Euro 2020 Round-up : Belgium Ease Past San Marino


Belgium moved closer to reaching Euro 2020 with a routine 4-0 win in San Marino to move eight points clear of third place in Group I.

Belgium kept up their perfect start to the group but had to wait until the 43rd minute to make the breakthrough, when Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi scored from the spot.

After half-time, Dries Mertens doubled their advantage, before ex-Spurs and West Brom winger Nacer Chadli added a third and an injury-time fourth from Batshuayi rounded off the scoring.

Russia stayed three points behind them in Group I with a 2-1 win in Scotland, while Kazakhstan's faint home of qualifying remained alive as they held Cyprus to a 1-1 draw.

Germany missed the chance to displace Northern Ireland at the top of Group C as Netherlands scored four times in 32 second-half minutes to stage a 4-2 comeback win.

The Germans went ahead with former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry netting his fourth goal in four qualifiers in the ninth minute.

The Dutch came back stronger after the break, scoring twice in seven minutes with Frenkie De Jong in the 59th and a Jonathan Tah own goal.

Germany levelled with a harshly-awarded 73rd minute Toni Kroos penalty but the visitors got revenge for their 3-2 loss in Amsterdam in March, striking through Donyell Malen in the 79th after a quick combination left the German defence frozen.

And Georginio Wijnaldum completed the win in stoppage time after a fine pick-out by Memphis Depay.

The result leaves Germany on nine points from four games, three behind leaders Northern Ireland, who they face on Monday in Belfast. The Dutch move up to six points from three games

Elsewhere in the group, a last-minute Belarus goal from Maksim Skavysh denied Estonia a first point of the qualifying campaign with a 2-1 defeat.

Slovenia surprised Group G leaders Poland 2-0, with goals in either half from Aljaz Struma and Andraz Sporar, to move a point within second-placed Austria, who thrashed Latvia 6-0 in Salzburg with former West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic scoring twice.

Wales left it late to keep their qualifying hopes well and truly in tact as Gareth Bale's 84th-minute goal gave them a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan in Cardiff, but Croatia ensured they kept themselves in the top two with a convincing 4-0 win in Slovakia, which saw Dejan Lovren on the scoresheet.

Bale struck his 32nd goal for Wales six minutes from time, rising to head home after Joe Allen's shot had been deflected high into the Cardiff air.

Wales had been gifted a first-half lead when Pavlo Pashayev scored a bizarre own goal, but Mahir Emreli punished a sloppy home display with a 58th-minute equaliser.

Azerbaijan are ranked 109th in the world - a whopping 85 places below Wales - and their only competitive away wins came in the Faroe Islands and San Marino.

Powered by Blogger.