phaeton in Houston to continue their rise in the football rankings while St Kitts & Nevis also qualified for the finals having overcome Curacao on penalties in America where they did not fair well. Puerto Rico enjoyed a penalty shootout success against Suriname in Fort Lauderdale but failed to qualify for the finals where the USA opened with a 1-1 draw against Jamaica in Chicago and ended with a defeat to Panama in a semi-final shootout in San Diego. Tha Panamanians opened with a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica and topped their group despite a 2-2 draw against bottom-of-the-table El Salvador who had been shocked 2-1 by Martinique before playing a goalless match against Costa Rica. In the final Mexico scored late to lift the cup for the ninth time.