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Euro 2016: Netherlands keep hopes alive with win in Kazakhstan

Georginio Wijnaldum and Wesley Sneijder scored either side of half-time to keep alive the Netherlands’ hopes of Euro 2016 qualification as they won 2-1 in Kazakhstan on Saturday.

Reuters

Updated:October 11, 2015, 8:30 AM IST
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Euro 2016: Netherlands keep hopes alive with win in Kazakhstan
Georginio Wijnaldum and Wesley Sneijder scored either side of half-time to keep alive the Netherlands’ hopes of Euro 2016 qualification as they won 2-1 in Kazakhstan on Saturday.
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Georginio Wijnaldum and Wesley Sneijder scored either side of half-time to keep alive the Netherlands’ hopes of Euro 2016 qualification as they won 2-1 in Kazakhstan on Saturday for a first victory under new coach Danny Blind.

Wijnaldum was set up for the 32nd-minute opener by debutant Anwar El Ghazi and Sneijder rifled home the second with a stunning effort in the 49th minute.

Islambek Kuat reduced the deficit with virtually the last kick of the game.

With Turkey playing later on Saturday, the Dutch moved into third place in Group A chasing a playoff spot, with the top two positions, which ensure automatic qualification, already filled by Iceland and the Czech Republic.

Dutch hopes rest on Turkey, who are away at the Czech Republic, dropping points.

The Netherlands plunged to fourth in the standings after losing to Iceland and Turkey last month in Blind’s first two matches as coach.

But a win in Astana was never in any doubt as they dominated the match.

Tim Krul was given a rare start in goal for the Dutch as Jasper Cillessen hurt himself in the warm-up but Krul was also injured with 10 minutes left, allowing Jeroen Zoet to debut as the 750th Netherlands international.

Striker Robin van Persie was again left on the bench for a third successive game by Blind but came on for the final four minutes to win his 100th cap.

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