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Netherlands beat Belarus 4-1 in World Cup qualifier

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The Hague, Oct 8 (IANS) The Netherlands football team scored a comfortable 4-1 win over Belarus in a 2018 World Cup qualifying Group A encounter in the De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam.

After the 1-1 draw in Sweden last month, the Dutch on Friday needed a win against Belarus, which had drawn 0-0 against France in the first tie.

Coach Danny Blind had lined up almost the same team as against Sweden, but he favoured Maarten Stekelenburg as goalkeeper over Jeroen Zoet and Rick Karsdorp debuted as right back for injured Daryl Janmaat, reports Xinhua.

The tandem Karsdorp-Quincy Promes worked well on the right side and the Dutch created several opportunities from the start. In the 15th minute, Promes opened the scoring, when he profited from sloppy defending by the visitors.

He scored his first goal in 15 internationals. In the 31st minute, the Spartak Moscow forward also produced the second goal, when he hit home after a deflected Dutch corner.

With the 2-0 score the Dutch gave away the initiative and Belarus created some chances before half-time. An attempt by Mikhail Gordeychuk went beside the post and Sergei Kornilenko also went close. Belarus continued their good period in the second half and Aleksey Rios scored in the 47th minute from a Kornilenko cross.

Netherlands seemed to have lost track, but came back into the match and restored their momentum of the first half. After Vincent Janssen hit the post Davy Klaassen scored from the rebound in the 55th minute and with a smashing strike from outside the penalty area Janssen made it 4-1 in the 64th minute.

The Dutch could have extended the scoring, but Georginio Wijnaldum hit the post.

With the win, Netherlands bagged four points in Group A, together with France, which beat Bulgaria 4-1 in Paris, and Sweden, which defeated Luxembourg 1-0 in Luxembourg.

On Monday, Netherlands will take on France in Amsterdam while Belarus will host Luxembourg and Sweden will face Bulgaria at home.

--IANS

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