Belgium qualifies for Euro 2020

Romelu Lukaku scored his 50th international goal as Belgium thrashed San Marino 9-0 in Brussels and became the first side to qualify for the Euro 2020 Finals.
Romelu Lukaku (centre) became the first Belgian to score 50 international goals
Romelu Lukaku (centre) became the first Belgian to score 50 international goals


Russia is also on the verge of joining it after seeing off Scotland 4-0 in Moscow. Unbeaten Belgium has 21 points from seven games in Group I, with only one goal conceded. Russia is on 18 and Cyprus, 2-1 winner over Kazakhstan in Astana, has 10. The top two teams in each group qualify directly.

San Marino managed to keep a clean sheet for 27 minutes against the top-ranked side but after that, there was a flurry of goals at the King Baudouin Stadium. Inter Milan striker Lukaku became the first Belgian to reach a half-century of international goals with a right-footed shot, which opened the scoring.

Croatia on course

Croatia firmly remained on course to reach Euro 2020 after two goals from striker Bruno Petkovic helped it to a 3-0 win over Hungary in Split.

Wales kept alive its hopes with a 1-1 draw at Slovakia in a Group E qualifying duel. The Croatians top the group with 13 points from six matches and will secure a berth in next year’s Finals with a match to spare if they beat Wales away on Saturday.

Slovakia is second on 10 points from six games, one ahead of third-placed Hungary. Wales is fourth with seven points from five fixtures. Bottom team Azerbaijan has only a solitary point to show from its five matches.

Late goals help Dutch

Memphis Depay scored twice and Luuk de Jong was also on target as the Netherlands came back from a goal down with 10 minutes left to beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in its Euro 2020 qualifier in Rotterdam.

It was a fortunate escape for the home side which fell behind when Josh Magennis gave Northern Ireland the lead in the 75th minute. But, the Dutch responded with an equaliser from Depay in the 80th minute. Then, two stoppage-time goals put it in a three-way tie at the top of Group C.

Netherlands, Germany and Northern Ireland all have 12 points, although the Irish have played a game more.

Austria defeats Israel

Austria defender Martin Hinteregger scored a goal to set up a 3-1 win over Israel in the Euro 2020 qualifiers in Vienna.

The Austrians moved into second place in Group G above Slovenia, which suffered a surprise 1-2 defeat away to North Macedonia. A Robert Lewandowski hat-trick gave leader Poland a comfortable 3-0 win away to basement side Latvia.

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