Euro 2016 qualifiers: Turkey stun Netherlands, Czech Republic, Iceland book Euro 2016 berths
Not a good night for the Oranje as the World Cup 2010 finalists were beaten 3-0 by a strong Turkey. Czech Republic and Iceland, however were over the moon as they secured qualification to the Euro 2016. Italy, Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina also took steps toward qualification with wins in their latest outings.
Group A, Group B and Group H played out their ties for this month and will only be back in international action next month. Group A saw 2 teams book their places with one major upset on the cards while the other two groups are still undecided.
Meanwhile, Wales were denied victory by Israel painfully as a victory would have made them the third team after hosts France and England to book a place in the Euro 2016 finals at in France.
In other results from around Europe, Latvia lost 1-2 at home to a determined Czech Republic, Malta lost their lead to draw 2-2 against Azerbaijan and a convincing Norway won 2-0 against an underperforming Croatia team.
Czech Republic became the second team to qualify for the tournament in France as they registered a 2-1 away win against Latvia. The visitors went 2 goals up before Latvia could claw one back but the hosts couldn’t salvage a point from the game against the determined Czech. They join England who extended their 100 percent record in the qualifiers by beating San Marino 6-0 earlier. France have automatically qualified by the virtue of being the hosts.
Iceland drew 0-0 against Kazakhstan but the single point they earned took them to the top of the table and earned them also a berth in Euro 2016 finals at France. The minnows have put in a string of splendid team performances en route to a major tournament for them. Like Wales they were not really expected to make it to France but against all odds they have made the cut.
Netherlands’ 3-0 loss to Turkey matched their biggest ever margin of loss in European Qualifiers ever, but it will only be a part of the problem for them as Czech Republic lead that group with Iceland and Turkey now ahead of the Dutch. The two ahead of them have secured qualification for sure, now they will be embroiled in a third place battle with Turkey to decide their Euro 2016 fate.
More positive stuff from Wales as they only drew against Israel playing in Cardiff. They came incredibly close to a win as substitute Church put the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time for them but was ruled offside to end the match 0-0. A win would have put the Dragons in their first ever European Championship without any doubt but now they are left needing 2 points from 2 games to secure passage. If Belgium hadn’t won on the night, the Welsh would have already made the cut but Belgians’ narrow 0-1 win over Cyprus has kept the pressure firmly on Cris Coleman’s side.
The night also ended well for the Bosnians as they emerged 3-0 victors over Andorra to keep themselves in the hunt for qualification. They face a tough clash next month against Wales and even if they win the rest of their games, they would need favours from Belgium or Cyprus to qualify.
Italy stole a 1-0 win against Bulgaria to propel themselves to the top of Group H. Things however remain tight on top of Group H as they are closely followed by Norway, who beat Croatia 2-0 on the night and jump over them in the group table. The two sides at the foot of the table Azerbaijan and Malta played out a 2-2 draw that helped neither side with on 2 qualifiers left for each team to play