The Netherlands got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign back on track with a stunning triumph over bitter rivals Germany in Hamburg.
Ronald Koeman’s men would have had an uphill struggle if they lost but showed exactly why they made it all the way to the Nations League final with a brilliant 4-2 victory.
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The Netherlands avenged their 3-2 defeat by the Germans in March Things didn’t get off to a good start for the Netherlands though as they fell behind on nine minutes when Serge Gnabry pounced on a loose ball after Thomas Muller’s effort was saved by Jasper Cillessen.
Frenkie De Jong levelled the scores just shy of the hour with a cool finish before Jonathan Tah’s own goal turned the game on its head.
Toni Kroos’ penalty made it 2-2 after Matthijs de Ligt was controversially penalised for a handball in the box.
The Dutch felt pretty aggrieved but used that energy to take their game up another level and they regained their lead when debutant substitute Donyell Malen volleyed in Georginio Wijnaldum’s flick.
And the Liverpool man sealed the win on the counter, smashing Memphis Depay’s ball across goal beyond Manuel Neuer in stoppage-time.
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Wijnaldum was in particularly impressive form The result sees the Oranje go three points behind the Germans in Group C although the Netherlands have a game in hand. Northern Ireland lead the group with twelve points out of a possible twelve.
Two British teams were also in action on Friday but it was a mixed night for Wales and Scotland.
Gareth Bale prevented Wales from an embarrassing draw at home to Azerbaijan, as Ryan Giggs’ men won 2-1 in Cardiff.
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Bale rose well to give Wales a crucial win Pavlo Pashayev’s own goal gave the hosts side a half-time lead but they were pegged back through Mahir Emreli’s goal.
However, Bale’s close-range header on 84 minutes gave Wales the three points meaning they are also still in touch with Group E leaders Hungary and Croatia.
There was no such luck for Scotland though as their bid to reach a first major tournament since 1998 was dealt a massive blow after losing 2-1 at home to Russia.
John McGinn got Scotland off to the perfect start – the Aston Villa man smashing home a loose ball on ten minutes to send the Hampden Park crowd wild.
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Scotland realistically needed to win to keep alive their hopes of making Euro 2020 However, the Russians were level five minutes before the break through Artem Dzyuba’s strike before Stephen O’Donnell’s second-half own goal turned the game around.
Steve Clarke’s side are now six points off second-placed Russia in fourth while Group I leaders Belgium are nine points ahead of Scotland.
Below are all the results from the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday.
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Estonia 1-2 Belarus
Germany 2-4 Netherlands
Slovakia 0-4 Croatia
Wales 2-1 Azerbaijan
Austria 6-0 Latvia
Slovenia 2-0 Poland
Cyprus 1-1 Kazakhstan
San Marino 0-4 Belgium
Scotland 1-2 Russia
Saturday sees England return to action where they will face Bulgaria in a Euro 2020 qualifier at Wembley – a match you can listen to LIVE, kick-off 5pm.