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Sunday 20 August 2017

Sigurdsson brace puts Dutch Euro dreams on ice

EURO 2016 QUALIFIER ROUND-UP

Holland's poor start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign continued last night as a Gylfi Sigurdsson brace earned Iceland a 2-0 victory in Reykjavik.

Swansea midfielder Sigurdsson opened the scoring with a 10th-minute penalty and sealed matters with a second goal three minutes before half-time to earn his country a first ever triumph over the Oranje, who remained on just three points after three games in Group A.

The result maintained Iceland's 100 per cent record in the pool - a record shared by the Czech Republic, who earlier made it three wins from three with an entertaining 4-2 success in Kazakhstan.

The other Group A match ended in a 1-1 draw between Latvia and Turkey, Valerijs Sabala's penalty earning the hosts a point after substitute Bilal Kisa had put the visitors ahead in Riga.

Ten-man Wales survived a red card two minutes into the second half to record a precious 2-1 victory over Cyprus and stay top of Group B.

Midfielder Andy King was given a straight red for a reckless tackle on Cyprus captain Constantinos Makridis, but Wales clung on.

Substitute David Cotterill and Hal Robson-Kanu had fired Chris Coleman's side into a two-goal lead inside 23 minutes before Vincent Laban pulled one back.

Elsewhere in the pool, Israel made it two wins from two with a 4-1 win in Andorra and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium battled out a 1-1 draw in Zenica.

Southampton forward Graziano Pelle marked his Italy debut with a goal as Antonio Conte's side defeated Malta 1-0 in Group H.

Pelle reacted the quickest in a goalmouth scramble to turn in the loose ball and set the Azzurri on their way to a victory which put them level on points with Croatia at the top of the pool.

Croatia maintained their 100 per cent start with a 6-0 thrashing of Azerbaijan.

Also in Group H, Norway collected their second win in four days with a 2-1 victory over Bulgaria in Oslo - in a match notable for Martin Odegaard becoming the youngest player in European Championship history at the age of 15 years and 300 days when he was introduced from the home bench midway through the second half.

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