Germany snatch late victory over Dutch; Belgium win
March 25 2019 11:18 PM
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Nico Schulz
Germany’s Nico Schulz (centre) celebrates after scoring the winner in the Euro 2020 Group C qualification match against The Netherlands in Amsterdam on Sunday. (AFP)

DPA/Berlin

Germany snatched a late 3-2 win over the Netherlands while Belgium earned a second straight victory in Euro 2020 qualifiers on Sunday.
World Cup finalists Croatia meanwhile suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Hungary, Russia responded to an opening loss to Belgium by easing to a 4-0 win at Kazakhstan and there was also second victories for Poland, with a 2-0 defeat of Latvia, and Northern Ireland, who enjoyed a late 2-1 win over Belarus.
Elsewhere Israel’s Eran Zahavi struck a hat-trick in a 4-2 defeat of Austria, Wales defeated Slovakia 1-0 while Scotland toiled for a 2-0 win at San Marino.
In Amsterdam, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry scored first-half goals for 2014 world champions Germany in an entertaining Group C encounter.
Defender Matthijs de Ligt headed in for the Dutch three minutes after the break and Memphis Depay stroked the ball inside the post for a 63rd-minute equaliser, but Nico Schulz grabbed the winner for the Germany in the 90th minute.
“In the past matches against the Dutch, it was us who conceded in the final minutes, so it’s great that tonight it was us to score such a goal,” Germany captain Manuel Neuer said.
Northern Ireland made it two wins out of two in the group with a late strike by substitute Josh Magennis for a 2-1 win over Belarus.
Belgium, who top the FIFA world rankings, earned their second win in Group I following a 3-1 victory over Russia by defeating Cyprus 2-0 in Nicosia, with first half goals from Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi.
Croatia, who had beaten Azerbaijan 2-1 on Thursday, were also looking for a second win and went in front against Group E opponents Hungary in Budapest when Ante Rebic netted from close range in the 13th minute.
But Hungary levelled when Adam Szalai drove in from an angle in the 34th for his fifth goal in five games for the national team.
Croatia were then punished when from a corner in the 76th Mate Patkai got his head to the ball and reacted quickly when it dropped down to prod the ball into goal.
Wales began their campaign in the same group with a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in Cardiff, Daniel James scoring in the fifth minute.
Slovakia had chances towards the end but Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales, skippered by Gareth Bale after manager Ryan Giggs dropped Ashley Williams, held on for the points.
“Everyone put in a shift today. It’s what we are used to. The minimum requirement is to put in 110 per cent and everyone did that,” Bale told Sky Sports.
“In the second half we came under a lot of pressure but we started the game well, got the early goal then shut up shop and we know how to do that.”
The defeat for Slovakia followed an opening 2-0 win against Hungary.
In Astana, Russia striker Denis Cheryshev scored twice before half-time against Kazakhstan in Group I and laid on the third for captain Artem Dzyuba after the break while Abzal Beysebekov deflected a shot into his own net.
Kazakhstan had started their Euro campaign on Thursday with a 3-0 defeat of Scotland, who struggled for long spells in a 2-0 win against San Marino in Serravalle, with Kenny McLean in the fourth minute and substitute Johnny Russell in the 74th on target.
Israel advance to four points in the group following a 1-1 draw with Slovenia and leave Austria with a second consecutive defeat after losing 1-0 to Poland.
Slovenia meanwhile drew 1-1 with Macedonia in Ljubljana, while Poland earned their second win when a Robert Lewandowski header in the 76th minute and a Kamil Glik header in the 84th gave them a 2-0 victory over Latvia in Warsaw.

RESULTS
Group C
n Northern Ireland 2 (Evans 30, Magennis 87) Belarus 1 (Stasevic 33)
n Netherlands 2 (De Ligt 48, Depay 63) Germany 3 (Sane 15, Gnabry 34, Schulz 90)
Group E
n Hungary 2 (Szalai 34, Patkai 76) Croatia 1 (Rebic 13)
n Wales 1 (James 5) Slovakia 0
Group G
n Israel 4 (Zahavi 34, 45, 55, Dabbur 66) Austria 2 (Arnautovic 8, 75)
n Slovenia 1 (Zajc 34) North Macedonia 1 (Bardi 47)
n Poland 2 (Lewandowski 76, Glik 84) Latvia 0 
Group I
n Kazakhstan 0 Russia 4 (Cheryshev 19, 45+2, Dzyuba 52, Beysebekov 62-og)
n San Marino 0 Scotland 2 (McLean 4, Russell 74)
n Cyprus 0 Belgium 2 (E. Hazard 10, Batshuayi 18)



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