Last updated on September 10, 2019
Belgium and the Netherlands both cruised to 4-0 wins over Scotland and Estonia respectively Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday, while Germany maintained a vital victory over Northern Ireland in their bid to qualify for next season’s finals.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium, the world-number-one rated side, weren’t in their best but swatted aside a bad Scotland outfit in Hampden Park to make it six wins from as many games in Group I.
Defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld finished the match as a competition with less than 32 minutes on the clock.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who’d helped each of their first 3 goals, finished the scoring himself with eight minutes remaining.
“It wasn’t a world-class operation, we did what we needed to perform,” explained Belgium captain De Bruyne.
“We had a difficult beginning but after our initial aim, we had more control and Scotland didn’t get many opportunities.” Belgium, who finished third in last season’s World Cup, are now 11 points clear of third-placed Kazakhstan in the summit of the team with the best two mechanically qualifying and just four matches to play.
“We understood that with a win we’d most likely qualify, which is quite significant,” added De Bruyne.
Russia stays in place to advance in Group I with Belgium, following Mario Fernandes’ 89th-minute winner closed a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan which transferred Stanislav Cherchesov’s guys eight points before the beaten opponents.
Dutch dual for Babel
The Netherlands backed their magnificent 4-2 win over Germany in Hamburg past Friday by thrashing Estonia in Tallinn, as Ryan Babel scored his maiden global double.
Memphis Depay, making his 50th Netherlands look, grabbed the next target, together with Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum also discovering the internet.
Ronald Koeman’s side have work to do to achieve a first significant finals considering creating the 2014 World Cup semi-finals, however, since they track second-placed Northern Ireland by three points from Group C, albeit with a game in hand.
The Euro 1988 winners following bunch the Northern Irish on October 10 at a critical experience.
“I am no longer among those younger players at the group, so I attempt to compensate for the reduction of rate by using my expertise,” that the 32-year-old Babel informed NOS TV.
Germany directs the team standings after edging into a nervy 2-0 success in Belfast.
Marcel Halstenberg’s brilliant volley struck the deadlock soon after half-time at a tense encounter, and Serge Gnabry gave Joachim Loew’s guys breathing distance in injury-time.
“Following the defeat against Holland, we had been under pressure now and needed to overcome any issues,” said Germany manager Loew.
Leaders Croatia are just before third-placed Hungary, who they sponsor on October 10, by a single point, together with Slovakia moment on head-to-head recording after winning 2-1 at Budapest.
“It was not a fantastic game for us, particularly the second half when we did not take any chances,” coach Zlatko Dalic told tv station HRT.
Azerbaijan, trained by Croatian Nikola Jurcevic, stay rooted to the foot of this table.
Elsewhere, North Macedonia maintained their hopes of attaining a maiden key tournament living with a 2-0 triumph in Latvia.
The Balkan country sit in Group G, but are just 3 points behind second-placed Slovenia following their dramatic 3-2 triumph over Israel, with Austria two things off in third after a goalless stalemate in leaders Poland.