November 21, (THEWILL) – Benjamin Verbic was the hero for Slovenia on Monday night, scoring a crucial late winner to secure his nation’s place at Euro 2024. The 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan in Ljubljana means Slovenia finished runners-up behind Denmark in Group H, booking their ticket to Germany next summer.
It will be just the second time Slovenia have reached the European Championships, having previously featured at Euro 2000. Their last major tournament was the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, so this qualification will be a huge achievement for the nation.
Kazakhstan needed a win to qualify automatically but will still get another chance through the playoffs in March. Their promotion to League B of the 2024-25 Nations League had already guaranteed them a playoff spot before kick-off.
Slovenia were awarded a penalty late in the first half following a VAR review. Petar Stojanovic was fouled by Yan Vorogovskiy, allowing Benjamin Sesko to comfortably convert the spot-kick for a 1-0 lead.
The away side responded perfectly early in the second half, with Ramazan Orazov scoring his maiden international goal from Maksim Samorodov’s low cross to make it 1-1. However, Slovenia found a late winner, as Verbic curled into the corner in the 86th minute, sparking jubilant celebrations.