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Euro Qualifying Rewind: Czechs stun the Dutch; Italy cruises past Norway; and more



The growing pains continue for Guus Hiddink in his latest go-round as manager of The Netherlands.

The Dutch were clearly the favorites going into Tuesday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against the Czech Republic. But a stoppage time error netted a stunning result, with the Czechs opening their qualifying campaign with a win over the Netherlands, 2-1.

Though the Czechs held good form all day, an error from defender Daryl Janmaat in injury time was the difference. Janmaat attempted to head the ball back to the safety of goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen but missed, hitting the post instead. The rebound landed at Vaclav Pilar, who easily tapped home the game-winner.

“It’s my mistake,” Janmaat told Dutch media after the match at Generali Arena in the Czech Republic. “I can’t make it right.”

The Czechs opened scoring in the 21st minute on a cannon strike from Bořek Dočkal. The Dutch returned fire in the 55th minute as Stefan de Vrij headed in a Daley Blind cross.

Following a loss to Italy in a friendly last week, Hiddink continued tinkering with the Dutch system Tuesday. He had the Dutch open in a 5-3-2 formation but reverted to the old 4-3-3 after going down a goal.

Here’s a look at the rest of Tuesday’s Euro 2016 qualifying results:


Whatever Hiddink is feeling, new Italy manager Antonio Conte is probably feeling the opposite.

The Italians grabbed another comfortable result Tuesday, coasting past Norway, 2-0, in Conte’s first competitive match as the Azzurri’s coach. A suspended Mario Balotelli did little to benefit Norway as the Italians looked as efficient as ever.

Forward Simone Zaza, a surprise starting choice from Conte, opened scoring in the 16th minute, nabbing his first international goal and seemingly making the most of Balotelli’s absence.

Captain Leonardo Bonucci extended Italy’s lead on a strong header in the 82nd minute.


Not many counted on Cyprus to impress much in this round of qualifiers, but the footballing minnow pulled off a major shock, topping Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2-1.

Fresh off their success story of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, Bosnia-Herzegovina failed to defend on home turf after a roaring start Tuesday. They opened scoring in the 6th minute on a Vedad Ibišević strike.

Cyprus returned with two unanswered goals from Demetris Christofi in the 45th and 73rd minute.

The home side did have a chance to salvage a point in stoppage time, but Cyprian goalkeeper Antonis Georgallides saved Miralem Pjanić’s penalty kick for the win.


Kazakhstan 0 – 0 Latvia
Azerbaijan 1 – 2 Bulgaria
Iceland 3 – 0 Turkey
Andorra 1 – 2 Wales
Croatia 2 – 0 Malta


    • Somebody was going to say it. I find it honorable that you jumped on the grenade.

      As for me, I will be spending the rest of the evening on Soccer by Iceland, angrily discussing how the departure of AJ has now defnitively cost Iceland World Cup titles in both 2014 and 2018. My handle is “Stick a Bjork in It”, I amholding a razor to my wrist but lack the courage to move it.

      • Best Czech yourself djiorko maradojklfzgnutz put down the razor, close the soccer by Iceland and turn off the sigur ros.

      • I will never Cech myelf. And while I’m at it, I should say you sound an awful lot like that guy on SBIceland who claimed that Hermann Hreiðarsson was no longer even the second best left back at Fylkir. Which is of course absurd.

        That’s right. I am on to you, “expattssson4455”. You can’t hide from me.

    • The interesting thing is if you compare the lineups, it’s subtle changes, like the winning goalscorer started against us and was off the bench against Holland.

      • The bigger point is that there was not much difference between the lineup that faced the US and the one that played yesterday. While there were more substitituons, that was pretty much the Czech “A” team against the US.

  1. How can you not like Iceland? I hope they do qualify because this string of success can’t last (surely?). Also, Cyprus? Didn’t see that coming.

    • Cyprus is beyond shocking. Check out the shot box on ESPN if you want to see something that truly makes no sense. We all know how danger Dzeko can be.

      Iceland makes me happy. They almost made it to the WC too.


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