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Football news – Wales secure vital Czech win, Belgium and Netherlands crush opponents


Daniel James grabbed a later winner for Wales as they beat the Czech Republic 1-0 on Tuesday.

The Czechs had enjoyed the better of the Group E clash but with both teams having been reduced to 10 men it was Wales who struck in the 81st minute as James met Gareth Bale’s cross.

Forward Patrik Schick was sent off shortly after halftime for the Czechs after grappling with Connor Roberts when a free kick was swung in to the Wales area.

But Roberts was later dismissed for catching Tomas Soucek with his arm in the 77th minute.

The slick Czechs threatened on numerous occasions in the first half with Jakub Jankto going close and even after they lost Schick they were the better side.

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But after an opening loss to Belgium, Wales were delighted to get their campaign up and running.

Michy Batshuayi (L) jumps to controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group E football match between Belgium and Belarus at the King Power at Den Dreef Stadium

Image credit: Getty Images

Belgium’s second-string used the opportunity of a rare start to impress coach Roberto Martinez as they thumped Belarus 8-0 in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens were given the night off, and the second string had little difficulty in securing three points.

They are in third place with three points from two games, with the Czechs on four from three games and Belgium leading on seven points after thrashing Belarus.

With Martinez warning players were under scrutiny for places in the Euro 2020 squad, Michy Batshuayi, Hans Vanaken (2), Leandro Trossard (2), Jeremy Doku, Denis Praet and Christian Benteke all scored as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens were given the night off.

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Netherlands’ winger Steven Berghuis scored one goal and set up another as they overcame a wasteful first half to thump minnows Gibraltar 7-0 in their World Cup qualifier at the Victoria Stadium on Tuesday.

Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum and Donyell Malen all also scored as the visitors netted four goals in nine second-half minutes to give an emphatic look to the score after a stuttering opening period frustrated manager Frank de Boer.

Substitute Donny van de Beek added a sixth late on and Depay got his second as the Netherlands recorded their biggest away win since a 7-0 success over San Marino in 1993.

The Dutch moved into second place in Group G with six points from three games, one point behind leaders Turkey who were surprisingly held to a 3-3 draw at home by Latvia.

Croatia beat Malta 3-0 at home in after second-half substitutes Ivan Perisic, Luka Modric and Josip Brekalo struck to force the rugged visitors into submission.

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