Oranje, Red Devils ride easy
Germany Also Close To Finals
Paris: Belgium and the Netherlands both cruised to 4-0 wins over Scotland and Estonia respectively in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday, while Germany claimed a crucial victory over Northern Ireland in their bid to qualify for next year’s finals.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium, the world-number-one ranked side, were not at their best but still swatted aside a poor Scotland outfit at Hampden Park to make it six wins from as many matches in Group I.
Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku gave the visitors the lead in Glasgow in only the ninth minute with his Belgian record-extending 49th international goal. Defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld ended the game as a contest with less than 32 minutes on the clock. Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who had assisted each of the first three goals, completed the scoring himself with eight minutes remaining. Russia remain in pole position to progress from Group I with Belgium, after Mario Fernandes’ winner sealed a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan which moved Stanislav Cherchesov’s men eight points ahead of their beaten opponents.
Dutch double for Babel
The Netherlands backed up their stunning 4-2 win over Germany in Hamburg last Friday by thrashing Estonia in Tallinn, as Ryan Babel scored his maiden international double.
Memphis Depay grabbed the third goal, with Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum also finding the net. The Euro 1988 winners next host the Northern Irish on October 10 in a crucial e.
Germany lead the group standings after edging to a nervy 2-0 victory in Belfast. Marcel Halstenberg's brilliant volley broke the deadlock shortly after
half-time in a tense encounter, and Serge Gnabry gave Joachim Loew's men breathing space in injury-time.
Earlier on Saturday, Croatia suffered a setback in their qualifying campaign as they were held to a 1-1draw by Azerbaijan in Baku. The 2018 World Cup runners-up took an early lead through a Luka Modric penalty, but the hosts hit back with Tamkin Khalilzade's brilliant 72nd-minute equaliser to claim their first point in Group E. Leaders Croatia are only ahead of third-placed Hungary, who they host on October10, by one point, with Slovakia second on head-to-head record after winning 2-1in Budapest.
Wales are three points further back, but having played a game fewer.
Azerbaijan, coached by Croatian Nikola Jurcevic, remain rooted to the foot of the table. Elsewhere, North Macedonia kept their hopes of reaching a maiden major tournament alive with a 2-0 win in Latvia. The Balkan nation sit fourth in Group G, but are only three points behind second-placed Slovenia after their dramatic 3-2 win over Israel, with Austria two points better off in third following a goalless stalemate at leaders Poland.
De Bruyne best playmaker: Martinez
Glasgow: Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has hailed Kevin De Bruyne as “the best playmaker in the world” after he scored one goal and set up three more in their 4-0 win over Scotland in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday.
“For me, he is the best playmaker in the world,” said Martinez. “Playmakers dictate the tempo, give perfect passes and they take responsibility. He did all of that against Scotland.” Martinez also said he was glad to see other players step up. “I was pleased with the performances of our experienced players because Eden Hazard was not here,” he added. many as three all-outs in the 20-minute period, to stay in the mix for a playoff berth. Deshwal starred with 9 points.
U Mumba, who are in fifth place with 43 points from 14 matches, take on hosts Bengal Warriors on Wednesday.
Telugu Titans, on the other hand, are in ninth place with 30 points. Dabang Delhi lead the pack with 59 points.
Following a disastrous start which saw them win just one match in their first eight outings, Telugu Titans rekindled
Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne (right) scores their fourth goal against Scotland