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Euro 2024: Slovakia and Romania both attain last 16 spots after draw

Slovakia and Romania both advanced to the Euro 2024 knockout stage after playing to a 1-1 draw in Frankfurt.

With both sides aware a point would be enough to send them through, Romania midfielder Razvan Marin's first-half penalty cancelled out Ondrej Duda's headed opener for Slovakia.

Neither side appeared to settle for the point until the closing stages.

Romania qualified for the last 16 as group winners along with second-placed Belgium, while Slovakia progressed as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Slovakia pipped bottom team Ukraine on goal difference with all four sides finishing with four points.

Slovakia made a lively start, but Romania carved out the best early chance when Andrei Ratiu's curling effort was turned away by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and Ianis Hagi blasted the rebound over.

Despite the stifling heat at the Frankfurt Arena, neither side appeared content to settle for a goalless draw that would have sent both through to the last 16.

Slovakia made the breakthrough in the 24th minute. Midfielder Juraj Kucka swung over a superb cross and the unmarked Duda headed back across goal inside the far post.

Ratiu's shot from outside the box was well held by Dubravka, but the Slovakia goalkeeper was beaten via the penalty spot soon after as Romania equalised in the 34th minute.

German referee Daniel Siebert initially waved away Romania appeals after Hagi went down under David Hancko's challenge, but the official awarded the penalty after a VAR review and Marin smashed home his spot-kick.

A thunderstorm greeted both sides at the start of the second half and Romania went close to taking the lead just after the hour mark when Dubravka kept out Marin's effort and Denis Dragus fired the rebound over.

Slovakia striker David Strelec's thumping low shot was saved by the feet of Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita before clear-cut chances petered out.

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