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PHOTOS: Germany, Netherlands win; Wales hold Croatia

October 14, 2019 09:42 IST

IMAGE: Germany's players celebrate after Ilkay Gundogan scored the opening goal. Photograph: Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Germany overcame an early red card to Emre Can and eventually eased to a 3-0 victory away to Estonia on Sunday in a Euro 2020 qualifier to go joint-top of Group C.

 

Joachim Loew's side had hammered Estonia 8-0 at home back in June but got off to a rocky start in Tallinn when midfielder Can was shown a straight red card in the 14th minute for a studs up challenge.

Estonia put Germany under pressure for large parts of the first half but could not capitalise on their numerical advantage, while Marco Reus hit the post for Germany.

The visitors came out far stronger after the interval and Ilkay Gundogan gave them the lead in the 51st minute with a shot from outside the box which took a deflection off Reus.

Gundogan also helped double Germany’s advantage in the 57th as his shot took a big deflection off Karol Mets and was given as an own goal, while substitute Timo Werner rounded off the scoring in the 71st minute.

"The decisive factor was that we increased the tempo in the second half and kept calm," Germany coach Loews told reporters.

"I'm happy we got the job done. It was tough out there but we did well in the second half."

Captain Manuel Neuer added: "We were down to 10 men after 15 minutes, which makes everything more difficult as you have to reset. It was always going to be a matter of time before we took our chances and the goals arrived."

The victory takes Germany second in of Group C with 15 points after six games, while the Netherlands, also on 15, are top.

Northern Ireland are third on 12, with Estonia bottom on one point after seven games.

Wijnaldum double sees Netherlands edge past Belarus

IMAGE: Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum scores their first goal. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenkos/Reuters

Georginio Wijnaldum's two first half goals handed Netherlands a 2-1 away win over Belarus on Sunday as they consolidated top place in Group C of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Wijnaldum opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a close-in header and then hit a scorching shot from outside the penalty box for his second nine minutes later.

It moved the Dutch to 15 points from six matches, three ahead of Germany, who were playing in Estonia later on Sunday.

Even if Germany beat Estonia, the Dutch will stay on top because of a better head-to-head record.

It will leave Northern Ireland, also still in contention, back in third place with 12 points, also from six games.

Wijnaldum had to stretch to get onto the end of a delicate chip from Quincy Promes for his opening goal.

The Liverpool midfielder then collected the ball outside the home team’s penalty area, took two steps before unleashing a rocket-like shot that gave goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor no chance.

But the Dutch were made to sweat after halftime as the home team pulled a goal back though Stanislav Dragun in the 53rd minute.

It set up a spell of tidy play from Belarus before the more polished Dutch wrestled control of the game away from them for the final 20-odd minutes.

Wijnaldum came close to his hat-trick 10 minutes from time but found his way blocked, only to set up Donyell Malen, whose close range effort was superbly saved by Gutor.

Wales hold Croatia to keep Euro 2020 hopes alive

IMAGE: Gareth Bale celebrates scoring the first goal for Wales. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Wales kept alive their flagging hopes of reaching Euro 2020 by holding Croatia to a 1-1 home draw after Gareth Bale cancelled out an early Nikola Vlasic opener for the visitors in a bruising Group E qualifier on Sunday.

The result left Croatia top of the group on 14 points from seven games, two more than Hungary who ground out a fortuitous 1-0 home win over Azerbaijan in the day’s early fixture.

Third-placed Slovakia have 10 points from six games and Wales in fourth have eight from six. Bottom team Azerbaijan are on one point from six matches.

Vlasic fired Croatia ahead in the ninth minute after Josip Brekalo’s jinking run allowed Bruno Petkovic to tee up the ball for the midfielder, who beat keeper Wayne Hennessey with a crisp low shot which went in off the post.

Hennessey kept Wales afloat with a superb save which denied Ivan Perisic before Bale capitalised on good work by Ben Davies in first-half stoppage time, as he rounded Dejan Lovren before driving the ball past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

The equaliser came after a chilling moment midway through the first half, when Wales winger Daniel James suffered a concussion as a result of a reckless tackle by Croatia centre back Domagoj Vida.

Then early in the second half, Wales midfielder Ethan Ampadu had to be helped off the pitch by team doctors and was substituted by Joseff Morrell after a clumsy aerial challenge from Petkovic left him out for the count on the turf of Cardiff City’s stadium.

Livakovic smothered a James shot before a dangerous Wales raid left three players from either side lying on the pitch following a series of crunching collisions, with Croatia captain Luka Modric unable to carry on.

The Hungarians scrambled a lifeline win over Azerbaijan thanks to a sublime 10th-minute volley from left back Mihaly Korhut, who blasted in the winner from 30 metres after the visitors half-cleared a cross from the left.

The home side were let off the hook in stoppage time when referee Dennis Higler disallowed an Azerbaijan goal for perceived handball, although video replays showed the ball went in off Bahlul Mustafazade’s chest.

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