Netherlands’ expectations of achieving the World Cup finals endured a mishap on Saturday when the three-time runners-up dropped to a stunning 2-0 thrashing to Bulgaria.
The misfortune left the Dutch six points behind Group A leaders France, who beat Luxembourg 3-1, and down in the fourth spot, three once again from Sweden and two off Bulgaria with the group winners ensured a place in the 2018 finals in Russia. Bulgaria staggered the Dutch with two goals in the initial 20 minutes, both originating from Spas Delev.
Delev jumped on a misstep by 17-year-old Matthijs De Ligt, Holland’s most youthful debutant since 1931, who misconceived a pass and permitted the striker to smash the ball past Jeroen Zoet. Delevâ then made it 2-0 when he unleashed a stinging right-foot drive past Zoet.
The Dutch ruled vast parts of whatever is left of the game. however, were obstructed by strong Bulgarian defenders while goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov pulled off a super save in the second time half to deny Davy Klaassen.
BELGIUM VS GREECE
Belgium required a goal two minutes from time by Romelu Lukaku to rescue a 1-1 draw against nine-man Greece as they remained two points clear in Group H, in spite of the fact that Roberto Martinez’s led side lost their 100 percent record simultaneously.
Missing Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard who is out due to injury, Belgium did not have an inventive start in Brussels and they were made to pay when Greece snatched the lead only 20 seconds into the second half when Benfica striker Kostas Mitroglou smashed on to a long ball to fire home his third goal of the qualifiers.
Greece was lessened to 10 men after 65 minutes when Panagiotis Tachtsidis was awarded a red card for an unrefined tackle on Toby Alderweireld.
Everton striker Lukaku drove home from short proximity in the 89th minute to snatch a share of the riches before Georgios Tzavelas was sent-off in stoppage time.
PORTUGAL VS HUNGARY
Portugal saw off Hungary, a group they imparted six goals to at Euro 2016. The win kept Portugal in second place in Group B, with three points behind Switzerland, who prior protected their 100 percent record with a fifth win in five games, a 1-0 home triumph against Latvia.
Porto striker Andre Silva opened the scoring after 30 minutes, changing over a pass from Raphael Guerreiro for his fifth goal in six games for Portugal.
After six minutes, captain Ronaldo multiplied the lead with a wonderful left-footed strike and the Real Madrid hotshot made it 3-0 on 65 minutes with a smart free-kick to finished off the night with 70 international goals.
FRANCE VS LUXEMBOURG
Group A leaders France, the 1998 champions and Euro 2016 runners-up, saw Olivier Giroud open the scoring in Luxembourg just before the half-hour mark. Luxembourg levelled up following 34 minutes courtesy of Aurelien Joachim’s penalty, his nation’s first goal against France in 39 years.
Be that as it may, the minnows’ bliss was brief as Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann reestablished France’s lead, likewise from the penalty kick, only four minutes later. Giroud scored his second of the night in the 77 minutes after being teed up by Benjamin Mendy.