Whirlwind Comeback Gives Netherlands 4-2 Win Over Germany (Videos)

Netherlands' Donyell Malen, center, scores his side's third goal past Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the Euro 2020 group C qualifying soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The Netherlands scored four goals in just 32 minutes for a memorable 4-2 comeback win over Germany in European Championship qualifying Friday.

As the old rivals faced off for the fourth time in 11 months, a new face made the difference. On his debut, 20-year-old striker Donyell Malen hit the third goal for the Netherlands off a pass from Georginio Wijnaldum.

Elsewhere, World Cup finalist Croatia recovered from a recent slump to hammer Slovakia 4-0 and close in on a qualification spot.

Belgium swept aside San Marino 4-0 as it marches toward qualification, and Slovenia beat Group G leader Poland 2-0 to spoil the Poles’ spotless winning record in qualifying.

COMEBACK KINGS

Germany was looking for back-to-back wins over the Netherlands and was on track when Serge Gnabry scored off a rebound in the ninth minute.

The Germans did well to track fluid Dutch attacking moves and were a persistent counterattacking threat. But that all changed with two mistakes from defender Jonathan Tah.

First he missed a chance to intercept a cross, allowing Frenkie de Jong to equalize in the 59th. Tah gave the Netherlands the lead seven minutes later, sending a Memphis Depay cross into his own net.

Toni Kroos made it 2-2 for Germany from a penalty which was awarded despite apparent offside in the buildup, but Wijnaldum responded by setting up Malen to restore the Dutch lead. Wijnaldum scored in stoppage time, underlining the Netherlands’ second-half dominance.

The Netherlands’ win staves off the threat of having to qualify via the playoffs.

While still third on six points, six off group leader Northern Ireland and three off Germany, the Dutch have played one fewer game than both thanks to their run at the Nations League final. Northern Ireland must still play Germany and the Netherlands twice each.

Belarus beat Estonia 2-1.

By: James Ellingworth, AP Sports Writer

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