EURO 2020 qualifying: Dutch and Belgium start strong


Netherlands 4-0 Belarus
Memphis Depay stole the show as the Oranje carried on their irresistible form from the UEFA Nations League. The Lyon striker scored in either half and set up two more in Rotterdam, Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil Van Dijk the beneficiaries.

Northern Ireland 2-0 Estonia
Goals from Niall McGinn and Steven Davis finally broke Estonia’s resistance. Paddy McNair’s glaring miss was the closest Northern Ireland came in the first period. McGinn slammed in after good work from Kyle Lafferty before Davis added a second from the spot.


Croatia came from behind to beat Azerbaijan

Croatia came from behind to beat Azerbaijan©

Croatia 2-1 Azerbaijan
Andrej Kramarić’s classy curled finish saw off Azerbaijan in Zagreb after the visitors took a surprise early lead with their first ever goal against Croatia. Ramil Sheydaev’s emphatic first-half finish was cancelled out by Borna Barišić’s close-range leveller just before half-time.

Slovakia 2-0 Hungary
Ondrej Duda converted Albert Rusnák’s low cross just before the break to give the home side the lead. Martin Dúbravka was forced into a couple of saves after the interval, but Duda returned the favour to set up Rusnák’s late second.


Krzysztof Piątek got Poland's winner

Krzysztof Piątek got Poland’s winner©Getty Images

Austria 0-1 Poland
A second-half goal from Krzysztof Piątek proved enough, making it two goals in his three Poland appearances by reacting quickest to nod in after Heinz Lindner parried Tomasz Kędziora’s fierce effort. Austria replacement Marc Janko might have snatched a late draw but headed wide.

FYR Macedonia 3-1 Latvia
The home side eased to victory having led 2-0 inside 30 minutes thanks to Egzijan Alioski’s strike and another from substitute Eljif Elmas. Although Darko Velkoski’s late own goal pulled one back, Elmas scored a clinching third a minute after Latvia’s Andrejs Cigaņiks had been dismissed.

Israel 1-1 Slovenia
The sides shared the spoils in Haifa, both goals coming in the space of seven second-half minutes. Andraž Šporar capitalised on some hesitant Israel defending just after the interval, but Slovenia’s lead was short-lived, Ersan Zahavi getting his third goal in as many internationals.


Youri Tielemans after opening the scoring

Youri Tielemans after opening the scoring©AFP/Getty Images

Belgium 3-1 Russia
Youri Tielemans’ first international goal gave the hosts an early lead, but a Thibaut Courtois error invited Denis Cheryshev to equalise. Eden Hazard’s penalty restored Belgium’s advantage on the stroke of half-time and he added another late on, Aleksandr Golovin’s dismissal compounding Russia’s misery.

Cyprus 5-0 San Marino
Cyprus matched their biggest ever margin of victory, two Pieros Sotirou penalties in quick succession and an opportunistic Ioannis Kousoulos finish preceding a splendid fourth from George Efrem. Kostas Laifas headed number five after the break, but a record-breaking sixth would not come.

Kazakhstan 3-0 Scotland
Having won none of their ten 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Kazakhstan made a sensational start with well-taken goals from Yuriy Pertsukh and Yan Vorogovskiy inside ten minutes. Scotland’s fate was sealed through Baktiyor Zainutdinov’s towering header early in the second half.

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