herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Dutch kamikaze defending costs them against Czechs

Holland began their bid to qualify for Euro 2016 by slipping to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat away to Czech Republic last night.

The World Cup semi-finalists, now with Guus Hiddink back in charge after Louis van Gaal's departure to Manchester United, fell behind in the 22nd minute, Borek Dockal blasting home a super effort off the inside of a post. Stefan de Vrij levelled 10 minutes after the break, but the Dutch were undone at the death as Vaclav Pilar capitalised on some kamikaze defending to net from close range in injury-time. Elsewhere in Group A, Iceland laid down an early marker with an emphatic 3-0 win at home to 10-man Turkey.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson put them ahead after 17 minutes and the visitors suffered another blow when they had Omer Toprak sent off in the 59th minute, having picked up two yellow cards in five minutes.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson scored two quickfire goals to round off the win.

Kazakhstan and Latvia drew 0-0.

Italy, like Holland with a new man - Antonio Conte - in charge following the World Cup, bounced back from their disappointing showing in Brazil with a 2-0 win in Norway in Group H.

A goal in each half from Simone Zaza and Leonardo Bonucci settled the match.

Croatia laboured to a 2-0 win over 10-man Malta thanks to strikes from Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric after the visitors had had Steve Borg sent off just after the half-hour mark.

Bulgaria won 2-1 in Azerbaijan. Iliyan Mitsanski put the away side in front, but Dimitrij Nazarov levelled early in the second half. Ventsislav Hristov headed the winner four minutes after coming off the bench.

The shock of the night came in Group B as Cyprus stunned Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 away from home.

All looked well for the hosts when Vedad Ibisevic put them ahead after six minutes, but Demetris Christofi equalised on the stroke of half-time and then scored again in the 73rd minute.

Bosnia's misery was complete when Miralem Pjanic saw his penalty saved by Antonis Georgallides.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News