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

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

International Soccer

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

By

Daryl-Janmaat-bummer

By CAITLIN MURRAY

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:

ITALY COASTS BY NORWAY TO GIVE CONTE FIRST COUNTED WIN

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.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA CAN’T FEND OFF CYPRUS AT HOME

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.

OTHER RESULTS

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

More from

More SBI