Ger­many se­cures spot

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

The draw al­lowed fierce ri­val Ger­many to move top in the group as Toni Kroos hit a brace in a sim­ple 4-0 win over Be­larus in Moenchengl­ad­bach which saw it qual­ify for the Eu­ros for the 13th time in a row.

A deft back-heeled goal from de­fender Matthias Gin­ter just be­fore the break and im­pres­sive fin­ish­ing by Leon Goret­zka and

Kroos gave the Ger­mans a com­fort­able three-goal lead early in the sec­ond half.

Cap­tain Manuel Neuer pro­duced a su­perb save to keep out Be­larus striker Igor Sta­se­vich's penalty be­fore Kroos drib­bled through the de­fence to claim his sec­ond goal seven min­utes from time and make sure of a rou­tine win. A win over Northern Ire­land in Frankfurt on Tues­day will guar­an­tee Loew's new-look side first place.

Croa­tia sur­vived a scare to se­cure its place in the Eu­ros af­ter com­ing from be­hind beat Slo­vakia 3-1 in Ri­jeka. The World Cup run­ner-up needed just a point to en­sure qual­i­fi­ca­tion from Group E but Robert Bozenik stunned the home crowd when he tapped the away side ahead in the 32nd minute.

How­ever it was one-way traf­fic in the sec­ond half and Croa­tia's qual­i­fi­ca­tion was never in doubt once Nikola Vla­sic drilled home the lev­eller. Bruno Petkovic headed the hosts in front and Ivan Perisic sealed the three points with a thump­ing fin­ish with 16 min­utes left.

Wales with a chance

That win gives Wales a fight­ing chance of qual­i­fy­ing af­ter its 2-0 vic­tory over Azer­bai­jan ear­lier on Satur­day. Ryan Giggs' side stay third thanks to first-half headed goals from Ki­ef­fer Moore and Harry Wilson and Slo­vakia los­ing against the Croats.

It is just one point be­hind sec­ond-placed Hun­gary, which trav­els to Cardiff on the fi­nal day for a win­ner-takes-all clash.

"It's mas­sive for us to get the three points and now we go again Tues­day," said Moore.

Aus­tria booked its place with a 2-1 win over North Mace­do­nia that kept third-placed Slove­nia at bay de­spite its 1-0 tri­umph over Latvia.

It is sec­ond in Group G be­hind Poland, which had al­ready qual­i­fied go­ing into this round of games but main­tained a three-point lead at the top of the group thanks to a 2-1 win at Is­rael.

In Saint Peters­burg, the Haz­ard brothers made short work of Rus­sia as al­ready-qual­i­fied Bel­gium main­tained its 100 per cent record with a 4-1 win that se­cured it top spot in Group I. Eden and Thor­gan Haz­ard put Roberto Martinez's side three goals ahead at the break be­fore in-form In­ter Mi­lan striker Romelu Lukaku crashed home the fourth in the 72nd minute to make ab­so­lutely sure of the re­sult.

(AFP)

Nether­lands' Vir­gil van Dijk (left) and Da­ley Blind cel­e­brate their qual­i­fi­ca­tion into the Euro 2020 fi­nals in Belfast, Northern Ire­land, on Satur­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.