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Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Bale Saves Wales, Netherlands Thump Germany

Gareth Bale left it late for Wales, as his 84th- minute strike gave them a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan in Cardiff, to help keep their qualifying hopes for Euro 2020 alive.

The Real Madrid forward netted his 32nd international goal six minutes from time with a header, after Joe Allen’s shot was deflected high.

Wales had been gifted a first-half lead, when Pavlo Pashayev scored a bizarre own goal, but Mahir Emreli punished a sloppy home display with a 58th-minute equaliser.

Germany missed the chance to displace Northern Ireland at the top of Group C, as the Netherlands scored four times in 32 second-half minutes to stage a 4-2 comeback win.

The Germans went ahead after former Arsenal forward, Serge Gnabry, netted his fourth goal in four qualifiers in the ninth minute.

The Dutch came back stronger after the break, scoring twice in seven minutes. Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie De Jong, equalised in the 59th, and a Jonathan Tah’s own goal gave the Ronald Koeman’s men the lead.

Germany levelled with a controversial 73rd minute penalty  which was converted by Toni Kroos. But again, the visitors revenged their 3-2 loss in Amsterdam in March, scoring late through Donyell Malen in the 79th minute, after a quick combination left the German defence frozen.

Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum completed the win in stoppage time, after a fine pick-out by Memphis Depay.

The result leaves Germany on nine points from four games, three behind leaders, Northern Ireland, who they face on Monday in Belfast, while the Dutch move up to six points from three games.

Belgium moved closer to qualifying for the tournament, following a routine 4-0 win in San Marino to move eight points clear of third place in Group I.

The Roberto Martinez men kept up their perfect start to the group, but had to wait until the 43rd minute to make the breakthrough, when Chelsea striker, Michy Batshuayi, scored from the spot.

After half-time, Napoli forward, Dries Mertens, doubled their advantage, before Nacer Chadli added a third.

Batshuayi got his brace in injury time to round off the scoring.

About Oluwafemi Ashaolu

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