Netherlands keep hopes alive with win in Kazakhstan

Published 10/10/2015, 2:24 PM EDT
Players of the Netherlands celebrate a goal scored by Georginio Wijnaldum during their Euro 2016 group A qualifying soccer match against Kazakhstan at the Astana Arena stadium in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov


ASTANA (Reuters) – Georginio Wijnaldum and Wesley Sneijder scored either side of half-time to keep alive the Netherlands’ hopes of Euro 2016 qualification as they won 2-1 in Kazakhstan on Saturday for a first victory under new coach Danny Blind.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Wijnaldum was set up for the 32nd-minute opener by debutant Anwar El Ghazi and Sneijder rifled home the second with a stunning effort in the 49th minute.

Islambek Kuat reduced the deficit with virtually the last kick of the game.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With Turkey playing later on Saturday, the Dutch moved into third place in Group A chasing a playoff spot, with the top two positions, which ensure automatic qualification, already filled by Iceland and the Czech Republic.

Dutch hopes rest on Turkey, who are away at the Czech Republic, dropping points.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Netherlands plunged to fourth in the standings after losing to Iceland and Turkey last month in Blind’s first two matches as coach.

But a win in Astana was never in any doubt as they dominated the match.

Tim Krul was given a rare start in goal for the Dutch as Jasper Cillessen hurt himself in the warm-up but Krul was also injured with 10 minutes left, allowing Jeroen Zoet to debut as the 750th Netherlands international.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Striker Robin van Persie was again left on the bench for a third successive game by Blind but came on for the final four minutes to win his 100th cap.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Dhruv George

12102 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT