x

Cyprus

Cyprus Drew with Kazakhstan 1-1, Hurting Both teams’ Qualifying Hopes

September 7, 2019

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.

CROATIA BACK ON FORM

Croatia is finally starting to look like the team which reached the World Cup final.

After seven games without a clean sheet, three of them defeats, Croatia shut out Slovakia in style to kick-start its qualifying bid.

Nikola Vlasic opened the scoring in the 45th with a low shot from outside the box. When Ivan Perisic scored with a deflected shot straight after halftime, Croatia never looked back, eventually scoring four goals for the first time since 2017.

Croatia moved level with Hungary, which didn’t play on Friday, at the top of Group E.

A surprise semifinalist at the 2016 European Championship, third-placed Wales risked missing out this time despite beating Azerbaijan 2-1. The Welsh were on track to drop points before Gareth Bale’s 84th-minute header gave them the win.

BELGIUM CRUISES

It’s hard for a 4-0 win to seem unimpressive, but Belgium managed it against San Marino.

The game against one of Europe’s smallest nations was scoreless until the 43rd minute, when Michy Batshuayi gave Belgium the lead from the penalty spot. Goals from Nacer Chadli and Dries Mertens secured three points in the second half before Batshuayi scored again in added time.

Russia scored 14 without reply in its previous three games, but lacked bite in a 2-1 win over Scotland. Brazilian-born goalkeeper Guilherme handed Scotland the lead when he palmed an 11th-minute cross into the path of John McGinn for an easy finish.

Russia had a slice of luck in the 40th when a pass deflected off Andy Robertson and landed in front of striker Artyom Dzyuba, who scored his sixth goal in his last four qualifying games — though four of those goals were against San Marino. Russia’s second came when Stephen O’Donnell knocked a cross into his own net.

Earlier, Kazakhstan drew with Cyprus 1-1, hurting both teams’ already faint qualifying hopes. Belgium leads Russia by a point in Group I, and the Russians have a five-point cushion over Kazakhstan in third.

POLAND STUMBLES

Poland was looking to match Spain and Italy with five wins from five, but Slovenia had other plans.

Andraz Sporar had a hand in both of Slovenia’s goals, teeing up Aljaz Struna for the first at a free kick, and then scoring himself on a counterattack in the 65th.

Austria took advantage to close the gap to Poland to three points with a 6-0 demolition of last-placed Latvia. Austria’s win was never in doubt after Marko Arnautovic opened the scoring in the seventh minute. He added a penalty, taking him to six goals in his last four internationals.

Slovenia was third, one point behind Austria.

___
By JAMES ELLINGWORTH AP Sports Writer

James Ellingworth is at www.twitter.com/jellingworth

RELATED

THESSALONIKI – Greece's alleged crackdown on soccer clubs being used as hooligan bases to plan violence against rivals brought only an eight-month suspended sentence for the owner of one who kept his open.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

TNΗ’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

NEW YORK – The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.